Ceramic Leaf Bowls

I’ve always wanted to try these leaf bowls but was never really sure how to do them. Lori over at Fun Art for Kids provided the inspiration and the know-how. I ordered the Colorburst under-glaze as per her instructions, and I loved the results. Definitely worth the bucks. Thanks Lori!

If you want a detailed, photo tutorial, consider checking out my Easy Clay Project art booklet.  It will give you step-by-step instructions for this project plus many more.

The best time of the year to make these is in Fall, so start gathering some leaves!

The Colorburst Glaze is yummy. Don’t you just LOVE this blue?

The 4th grade teachers wisely saved these little beauties for holiday gifts for the parents. I use one of my samples as a tea bag holder and the other to hold push-pins. Love these bowls!

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  • Lori

    These came out great, Patty! I am glad they worked out for you. I love the different shapes you used. You may also like the Santa Cookie Plate posting I just did. You have the energy and va-voom to do it! The moms and kids LOVE it and talk about it for years. Have fun creating! Lori

    • Patty

      Thanks, Lori. I just love how these turned out. The kids loved this project…oh, and I saw your Santa plates. Way to cute!

    • Rachel Matthews

      Hi, I was wondering, do you glaze the bottoms of these leaf bowls? If so, what do you do to keep them from sticking to the kiln shelf? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

      • Patty

        Hi Rachel, Like you suspected, if you glaze the bottoms of the bowls, they will stick to the kiln. Glaze everything but will touch the kiln shelf. Wipe bottom with a damp sponge to be sure.

  • artprojectgirl

    Beautiful. I just got down with a clay totem project and rolling the slabs is labor! Especially pregnant. The kids did great but I was wondering if a slab roller is worth the space/ money? What do you think would it be worth it when teaching masses of students with a one hour class period?

    • Patty

      My ceramic mentor, Catherine, just bought one last year. I think it’s been invaluable to her. They’re expensive ($500) but I know it’s a huge time saver. If you do ceramics on a regular basics, I would invest in it. Perhaps it’s even possible to share it within your district (although the logistics of that sounds crazy!). If you buy one how you like it. I am seriously considering buying one myself.

      • Kendra Lincourt

        I have a slab roller, but I also have a clay cutter that I bought from chineseclayart.com, it slices the clay right out of the bag…LOVE IT!!!

    • Jenn

      I am going to have to disagree. They are handy for small groups but I have one and never use it because I can cut a slab faster. It takes a long time to roll out 20 to 30 slabs. Then you have to rework the scraps and keep going. I have found a large cheese slicer, if you can find one big enough, is well worth the investment and much cheaper. I also use rolling pins and slab sticks and have my students do it. If you cut the slab a little thicker they can roll a longer piece if desired. Otherwise the size of the clay from the bag works well also. If you don’t have a cheese slicer you can wrap a clay cutter around all sides, then pull through evenly and slowly. After a couple of warm ups you get on a roll. But maybe that’s just my opinion.

  • Kathy Gallo

    These are just beautiful! Miss you!

    • Patty

      Miss you, too! I love my schedule but definitely miss the interaction with the teachers and the kids. Say hi to everyone for me!

  • shannon maynard

    These turned out great! Just love these project and glazes! Will be posting some from my fifth grade soon!

  • Natalie

    I really want to do this with my students this Friday!! If you have your PDF done, or even partially completed, could you please send it to me. This project is intimidating for me, so any help would be great!

    talie321 at gmail dot com

    • Patty

      Hi Natalie,
      I released the Ceramic Mural Project PDF and it contains a huge amount of information on ceramics ( in easy terms!). I did not include project instructions, but if you are unfamiliar with ceramics, you’ll find this PDF useful. You can find the Ceramic Mural PDF under Products or by clicking the “Shop” icon on my main page.
      My Easy Ceramic Projects PDF will be out in January, if you want to wait.

  • Pam

    This is a great project and one the kids will feel proud of for years to come! I will definitely try this with my classes! Thank you, thank you!

  • Jess

    i did these while student teaching. our kiddos used just regular glazes, but in true kid form mixed glazes, layered, splattered, etc. they always turned out BEAUTIFUL. i even made some in my college ceramics class for spoon rests for grandma’s. 🙂

    thanks for a great site, as always!

  • Jennifer

    Hi! I wanted to do this with my first graders, is it appropriate? I plan on buying your Easy Clay Booklet to guide me.

    • Patty

      Hi Jennifer,
      If you have a few extra hands to help you, then I think you’ll be fine. It’s hard to mess this project up!
      Good luck and have fun.

      • Jennifer

        Thanks for the quick response! I’m looking forward to it!

  • paula

    Loved these so much that I did them with my high school art students with air dry clay and a one coat heavy duty clear gloss glaze made for clay. They look awesome.

    • Gayle

      What did you paint the air dry clay with before the clear gloss glaze?

  • Angela Rockwell

    I want to use the colorburst glazes on a clay project with fifth graders. Can you tell me if the glazes are an underglaze that needs to have a clear glaze put over them or do they stand alone? Do you put it on before the first fire or do you but it on after the bisque fire and fire again. Thanks!

    • Patty Palmer

      Some people use the colorburst glaze as a standalone. Meaning, after firing, they are shiny. You might need to read the product description to see if you can put it on greenware to be fired once and have them shiny. I apply to bisque then apply a clear glaze. You should always do a test firing, especially when ordering a new product and then you can test out both scenarios.

  • Coleen M.

    I MYSELF remember doing this project as a child. What fond memories this post brought! I hope everyone enjoys doing this project. My leaf dish still sits at my mother’s home, after 30+ years. These will become treasured mementos, for sure!

  • Kirstin

    I bought your ceramic pdf and it is great but I need some more advice! This is my first year full time teaching and I am getting ready to do clay with my first graders for the first time ever (for me at least – they may have done it last year with their other teacher). I understand how to do the clay leaf bowls, but how should I go about starting the lesson? I have a large slab roller we received from a grant which I am excited to use and we have already read a leaf book and completed a leaf study/line drawing (so leaf knowledge is covered). Should I just jump into it? Here is the clay, this is how to make a leaf bowl…haha or what? I’ve obviously worked with clay and a kiln myself I’m just not sure how to start it off with first graders? I’m not afraid of paint, ink, printmaking, etc…but it’s just something about clay that intimidates me! It’s probably simplier than I am making it, but hey I always look to people more experienced for advice! – Thanks!

  • Beth

    Hi These are beautiful!
    was wondering if anyone knew if there was such a substance as the Colorburst under-glaze for the air drying clay. That’s what I use in my class since we do not have a kiln available.


    Wondering what glazes you used for the leaves. I am just starting out w/ pottery and glazes and just love what you have done.
    thanks for the photo’s. Hope to hear from you.
    colors etc.

    • Patty Palmer

      Hi Claudia,
      I link to the glazes in the text. I used Colorbusrt glazes. Just click on the blue text to see where I bought them. Love this project!

  • kino11kino11

    Do you need a kiln to do the Easy Clay Art Projects?

    • Patty

      For most of the projects, you can substitute air dry clay. There are instructions for both kiln and air dry clay 🙂

  • Erica

    Hi! I’m so curious how you went about glazing these. It’s my first time doing an all-grade glaze, and I’m nervous 🙂 Did you use wax for the bottom? How did you keep it from sticking in the kiln? Thank you for your help!

    • Patty

      Hi Erica…

      No wax…just wipe any glaze from the bottom. Any piece that touches the kiln shelf needs to be completely free of glaze. 🙂

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