Ceramics - Combination Vessel - Multi-Level Class

Contrast Through Clay Construction

Submitted by: Barry Lucy, Ruidoso High School, Ruidoso, NM
UNIT: Ceramics - Contrast - Combination of Techniques
Lesson: Developing Contrast through Clay Construction
Grade Level: High School (beginning ceramics through advanced) Vertical Lesson Plan in Clay



The student will combine forms made with different construction techniques in order to create and enhance the element of contrast in clay compositions.



Creating contrast by combining different construction methods in a clay composition.



Emerging: Coiled and Paddled Organic Form with Slab Attachments. The student will begin with a simple coiled open jar form. Before the jar reaches the leather-hard stage, the student will paddle the exterior with a flat wooden instrument while at the same time supporting from the inside with some round solid form. Hint: If the form you use on the inside sticks to the walls of the pot, you may have to wrap a cloth around it. The effect of this "paddle and anvil" technique for altering the form will be a thin organic shape. Next, the student will throw and roll out a slab from which to cut out and shape a termination and similar foot. Textural treatments may be impressed to either the jar form or the slab attachments to heighten the contrast between the elements of the pot.


rolling a slab of clay Proficient: Wheel-thrown or press-molded form with free form attachments. The student will begin by learning the rudiments of wheel-throwing, or if facilities do not permit, then a similar form can be cut from a slab and press-molded into a bowl, and using two such forms which have been allowed to set up, combine them to achieve a thrown effect. This form could even be turned on its side to create a flat bottle shape. Next, the student may experiment with a variety of methods of tossing, turning and twisting slab tubes or fluted shapes to allow the clay’s plasticity to create contrasting terminations to be attached to the original wheel-thrown or press-molded form.


Advanced: Wheel-thrown or hand-built Tea Pot with ceramic and non-ceramic or found embellishments. With the functional aspects of a tea pot in mind, and with a Western or non-Western historical influence as a point of connection, the student will construct a functional tea pot, with attachments which should be contrasting in texture either from an alternative method of construction, or at the advanced level, even alternative materials, wood, metal, found objects, etc.


Barry Lucy
Ruidoso High School
Ruidoso, NM


NOTE: This lesson was submitted in the early days of IAD when teachers had no scanners or digital cameras to take pictures of student work.



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