Art Education

32 ceramic projects art teachers and students love

A fresh lump of clay has so much potential in the hands of a student — what will they create next? Whether you’re just introducing ceramics to your young artists or looking for more challenging projects, you’ll love these 33 ceramic projects your fellow art educators shared. 

  1. Clay crazy monsters! Any age group, any gender! Anytime of the year! You can’t beat the kids’ faces when they see their clay monsters! – Liliana N.  
  1. Ugly mugs with crazy faces. – Keri A. 
  1. I start my fourth graders out with bowls! I talk about slab rolling and molding. I want to start my third graders with clay lanterns next year too. – Kelly B. 
  1. I love working with clay. One of my favorite projects is having the kids make pinch pot monsters or a pinch pot animal. – Angela Z. 
  1. I like to start off with something simple like ceramic donuts. This builds confidence with the clay and they love the results! – Suzanne H. 
  1. Our favorite classes were fairy houses and Halloween luminaries. – FalconFire Ceramic Studio 
  1. I start with sgraffitto bowls each term! – Casey M. 
  1. One of the first projects we create are clay leaves. We gather leaves and press them on the clay and cut around the leaves. Then we glaze them with fall leaf colors! – Tina F. 
  1. This year my students in grades K–5 formed a ceramic piece of art. Kindergarten made pinch pots influenced by Native American vessels created by Melissa Antonio. The second grade classes formed vessels like David Drake. Likewise, my fifth graders were introduced to Grainger McKoy and his bird sculptures. The excitement for them was seeing their clay transform from a dull object to something that was slick and shiny. They were extremely impressed and proud of their work. – Wonda H. 
  1. My favorite lesson to start the year with is fifth grade bird drawings using colored pencils. This project leads into my favorite clay lesson. Yes, clay birds! My students love the Mayco Stroke and Coat glazes. I’m trying to acquire all of the colors. – Laura D
  1. When we get to clay, we love making tic-tac-toe boards (with shrink art pieces), tiki mugs, clay theme boxes, clay Funko Pop! designs, clay shoes, and more at our middle school! – Ellyn S. 
  1. My middle school students love anything we make with clay! We make Monet flowers and lily pads, dragon eyes, coffee mugs, bowls, and so much more! – Lauren T. 

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  1. One of my favorite things to start our Ceramics 2 course off is to have them make initial stamps or maker’s mark stamps. They love coming up with designs and unique handles for their stamp. – Jennifer L.  
  1. My new favorite project to do with my Ceramics 2 class is to create hand-built dinnerware and make slip transfers for the surface design! Also, themed tic-tac-toe boards is another fav! – Jamie L. 
  1. We start by designing and making artist chop blocks for the students to use on all their clay work during the semester. – Andrea W. 
  1. My favorite clay lesson I do with my kids is hollow forms with eighth grade. They create two pinch pots, connect them, and then are allowed to create a character or object with at least two textures and three attachments. – Carey G
  1. The beginning ceramics students start out by drawing dragon eyes then making them on shaped slab using additive and subtracted techniques. Advanced ceramics students will make a shoe with the theme based on a fairy tales or cultural folklore. – Lenore W. 
  1. My favorite first ceramics projects are the tea bowl and slab plate. Pinch pot building and slab rolling are good foundational skills. – Iielita M. 
  1. We just started an Empty Bowls program, and after establishing routines and expectations we will look at a variety of different types of clay vessels and they will each design their own to sculpt and sell at our event. – Jodi Y. 
  1. I love to start off the year in Ceramics with 4″ x 4″ tiles that students carve an illuminated letter into in three-layer relief. It helps them practice details that improve their future ceramic works. – Megan W. 
  1. My favorite project for Ceramics 1 is garden gnomes. I simultaneously teach my Ceramics 2 students gnome homes/architecture. I end up displaying them all together in our main entrance display case. The gnomes are created from pinch pots which the students learn in middle school, and the homes are a combination of pinch, coil, and slab techniques they learned in Ceramics 1. – Lauren S. 
  1. My favorite project is Story Teller plates. – Holly W. 
  1. For the past few years, our art students have hosted a hand-built pottery art sale to help support our art program. The students work so hard to make a variety of artsy bowls, plates, cups, Christmas ornaments, and other items. We use the Jungle Gems, Speckled collections, and Stroke & Coat to give the items amazing “artsy bling.” The students are always so amazed at how beautiful the colors turn out. Glazes play such an important part in the process, because the amazing colors draw people in and connect them to individual clay pieces. – Jill O.  
  1. I love to make clay bats with my kindergartners in the fall! – Julie B. 
  1. We love our ceramic cubism portraits we do in sixth grade! – Sara M. 
  1. Pinch pot animals are always a favorite and Stroke & Coat makes it a fun and easy start when learning about glazing. We also have carved stamps out of erasers and applied Stroke & Coat to create decorative compositions on tiles. – Julia H.  
  1. I always love all clay projects! Especially little clay mice on cheese with my fifth graders! – @dandry5 
  1. I love starting off with altered pinch pots! It’s a simple way for students to find success and courage in clay! I love using Stroke & Coat to teach students sgraffito as a surface decoration. Then students carve or scratch away areas on the underglaze to create a surface decoration on their altered pinch pot. – Nyssa Grzyb 
  1. We love making Kusama-inspired clay pumpkins for Dot Day! –@theartteachr 
  1. My favorite lesson is “What can you make with a pinch pot?” with my eighth graders. We discuss the history of pinch pots, glaze techniques, and texture techniques to enhance the glaze. – Catherine S.  
  1. I always do coffee mugs with my fifth graders. They are made from slabs and wrapped around soda cans for structure (removed before they start to dry). My students create all sorts of unique patterns, drawings, words, etc., and then get to choose whatever glazes they want to paint with as well. It is always a hit and they look forward to making them. – Natalie B. 
  1. My fifth graders “leave their mark” in a tile mural each year. They love returning as teenagers to check them out! – Amanda M. 
32 ceramic projects art teachers and students love

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