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Resources include the Pottery merit badge worksheet Adobe Acrobat PDF, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.  Prev  -  Next  

Pottery merit badge requires prior counselor approval for requirement(s) #7.

Pottery merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1927
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 087
Requirements revision: 2009
Latest pamphlet revision: 2008


The Pottery merit badge provides an introduction to pottery making, enabling Scouts to gain skill and understanding from actually creating pottery. Completing the requirements will include hands-on production of a work of art, from start to finish.

Pottery merit badge requirements

  1. Explain to your counselor the precautions that must be followed for the safe use and operation of a potter’s tools, equipment, and other materials.
  2. Do the following:
    a. Explain the properties and ingredients of a good clay body for the following:
    1. Making sculpture
    2. Throwing on the wheel
    b. Tell how three different kinds of potter's wheels work.
  3. Make two drawings of pottery forms, each on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. One must be a historical pottery style. The other must be of your own design.
  4. Explain the meaning of the following pottery terms: bat, wedging, throwing, leather hard, bone dry, greenware, bisque, terra-cotta, grog, slip, score, earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, pyrometric cone, and glaze.
  5. Do the following. Each piece is to be painted, glazed, or otherwise decorated by you:
    a. Make a slab pot, a coil pot, and a pinch pot.
    b. Make a human or animal figurine or decorative sculpture.
    c. Throw a functional form on a potter's wheel.
    d. Help to fire a kiln.
  6. Explain the scope of the ceramic industry in the United States. Tell some things made other than craft pottery.
  7. With your parent's permission and your counselor's approval, do ONE of the following:
    a. Visit the kiln yard at a local college or other craft school. Learn how the different kinds of kilns work, including low-fire electric, gas or propane high-fire, wood or salt/soda, and raku.
    b. Visit a museum, art exhibit, art gallery, artists' co-op, or artist's studio that features pottery. After your visit, share with your counselor what you have learned.
    c. Using resources from the library, magazines, the Internet (with your parent's permission), and other outlets, learn about the historical and cultural importance of pottery. Share what you discover with your counselor.
  8. Find out about career opportunities in pottery. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Pottery is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Pottery requirements.
meritbadge.org has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks, Webelos workbooks,
Cub Scout workbooks, and Nova Award workbooks.
  1. Pottery is a popular merit badge.

Requirement resources

Related awards

Art-related awards

See also

Boy Scout portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

  • Pottery -- An easy approach to the basics of pottery, including several links that may help you find additional information.
  • How to make Pottery.com -- Just what it sounds like: an online guide to making pottery.
  • Ceramics.Org -- The American Ceramic Society's home page.
  • Potters Council -- The Potters Council of the American Ceramic Society's home page.
  • Category:Ceramic materials -- Wikipedia's Ceramic Materials category. Topics included take a much more specific and detailed approach.

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