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Products Used

  • Hand-Formed Fish Bowl Shape - Thrown or Coil Built
  • SC-6 Sunkissed, SC-7 Leapin' Lizard, SC-15 Tuxedo, SC-16 Cotton Tail, SC-41 Brown Cow, SC-65 Peri-Twinkle, SC-74 Hot Tamale, SC-76 Cara-Bein- Blue, SG-401 Black Designer Liner, S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing

Decorating Accessories

  • RB-100 Detail, CB-404 #4 Pointed Round, CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, AC-230 Clay Carbon Paper, BT-910 Synthetic Sponge

Miscellaneous Supplies

  • Moist Clay, 1/4" Wooden Slats, Canvas, Rolling Pin, Fettling Knife, Needle Tool, Slip/Clay Slurry
  • Download: Pattern


Title: Dr. Seuss Inspired Book Ends 
Techniques: Hand-building, Glaze Application
Featuring: Stroke & Coats, Xiem Studio Tools
Course Length: 1-2 weeks (allow for dry time and firing)
Level: Intermediate 5-8
Artist: Adena Griffith
Lesson Plan by: Hannah Clark

Lesson Plan:

Art (Ceramics) + Language Arts (Dr. Seuss Literature)


Dr. Seuss redefined the way in which chidren readand expand ther imaginations through words and imagery. Through his mastery in language arts, as well as illustrating, he was able to teach phonics in an exciting way- through rhyme. Most importantly, he inspired people of all ages to be who they are, and be extraordinarily proud of it. This lesson will be a functional interpretation of Dr. Seuss’s characters in the form of bookends. What better way to hold books together, than with the creativity which inspires them?!  


  • Students will explore the history of author/illustrator, Dr. Seuss, and become better readers through language art activities.
  • Students will learn to be inspired by the words and illustrations of Dr. Seuss book collections in order to make art inspired by his work.
  • Students will create ceramic bookends with painted glaze illustrations of characters from their favorite Dr. Seuss book.

National Standards (9-12)

  • VA:Cr1.1.5a Combine ideas to generate an innovative idea for art-making.
  • VA:Cr1.2.5a Identify and demonstrate diverse methods of artistic investigation to choose an approach for beginning a work of art.
  • VA:Cr2.2.5a Identify and demonstrate diverse methods of artistic investigation to choose an approach for beginning a work of art.
  • VA:Cr1.1.6a Combine concepts collaboratively to generate innovative ideas for creating art.
  • VA:Cr1.2.6a Formulate an artistic investigation of personally relevant content for creating art.


Handbuilding the bowl:

  1. Throw a fish bowl form on the wheel or create one using a coil handbuilding method.
  2. Once the bowl is leather hard, cut it down the middle into two equal parts.
  3. With a rolling pin on canvas, roll out a piece of moist clay ¼” thick between wooden slats.
  4. Slip and score the edges of the fish bowl.
  5. Attach the bowl to the slab using slip and scoring. Cut along the edge with a fettling knife to remove the extra slab.
  6. Seal the edges with a coil of clay.
  7. Pat down on the top of the fish bowl to create a concave slab.
  8. Allow to dry completely.
  9. Bisque fire to cone 04.


  1. Begin with properly fire shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust. 
  2. Using AC-230 Clay Carbon Paper, trace the pattern onto the bowl.
  3. Apply three coats of SC-6 Sunkissed to the sky using a CB-404 Pointed Round and CB-604 #4 Soft Fan brush.
  4. Apply three coats of SC-76 Cara-Bein-Blue to the water using the same brushes.
  5. Using the CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, apply 3 coats of SC- 74 Hot Tamale to the back side of the bookend.
  6. Use the CB-404 #4 Pointed Round and 3 coats of SC-74 Hot Tamale to create a line around the lip of the bowl on top.
  7. Apply 3 coats to the top of the bowl using the same brush and SC-76 Cara-Bein-Blue.
  8. Use the image of the project to determine which fish is SC-7 Leapin’ Lizard, SC-16 Cotton Tail, SC-65 Peri-Twinkle, or SC-74 Hot Tamale using the RB-100 Detail brush. You may then choose to trace the detail lines over each fish using the AC-230 Clay Carbon Paper again.
  9. Once the glaze is dry, apply the detail lines using the SG-401 Black Designer Liner.
  10. Use the RB-100 Detail brush and 2 coats of SC-15 Tuxedo to apply the lines in the water and outline the piece between the colors.
  11. Once dry, apply 2 coats of S-2101 Crystal Clear Brushing Glaze using the CB-604 #4 Soft Fan brush.
  12. Allow the pieces to completely dry and fire to cone 06.

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