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Products Used


Cone 04 White Earthenware Clay



Assorted Bisque Beads: MB-B01 – MB-B13, MB-B100 30” Leather Cord


 CD-1218 Egyptian Design Sprig Molds


Choose from these various Mayco products: 

• Magic Metallic Acrylics
• Mayco Softees Acrylics
• Stroke & Coat Glazes
• Underglazes

Design Tools

Synthetic Sponge, Acrylic Brushes, Glaze Brushes

Additional Materials
Pencil, Paper Towels, Wire Cutter, Canvas, Fettling Knife, Wooden Skewers and Palette
amulet necklace


For grade levels 5-8

In this lesson, students will make a simple, single-stranded necklace as they were always popular in ancient Egypt and are often recovered among grave goods. Students will consider the meaning of amulets and create historically accurate replicas or new amulets of their own design.

*This lesson is easily modified for both cultural content, and creative complexity. For example, students could create a personal amulet, experiment with beading and bead shapes, compare and contrast amulets from various cultures, investigate amulets in modern society, etc.


  • Students will understand the cultural significance of an amulet, discuss why the Egyptians created wearable art, and apply this knowledge to assemble their interpretation of Egyptian style neckwear

  • Students will select historically accurate ancient Egyptian symbols (Mayco sprig molds) to create an amulet. Students will demonstrate their understanding of focal point (amulet), symmetry, and pattern, in both a design plan and a final 3D ceramic Egyptian style wearable art

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

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 and Painting:
  1. Students should prepare a drawing of their design intentions that reflect learning objectives, class- room discussion and/or student preferences. The choices of beads selected, the metallic colors and placement of beads surrounding the amulet should be part of the design plan.

  2. Provide each student 2-3 oz. of wedged clay. Note: You may choose to wedge the clay for your students or decide to have a few students perform the wedging activity. Use a wire cutter to prepare 2-3 lb. portions of clay. Place clay on canvas and work with your hands until clay is smooth and bubble-free. Divide wedged clay into 2-3 oz portions.

  3. Use CD-1218 to create an amulet from one of the feature shapes. Press the clay into the sprig mold. Lay the fettling knife flat against the mold and trim away excess clay.

  4. Remove the sprig shape by flipping the mold over onto the palm of your empty hand and lightly slap the back of the sprig mold. Note: If sprig shape sticks to mold press a small ball of clay against the shape and pull it from mold. Glazing Option: If students chose to glaze the amulet, May- co’s Underglazes or Stroke & Coat® glazes can be applied to greenware. See bead decoration instructions below. 

  5. Consider the orientation (which will be the top or bottom) of your amulet and how it will hang on your necklace. Using a wooden skewer pierce the clay amulet, creating a hole that completely extends through the clay. Twist the skewer and ream out the hole until it will be able to allow the cord to pass through easily. 

  6. Allow clay to completely dry and bisque fire together to shelf cone 04. Note: If glazes are used, bisque fire and glaze fire once after the glazes are applied.

  7. Choose 7-8 beads to decorate. Thread beads onto spare skewer – this will allow you to paint the en- tire bead. Brush on the Magic Metallic colors of your choice. Balance skewer over two cups and let dry. Note: If a patina or rust effect is desired apply the appropriate activator while the metallic paint is still wet.

  8. To string the beads, thread amulet and beads onto leather cord. Note: If you wish to restrict the movement of the beads you can tie a small knot in between beads. Additional spacers or decorative elements can use in this project.


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