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Lesson Plans by Discipline - Clay


Donkey Beads and Bells
click to collapse

Grades K – 4

 

Grade Level

NEW! Beastly Bobblehead

Create a whimsical patterned Bobble Head! The “body” is a clay slab that students texturize by pressing interesting pasta shapes into it. Top with a pinch-pot head — and learn a lesson in balance.

3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Spoon Skulls

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

1 – 8

NEW! Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

K – 12

Flower Garden Tiles

Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

Watch the Video

K – 12

The Walls are Watching You!

Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

Watch the Video

2 – 12

Coral Reef Creation

Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

K – 12

Textural Glass Slumping

Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Rolly Bowls

Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Sole Pendants

In this project, students explore the beauty of texture found in a surprising place... on the soles of their shoes! Texture is all around us, and oftentimes exists right under our noses.

Watch the Video

K – 3

Byzantine Medallions

The wealthy Byzantine Empire had a huge influence on personal ornamentation. Characterized by extensive iconography, pendants and medallions were widely produced to denote faith, office or rank. For this project, students use air-dry clay and colorful rhinestones to create their own Byzantine-style medallions. Gilded with gold powder and finished with a gloss coating, they can be used as ornaments or placed outdoors as mini stepping stones.

K – 12

Mr. Blacks’s Dog House

This beginning project introduces early elementary students to basic clay construction skills. Employing both fine and gross motor skills, students assign a unique personality to their pet, then bisque fire and add the definition of spots and color with glazes.

K – 3

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Thematic Clay Picture Frames

A lesson plan from AMACO®. Students select their favorite photo and design a custom picture frame to display it. After the bisque firing, the picture frames will be painted and decorated using the new AMACO® Teacher's Choice and Teacher's Palette low-fire glazes.

K – 6

Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

4 – 8

Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

3 – 8

No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

Watch the Video

K – 8
10 – 12
Special Education

Wee Puppets

Exercising the imagination helps children develop problem-solving skills. This lesson incorporates students’ artistic skills to sculpt finger puppets out of clay and to use their imaginations to make up a story for their characters. The stories do not have to be written but can be told freely. Create a theatre in the classroom — a table with a cloth over it makes a great stage for Wee Puppets. This project is a wonderful interactive classroom event.

K – 6

EZ Grout Mosaics

Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Earth Strata

The inside of the Earth holds hidden secrets very close to us, so dig a hole to uncover layers of mystery! A hole just 1" deep will show a very small example of soil strata or layers – including rocks, shells, fossils, geodes, water, oil and coal. This art project is based on geology but need not be scientifically accurate as students creatively incorporate texture and line.

1 – 6

Native American Story Necklaces

One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

K – 6

Forest Dwellings: Toad House

Students will hand-build dwellings for forest animals and birds, beginning with flat clay slabs and using slump molds (and even a soda can!) to shape the slabs into three dimensional forms. They will use sprig and press molds to texture and embellish their structures to simulate trees, leaves, knot holes and burrows reminiscent of natural habitats found in woodlands.

4 – 8

Monoprint "Screams" on Clay

Students monoprint images of their faces onto a piece of flat clay, then "morph" it to look like the face in Edvard Munch's famous portrait "The Scream".

K – 4

Paper Clay Leaves

Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

K – 12

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

High Low Relief Sculpture

This High-Low Relief Sculpture is a variation on the popular three-dimensional pin sculpture toy that can be molded into familiar shapes as pressure is applied from underneath. These sculptures will be stationary with a few other variations, as students use their imaginations to create rolling landscapes, faces, flowers or other images out of different lengths of colorfully painted craft picks.

4 – 6

Clay Divisionism

Neo-Impressionistic artists of the late 1800s developed a pictorial technique in which they placed specific brushstrokes of pure color directly on their canvas instead of mixing colors first on a palette. In this lesson plan, students will create balls of air dry clay and attach them collage-style to a self-adhesive board to recreate the Divisionism approach to painting.

