You can harvest clay from creek and river banks, or by digging down in the ground to a clay layer in areas that have clay rich soil. Clay comes in many colors, from white to red to dark grey. It can also have different textures, if sand and small bits of stone are blended in that layer. But all good pottery clay should be able to get tied in a knot. Roll the wet clay into a “rope” shape and tied a knot in it (like a pretzel). If the clay ties into a knot without breaking, it should be a good candidate for pottery. Clay can be harvested fresh and wet, right out of the ground. It can also be collected dry, in more arid climates. Grind your dry clay into powder and add a little water to rehydrate it. Before making your pot, you’ll want to add some sand or stone dust to “temper” the clay. Add one part sand or crushed quartz to two parts clay (temper should be 1/3 the volume). Once blended, the temper and clay mix is ready to form pottery. Your first project can be a bowl or very small pot. Simply shape a concave vessel from your clay mix, smoothing it and compressing it as you go. Allow it to dry briefly, until it is only a little malleable (leather dry). Place a large smooth stone in the concavity and paddle the outside of the vessel with a flat piece of wood. This compresses the walls of the pottery and helps eliminate air bubbles. Set the pottery aside to dry for several weeks, or longer, and then fire it. You can learn more complex pottery production techniques, like coil pottery, after learning the basics with these “pinch pots”.