The flax clay was rolled out on a board using 2 sticks to ensure that the slab was an even thickness. Then the fun part, the clay was impressed with shells, star anise, buttons, screws and a varity of other stamps and mark-making objects. Beaks, tail-like handles, eyes, eye-lids etc were added, securely fixed to the pot with slip.
It's a Barn Owl..... obviously!
The consensus is a Woodpecker
This reminds me of Fawkes the phoenix from Harry Potter
This 'bird' ultimately became a cat with overtones of an Egyptian deity.