2 – 6

Zany Wire Sculpture

Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

K – 6

Casting Coins (Elementary)

As young students learn the value and structure of our monetary system, they can make their own coins for trade or to save. This lesson plan allows students to design and “mint” coins bearing their own symbols.

K – 4

Huichol Clay Painting

This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

3 – 8

Mexican “Tona” Animal Masks

According to a pre-Columbian legend, each person shares a common destiny with an animal that matches their personality and their life experiences called a “Tona”. Students identify with an animal and create a mask that will retain some human features as well. This project linka with personal identification and Mexican Folk Art cultural studies.

K – 4

Talking Rocks

Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

2 – 5

Leather Shields Native American Wall Hanging

Students learn to work with leather in the manner of Native American craftsmen.

K – 6

Pueblo Pots

There are 20 Pueblo villages left in the Southwest; there were at one time in history 200. Each of the 20 Pueblos is famous for art and/or crafts, such as pottery. Students will learn about the Pueblo Indian arts and crafts, and emulate the famous pottery of Maria Martinez, who lived in a Pueblo.

2 – 4

Melted Crayon Clay Ornaments

This easy, kid-friendly project creates ornaments that sparkle and shine using Crayola Crayons and Sculpey III oven-bake polymer clay.

K – 6

Mini Wall Pockets

Early experiment with construction of slab clay techniques. An excellent introduction to the use of materials in a responsible manner.

K – 4

Molded Clay Faces

The expressive qualities of clay are perfect for creating many different types of face masks, from Mardi Gras glitter to Japanese Kabuki to African ceremonial masks.

K – 8

Mosaic Tiles

A very easy mosaic project that is enjoyable for all ages. Even very young children will enjoy pressing objects into the moist clay.

K – 4

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

3 – 8

Animal Masks

From Mayco Colors, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the history and function of masks in various cultures and times. Students will be able to learn and master basic hand building and sculpting techniques using either self-hardening clay or clay requiring kiln firing.

K – 6

Bones

A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

3 – 6

click to collapse

Grades 5 – 8

 

Grade Level

NEW! Beastly Bobblehead

Create a whimsical patterned Bobble Head! The “body” is a clay slab that students texturize by pressing interesting pasta shapes into it. Top with a pinch-pot head — and learn a lesson in balance.

3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Spoon Skulls

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

1 – 8

NEW! Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

K – 12

Flower Garden Tiles

Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

Watch the Video

K – 12

The Walls are Watching You!

Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

Watch the Video

2 – 12

Coral Reef Creation

Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

K – 12

Textural Glass Slumping

Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

African Clay Boxes

By making an animal shaped box out of clay, students honor both the vast diversity of Africa’s animal world, and also create a functional work of art! After choosing a favorite African animal, students will hand build a clay box with lid.

5 – 12

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Rolly Bowls

Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Medallions

The wealthy Byzantine Empire had a huge influence on personal ornamentation. Characterized by extensive iconography, pendants and medallions were widely produced to denote faith, office or rank. For this project, students use air-dry clay and colorful rhinestones to create their own Byzantine-style medallions. Gilded with gold powder and finished with a gloss coating, they can be used as ornaments or placed outdoors as mini stepping stones.

K – 12

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Thematic Clay Picture Frames

A lesson plan from AMACO®. Students select their favorite photo and design a custom picture frame to display it. After the bisque firing, the picture frames will be painted and decorated using the new AMACO® Teacher's Choice and Teacher's Palette low-fire glazes.

K – 6

Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

4 – 8

Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

3 – 8

No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

Watch the Video

K – 8
10 – 12
Special Education

Wee Puppets

Exercising the imagination helps children develop problem-solving skills. This lesson incorporates students’ artistic skills to sculpt finger puppets out of clay and to use their imaginations to make up a story for their characters. The stories do not have to be written but can be told freely. Create a theatre in the classroom — a table with a cloth over it makes a great stage for Wee Puppets. This project is a wonderful interactive classroom event.

