Pinoy Camp – Palayoks, kalans, and pottery wheels

Our big craft for the week involved making (rather, trying to make) clay cooking sets just like the one in the book, Araw Sa Palengke – a wonderful book featuring adorable drawings and a heartwarming story about the Filipino culture and the relationship between Nanay and her anak (child).

DSC_1799crop-20 - CopyPRauI have fond memories of playing with our own clay set as a child, just  like this set on the right (except this one’s missing a cover) – with a kalan (stove), palayok (clay pot) with cover, and wok. I remember sneaking ours outside for some pretend cooking – except somehow I really did use matches to light dried grass for cooking leaves and water in the palayok. Shh! 🙂

Since we’ve made pots before on our pottery wheels, I thought we’d use them again to make our Pinoy pots.

We have the NSI Pottery Wheel (Imagine Nation) and the Pottery Wheel Kit by Creatology (Michael’s), both of which were gifts – and both of which get terrible reviews! All pottery wheels do, it seems. But with patience and practice, we were able to use them in the past to produce these (supposedly) Greek vases…pottery-cropau-50 - CopyPR

And so we attempted to use them again for the palayok.

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I say “attempted” because using the pottery wheels proved to be as challenging as the first time around, requiring several do-overs.

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Although both wheels work well enough, the Creatology one’s on-off switch (above) got pretty messy after a few times of turning the wheel on and off to adjust the clay. We prefer the Imagine Nation pottery wheel (below), since it has a foot pedal for easy and mess-free on and off.

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Hopefully soon, we’ll perfect our pottery wheel technique and finally finish our palayok and kalan set.

Or…we could forget the pottery wheel altogether and just mold air-dry clay with our hands. We find the Crayola Air Dry Clay 5 Lb Bucket, White, (57-5055) easy to work with – and apparently it can also be used on a pottery wheel, though we’ve never tried it.

I prefer the wheel method though for the older kids, since molding by hand produces less smooth, lumpier and somewhat lopsided pots, like these hand-molded pots we made in the past.

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All the same, a pot made with either technique has its own charm, and I can’t wait for the kids to finally have their own palayok and kalan set. Hopefully it will be realistic enough to use for pretend cooking, as ours was decades ago.

In the meantime, I’d better make sure those posporo (matches) are well out of reach! 😉



Disclaimers: I, Emy Damian, have not been paid to review any of the resources listed above. All comments are mine, and any resource listed without comment has not yet been reviewed. I, Emy Damian, am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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