Ceramic Flower Dishes

While two of my Kinder classes (ages 5-6) created Ceramic Fish Dishes, my other Kinders created beautiful flower dishes. The children used the same steps to create their flower dishes using the same clay and underglazes. There have been lots of suggestions from readers to try different glazes for ceramic projects and I have to admit, I’m very curious to try two: Mayco Stroke and Coat and Creatable Colors by Laguna. Apparently, you only need apply one coat of color to achieve a shiny glaze. This means only one firing if you apply the underglaze directly to the greenware.

About applying underglaze to wet clay

I have heard this is the preferred method for applying underglaze to any ceramic piece. It is a method I have used many times with my sixth grade students with their Ceramic Murals. The idea is to build your clay piece, then apply the underglaze either while the piece is still wet or when it dries. I have never applied the underglaze in the fragile greenware stage, because it’s hard to expect children to be careful enough with the peice that they don’t break it. But I have painted on wet clay before and it works really well.

I don’t do this method with my lower grades (K-5) as I feel it is so much easier to paint on a fired, hard clay body. No fingerprints, smears, etc.

Back to the flower dishes

I used a multi-slab cutter to cut my slab into 25 tiles. I roll the tiles out slightly to remove any air bubbles and then the kids are ready to go. The process is the same as the ceramic fish, so I won’t bother to repeat the steps. One thing I didn’t have the children do, was to fold down or manipulate the clay leaves so the leaves/petals look more natural. One child sat quietly at one table and created this look all by herself and when she came up to have me write her name on the back, I marveled at her natural looking petals. It was a great idea and next time, I will add that small detail into my demonstration.


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  • Pat Stevens

    Your students made awesome color choices, Patty! They all look beautiful!

  • Rina

    Hi Patty

    The dishes look beautiful! The mothers wlll love them.

    I’ve tried the stroke and coat in Grapel and Tuxedo (black). They gave great color but we still had to put on 3 coats for full opaque coverage. One coat was beautiful but sheer (I call it a ‘watercolor’ effect).

  • Jill

    These are so pretty!!! I wish I had all of the supplies and tools necessary to make these! 🙂

  • Amber

    I want to do this with a class of 2nd graders. Did you have the students use a template to create the flower like you did the fish? Can you give me an idea of the finished size of the fish and flower?

    Thanks, Amber

    • Patty

      The flower dished are about 4-5″ in diameter. Fish bowls about 5-6″ long. I used a template for both. It’s a super easy project, so I’m glad you are giving it a try!

  • Maria Meredith

    Hi Patty,

    These are beautiful! I’m going to do them as Mother’s Day gifts. If you apply the underglaze to wet clay or greenware, do you fire it at cone 05 or 06?

    • Patty

      I don’t think it makes a huge amount of difference. My kiln doesn’t even make those kinds of adjustments. To be safe, just read the underglaze label. It should tell you.

  • Wendy

    I’m starting an after-school art class for the first time at a private school. I’m wondering if you’ve worked with any of the air dry clays as I’m not sure if using a kiln is possible. Also is there any glaze that you can paint on that is able to be used to drink out of? Any ideas would be appreciated.

    • Patty

      Sorry Wendy. I have no experience with air dry.

    • Dana A.

      Wendy, I do not have experience with air dry clay, but I have used glazes. There are some dinnerware safe glazes that would have to be fired in the kiln. Amaco has glazes that are Lead free and dinnerware safe. It is written right on their label, but it would have to be fired to temperature. I hope this helps. -Dana

    • nicola dawn speirs

      Yes, Wendy – air drying clay would work well. Just use normal poster paints or acrylics to colour and then a wash of PVA glue/water to create a glaze-like top coat

  • Leah Renner

    How have I never thought of putting a slab shape over a foam bowl for kindergarten?! This is awesome. Thanks for sharing. Check out our clay creations at whyiloveart.blogspot.com

    I have about 900 students and my 300 kindergarten students made owls this year. close to 150 exploded in the kiln (I think the humidity might have done it)…after a second try, I wish I would have done this instead! Either way, I tried something new with construction paper crayons, black water color and spray varnish. They came out pretty cute!

    • Patty

      Ouch! Make sure your clay is really dry before firing…also, make sure to roll out the clay a bit with a rolling pin to get rid of any trapped air bubbles.

    • Sockmonkeyette

      It looks like you folded the clay over to create the wings. This could have trapped air bubbles and would account for explosions!

      • Patty

        Yes, I agree. Folding is tricky!

  • Maria Meredith

    I did this for a Mother’s Day present with my first graders! They came out great – used the Colorburst glazes – one coat and the effect was beautiful! We wrapped them up in tissue paper, made a gift tag and sent them home today! Thank you for the idea. Several of the classroom teachers in my school have been turned on to your site by me and they all love it!

    • Patty

      Hi Maria, I’m not sure if you can link to a facebook photo…anyways, it didn’t work so I removed the link. Glad the project turned out so well!

  • Amanda

    What did you use to drape the clay over thanks?

    • Patty

      Just a little styrofoam bowl padded with some paper towels so the rim doesn’t imprint the clay.

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