K – 6

EZ Grout Mosaics

Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Earth Strata

The inside of the Earth holds hidden secrets very close to us, so dig a hole to uncover layers of mystery! A hole just 1" deep will show a very small example of soil strata or layers – including rocks, shells, fossils, geodes, water, oil and coal. This art project is based on geology but need not be scientifically accurate as students creatively incorporate texture and line.

1 – 6

Native American Story Necklaces

One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

K – 6

Forest Dwellings: Toad House

Students will hand-build dwellings for forest animals and birds, beginning with flat clay slabs and using slump molds (and even a soda can!) to shape the slabs into three dimensional forms. They will use sprig and press molds to texture and embellish their structures to simulate trees, leaves, knot holes and burrows reminiscent of natural habitats found in woodlands.

4 – 8

Paper Clay Leaves

Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

K – 12

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

Linoleum Art Press Tools

Create simple tools that can be pressed into clay, used for embossing, texture rubbing or printmaking. Wonder-Cut Linoleum is 1/4" deep — providing plenty of depth for carving a variety of textures and dimensions and making incredibly detailed impressions.

5 – 12

High Low Relief Sculpture

This High-Low Relief Sculpture is a variation on the popular three-dimensional pin sculpture toy that can be molded into familiar shapes as pressure is applied from underneath. These sculptures will be stationary with a few other variations, as students use their imaginations to create rolling landscapes, faces, flowers or other images out of different lengths of colorfully painted craft picks.

4 – 6

Clay Divisionism

Neo-Impressionistic artists of the late 1800s developed a pictorial technique in which they placed specific brushstrokes of pure color directly on their canvas instead of mixing colors first on a palette. In this lesson plan, students will create balls of air dry clay and attach them collage-style to a self-adhesive board to recreate the Divisionism approach to painting.

2 – 6

Zany Wire Sculpture

Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

K – 6

Huichol Clay Painting

This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

3 – 8

Neo Neon

Classic neon signs are a part of everyday American culture, crossing over lines of economics, geography and heritage. This lesson incorporates the glowing “light painting” impact of neon signage in a clean, neat and easy-to-understand learning experience.

5 – 8

Snake Basket

Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

5 – 12

Southwest Native American Jewelry

Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

7 – 12

Talking Rocks

Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

2 – 5

Van Gogh Clay Plaque

This lesson plan begins by focusing on line and texture as students sculpt a flat slab of clay, defining an impressionistic landscape. Once the clay has dried, students will paint the piece using a palette of colors inspired by Van Gogh.

5 – 8

Leather Shields Native American Wall Hanging

Students learn to work with leather in the manner of Native American craftsmen.

K – 6

Sarcophagus

Through building a clay box sarcophagus, students develop skills to transfer historical objects into an art form, and discover the application of basic slab formation to a specific form.

5 – 8

Melted Crayon Clay Ornaments

This easy, kid-friendly project creates ornaments that sparkle and shine using Crayola Crayons and Sculpey III oven-bake polymer clay.

K – 6

Molded Clay Faces

The expressive qualities of clay are perfect for creating many different types of face masks, from Mardi Gras glitter to Japanese Kabuki to African ceremonial masks.

K – 8

Fingerprint Beads

Certain people influence our lives in such a way that they leave "fingerprints" behind. These simple beads make great friendship bracelets.

5 – 8

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Dug-Out Clay Plaque

Students transform a thick slab of clay into a 3D plaque.

7 – 12

Stylized Cone Icons

Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

5 – 12

Casting Coins

Students will observe the artistic expression used in coins of the past and today.

5 – 12

Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

5 – 12

Claymation Metamorphosis

An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

5 – 12

Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

3 – 8

American Pie

A “slice” of American Culture! Students design a clay pie piece piled high with symbols, icons and representations of their favorite things.

5 – 12

Animal Masks

From Mayco Colors, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the history and function of masks in various cultures and times. Students will be able to learn and master basic hand building and sculpting techniques using either self-hardening clay or clay requiring kiln firing.

