Ceramic Fish

fishThis fish could be made with many different types of clay. I am partial to ceramics and the layering of color, for obvious reasons, I think.
1. The students will need a stylus or wooden tool, a cup of water, and a lump of clay about the size of their fist. To begin, they should just hold and squeeze the clay and maybe spread a little water on it with their fingers to soften it up.
2. Next, they should try to roll the lump into a smooth ball. They are to keep rubbing water on it if they see cracks. The ball then needs to be flattened into a circle. It should be about the thickness of a pancake and easy to bend.
3. The pancake then is almost folded in half with just the edges pinched together on one side. There should be an opening left on the opposite side which will turn into the mouth.
4. With the pinched seam on the top, the back end is flattened and cut into a tail shape with a tool.
5. Lastly, eyes and teeth may be added to the face. Just be sure to have the students score any surfaces that they are connecting. In other words, they need to scratch the surface to make sure details stick together. Clay will shrink a bit when it dries so smooth edges tend to come apart.
6. After drying and bisque firing, this fish was painted with two different layers and colors of glaze.



7 Responses

  1. Bridget

    I don’t know if you will get this comment because this was posted a while ago, but I have done this project with kids and it was very successful. One tip that worked really well was to wrap the sides of the fish around crumpled newspaper. The newspaper supports the fish allowing a bigger, rounder shape. And then when you fire the clay, the newspaper just burns up!

  2. Cherlynne

    Kids love fish!! This fish is similar to the one I do with 4th graders. I do a pinch pot first and have them cut out the tail and fins. Kids get creative with tongues, lips, hair, mustaches… their a riot! They are finished with Pearlescent Acrylic to make them shimmer. Photos are available.

  3. Ericka

    I remember teaching kids to make ceramic fish. I have a new technique using the wheel and Raku glazes.


    Thanks for the nice comments – I love getting your feedback!

  5. Gretchen

    Wow, I just stumbled uplon your blog, and I think it is wonderful! I cannot wait to implement many of your ideas with my own kids! Thanks for this great resource!!

  6. Reenie's World

    I found your blog while googling for art projects to do with my kids at home. I love your ideas!!

  7. chezka

    i’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and i love your ideas. 🙂

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