we help adults teach art to kids

Ancient Greece Mural Project

Capping off the 6th grade promotion festivities was the reveal of the annual 6th grade mural. This year we chose to do Ancient Greece, with many student’s incorporating mythological creatures into their tile creations.

We used terra cotta clay to create our tiles. To save time and to take advantage of the sgraffito technique, we painted our underglaze directly onto the greenware. This is sometimes difficult as kids have a tendency to leave many fingerprints. But that’s easily remedied with later touch-ups.

Our district supermen, Mike and Frank, did an excellent job of mounting the mural in seriously record time (perhaps a few hours before promotion?) and I video taped their entire process. I will be adding this segment to my Ceramic Tile Mural eBook. Anyone who has purchased this e-book in the past will receive this free update sometime later this summer.

I want to congratulate all my sixth grade students for completing this wonderful legacy to our special school.




  1. Really lovely!!


    June 7, 2012

  2. Very nice! I wish you would film the entire process from start to finish! I would buy it on DVD!


    June 9, 2012

  3. WOW!!!! Beautiful!


    June 11, 2012

  4. I have linked to this post in an upcoming blog post on summer art projects for kiddos. I’d love your permission to use the mural photo as well. (We are definitely doing this project at home in the fall when we start ancient history. Thanks for the idea!)

    Ashley @ TheHillHangout

    June 18, 2012

  5. Patty- I just love these murals- They always turn out so great, I am just amazed.


    June 19, 2012

    • The kids do exceptional work and the murals are getting more and more complicated and beautiful. I’m so proud of my kiddos!


      June 20, 2012

  6. I would love to do a ceramic tile mural project with my 4th grade. Do you think that it’s possible/manageable to a project like this already in 4th grade?
    Thanks for your help!
    Best wishes,


    April 6, 2013

  7. We do not have a kiln. Can air dry clay be used for a project such as this? I love these ceramic murals!


    September 5, 2013

    • No, I don’t think so. The kiln creates very hard, durable tiles and air dry clay might not achieve this. Even with sealer, I would be skeptical. To be sure, you can ask a tile guy at a hardware or ceramic specialty store in your area. It would depend on what type of air dry clay you use, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor mural and what type of sealer.
      Great question!

      Patty Palmer

      September 5, 2013

  8. Amazing mural. How long did it take without the installation? My 5th graders are expecting me to do clay with them which I love! But, I don’t think I have enough time.

    lynn Noun

    April 19, 2014

    • Hi Lynn,
      Making the tiles with the kids require about 90 minutes. This includes building the tile from a clay tile and clay bits to painting the wet tile with underglaze. I detail the whole process in my ebook: http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/shop/ceramic-mural-project/
      The project is extensive but oh so worth it! This will be my tenth year doing a mural.

      Patty Palmer

      April 20, 2014

  9. my 6th grade classes are just starting Ancient Greece. I do not have a kiln – but i can get terracotta air dry clay – is it possible to still do this project with that kind of clay? any other ideas for this unit that does not require a great deal of materials – we are low.


    November 30, 2016

    • It’s not possible to do a permanent mural with anything but ceramic clay BUT you can still have fun with the project and have students create individual tiles. They won’t last but the process is still great. Good luck!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *