Funny Face Mugs Slab Construction Mug – Lesson 1

Funny Face Mugs Slab Ceramics LessonFunny Face Mugs Slab Construction Mug – Lesson 1

Lesson 1: Slab Construction Mug

To create the cylinder for our funny face mugs, we followed the basic lesson plan from my Ceramic Fairy House Lesson (see FULL lesson at link), the main addition to the lesson was adding a base & handle to the mug. This project was created with my middle school art class (6th grade art), but could be adapted to high school art and upper elementary (if they have had experience with clay several times already).

I will be making a video this summer on how to do this project, so make sure to check back!

Clay Vocabulary: Stages of Dryness

1.Wet (Plastic)- this is wet moist clay, it is when most hand-building & sculpting happens (very bendable)

2.Leather hard- the clay is slightly dry and a little stiff, it is when most slab construction happens (it is only slightly bendable)

3.Greenware or Bone dry– the clay has no moisture left in it, it is very breakable & will NOT bend at all

4.Bisquesware- after the clay has been fired in the kiln

5.GlazeWare- after the clay has been glazed and fired in the kiln

Funny Face Mug Construction

Project: Use the slab construction method to create a mug with an expressive face sculpted onto it. Demonstrate good ceramic techniques such as slip & scoring, storing clay correctly & proper glazing applications.


  1. Using proper techniques, build a basic slab constructed mug. Make sure to keep it in a plastic bag to keep it moist!!!Slip Score Stick Smooth -4 S's of Joining Clay
  2. Look at examples of expressive faces. Choose a facial expression to sculpt on your mug.
  3. Use additive methods to ADD clay to the mug to create the face.
  4. When finished with face, add a handle (wait for demo). It needs to be thick enough to be sturdy-but not too thick!
  5. Scratch your name & year on the bottom of the mug & let dry for 5-7 days.
  6. Leave out to dry.
  7. After Bisque fired, glaze the mug in your choice of colors.
  8. Have a hot chocolate party to test out the mug!

NEXT:  Lesson 2 History of Funny Face Jugs, Glazing, & finished Mugs!

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

Additional Ceramic Lessons:

Lily Pads with Lotus Flowers

Bird Bath Miniature with Glass Bead

Ceramic Butterfly Bowls Part 1 & Part 2 (Glazed)

Ceramic Box with Lid

Role-A-Beast Animal Ceramic Lesson

  1. DeLee Foley

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