K – 6

Bones

A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

3 – 6

Chinese Ink Painting

The right tools are essential to a Chinese brush painter. Students will create their own brush holders and ink pots from glazed and fired clay, then learn the basic brush strokes for branches, bamboo leaves.

5 – 12

2009 Totems

Students create a modern-day totem pole with hand-formed clay animals positioned on a wooden dowel.

5 – 8

click to collapse

Grades 9 – 12

 

Grade Level

NEW! Beastly Bobblehead

Create a whimsical patterned Bobble Head! The “body” is a clay slab that students texturize by pressing interesting pasta shapes into it. Top with a pinch-pot head — and learn a lesson in balance.

3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

K – 12

Flower Garden Tiles

Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

Watch the Video

K – 12

The Walls are Watching You!

Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

Watch the Video

2 – 12

Coral Reef Creation

Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

K – 12

Textural Glass Slumping

Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

African Clay Boxes

By making an animal shaped box out of clay, students honor both the vast diversity of Africa’s animal world, and also create a functional work of art! After choosing a favorite African animal, students will hand build a clay box with lid.

5 – 12

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Rolly Bowls

Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Medallions

The wealthy Byzantine Empire had a huge influence on personal ornamentation. Characterized by extensive iconography, pendants and medallions were widely produced to denote faith, office or rank. For this project, students use air-dry clay and colorful rhinestones to create their own Byzantine-style medallions. Gilded with gold powder and finished with a gloss coating, they can be used as ornaments or placed outdoors as mini stepping stones.

K – 12

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

Watch the Video

K – 8
10 – 12
Special Education

EZ Grout Mosaics

Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Paper Clay Leaves

Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

K – 12

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

Linoleum Art Press Tools

Create simple tools that can be pressed into clay, used for embossing, texture rubbing or printmaking. Wonder-Cut Linoleum is 1/4" deep — providing plenty of depth for carving a variety of textures and dimensions and making incredibly detailed impressions.

5 – 12

Slab Vase

Clay vessels have forever been examples of a culture’s ability to combine art and function. The focus in this lesson is to experiment with slab construction, using self-hardening clays.

9 – 12

Snake Basket

Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

5 – 12

Southwest Native American Jewelry

Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

7 – 12

Year “2100” Sock Dolls

Students investigate dolls and games in history and cultures. All cultures have dolls and are a fascinating reflection of climate, resources, ideas and technology. This particular lesson challenges the student to look into the future and reflect on the past.

9 – 12

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Dug-Out Clay Plaque

Students transform a thick slab of clay into a 3D plaque.

7 – 12

Stylized Cone Icons

Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

5 – 12

Casting Coins

Students will observe the artistic expression used in coins of the past and today.

5 – 12

Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

5 – 12

Claymation Metamorphosis

An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

5 – 12

Slab Clay Figure

Students create a figure while interpreting a culture's economic and social development.

9 – 12

American Pie

A “slice” of American Culture! Students design a clay pie piece piled high with symbols, icons and representations of their favorite things.

5 – 12

Chinese Ink Painting

The right tools are essential to a Chinese brush painter. Students will create their own brush holders and ink pots from glazed and fired clay, then learn the basic brush strokes for branches, bamboo leaves.

5 – 12

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Special Education

 

Grade Level

Percussive Pods

Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

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K – 12
Special Education

No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

Watch the Video

K – 8
10 – 12
Special Education

EZ Grout Mosaics

Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Art Press Tools

Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

K – 12
Special Education

  • Dick Blick Art Materials
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  • P.O. Box 1267
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  • Galesburg, IL 61402-1267
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  • Toll-free Phone (800) 828-4548

  • International Phone +1-309-343-6181 ext. 5402
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  • Fax (800) 621-8293

Dick Blick Art Materials®, Blick®, Blick Studio®, and Artists Pick Blick® are registered trademarks of Dick Blick Holdings Inc. © Copyright 1999-2014 Dick Blick Holdings Inc. All rights reserved.

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