Ceramic Slab Angel Ornaments Clay Lesson

Clay angel slab texture OrnamentCeramic Slab Angel Ornaments Clay Lesson

My after school art class (prek-5th grade) created these adorable angel ornaments inspired by Pottery Angel Ornaments by Karen Lucid Please give all credit to Karen Lucid!

Supplies: birthday party hats or sturdy cones at least 4″ in height, 3 balls of earthen-ware clay (3″, 1.5″ & 3/4″ in diameter)/student, heart template out of card stock about 3″ wide, glazes, texture rubbing plates, doilies or other objects to imprint into the clay

*This project could be done with Crayola Model Magic or Air Dry Clay then painted with acrylic paints.


  • Students will create a ceramic sculpture using slab and additive methods.
  • Students will learn how to add texture to clay slabs.
  • Biblical Integration:
    • The angels praised God for the arrival of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:13-14 “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”)
    • God commands the angels to watch over us (Psalm 91:11
      “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”)


  1. Shapes are 2D & Forms are 3D.
    1. Sculptures are 3D forms. They have height, width and depth.
  2. Freestanding sculpture or sculptures in the round have empty space all around them and Freestanding sculptures can usually be seen all the way around them.
  3. View artwork examples of reference pictures for the ornament we will create (from Karen’s Pinterest Page).
  4. Ceramic process: build ceramic artwork, let dry completely for 5-7 days (until Bone dry), fire in kiln (Bisque-ware), glaze with ceramic glazes, fire again (Glaze Firing)
  5. Ceramics Vocabulary:
    1. Slab: Creating a ceramic form by hand-building walls using flat rolled-out pieces of clay.
    2. Slip: muddy, liquid clay used to attach two pieces
    3. Score: to make marks on the clay to attach two pieces
  6. Score and Slip Technique: Teacher DEMO Score and slip refers to a method of joining two pieces of clay together. It is very important to always score and slip. If you do not, the pieces will likely pop apart when they are fired.
    1. First, score the clay; this means that you make scratches in the surfaces that will be sticking together.
    2. Then you slip it; that is you wet the surface with some slip (muddy clay), using it like glue.
    3. Next, you press the two pieces together.
    4. Smooth the seams


Teacher Guided Demo: The teacher will demonstrate the process of rolling out the clay then adding the texture, score and slip techniques, tracing the heart template, and cutting out the “heart”.

  1. Give each student 3 balls of clay (3″, 1.5″ & 3/4″ in diameter).
  2. Create the body of the angel by rolling out the largest ball of clay into a slab-no thicker than their pinky finger. Change the direction of the rolling to help form a circle. Optional: Used ¼” wooden paint sticks (slats) on either side of the clay to ensure the clay when rolled out is not too thin or too thick.
    1. Texture-use various texture plates or doilies to imprint texture to the slab. TIP: Spray the textures with “Pam” non-stick spray so they won’t stick to the clay. Lay the texture on top of slab and use a rolling pint to press the texture onto the clay. Be careful not to press too deep into the slab.
  3. Wrap the slab around the cone (birthday hat), slip and score it at the top. (Optional: add a clay shape like a heart or circle & Press on to this area-it will help hide the area where the clay was pressed together.)
  4. Roll the smallest clay into a ball to form the head.
    1. Add any extra features like a face, hair, halo-may need to provide extra clay for these items. Slip & score the head onto the body.
  5. Create a heart template out of card stock to trace and trim out the angel wings. The heart should be about 3″.
    1. Roll out mid-size clay to a circle (no thicker than pinky finger).
    2. Use a needle tool or a paperclip to trace and trim heart.
    3. Next, score and slip the heart to the back of the body.
    4. Add TEXTURE to the front of the heart.
    5. Write name and year on back.clay angel ornament
  6. Use a straw to add a hole into the back of the neck, so that after firing a rope or ribbon can be added to hang the ornament.
  7. Let the pieces dry 5-7 days until bone dry.
  8. Bisque-ware Fire
  9. Glaze
  10. Glaze fire

Student Examples

If you choose to use any part of this lesson (written, graphic or photo), please link back to Create Art with ME!

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