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Products Used


5 lbs of low-fire clay body (Cone 06/05)


SG-401 Black,SG-403 Red, SG-404 Blue, SG-405 Green, SG-406 Brown, S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing, CC-108 China Sea, SG-501 Sculpting Medium, SC-41 Brown Cow, SC-8 Just Froggy

Design Tools

Large Rolling Pin or Slab-roller, Flexible ruler (to guide straight lines), CB-106 #6 Script Liner brush, CB-604 #4 Soft Fan brush, BT-910 Synthetic Sponge 

Additional Materials
Pencil, Paper Towels, and Palette
maps lessonplan image


For grade levels 5-8

This lesson combines drawing and ceramics, using Mayco’s Designer Liner as a tool for creating fine glaze lines on hand-built slab “scrolls.” Students will research old maps and understand cartography and the methods of hand drawn map- making in a time before the modern printer. Encourage students to explore maps from various cultures.


  • Students will learn the steps of creating with clay including construction, bisque firing, glazing, and glaze firing

  • Students will use technology resources to search for maps made in history

  • Students will examine the differences between modern map-making and the process involving past cartography

National Standards

  • Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
  • Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
  • Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas


Construction Technique:
  1. Roll out large slabs of clay (1/4” thick) using a rolling pin or a slab roller. Cut rectangular shape from slab with purposefully rough edges. Size of cut slab can vary but keep consistent for fairness to students. Depending on amount of clay available, vary your map sizes.

  2. After student receives/makes rectangular shape from slab, demonstrate how to make edges of slab look like a rough, weathered scroll (pictured at top right).

  3. Students are invited to “age” their scroll by tearing, carving with found objects, or cutting out holes. Keep in mind, the slab must never be thicker than half an inch. When students are finished manipulating their slab scrolls, let air-dry, then fire to bisque Cone 04.

Glazing Directions:
  1. Starting with a clean, dust-free, bisque “scroll”, students will begin drawing their chosen map design on the bisque lightly with a pencil. When done, students may use Designer Liner to trace lines.
  2. If Designer Liner becomes clogged, use the pin provided to unclog the metal writer tip. Students can use one or all five colors in their map drawings. Encourage students to draw other details, such as ships, sea monsters, compasses, waves, words, and mountain ranges.
  3. After Designer Liner has completely dried, use a CB-604 #4 Soft Fan brush to apply 2-3 coats of CC-108 China Sea to the areas that are water. Clean brush, use to apply 2 coats S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing over the land areas. This will ensure all Designer Liner line-work fires to a gloss finish. Try not to overlap the water and land glazes.
  4. Apply SG-501 Sculpting Medium to areas that raised texture is desired. Let dry, then layer SC-41 Brown Cow and SC-8 Just Froggy over-top to colorize. This technique can be used to create dimensional mountains and forests for a realistic, tactile terrain.
  5. Glazing the back is optional. If back of map scroll is glazed, the pieces must be placed on stilts, otherwise they could stick to the kiln shelf. When glaze has completely dried, glaze fire to Cone 06.


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