Ceramic Tiles

Here is a lesson on making uniquely designed ceramic tiles which can be adapted for any grade:

Topics: Element of line, slab-rolling, grouting, glazing, and art criticism.

Content Standard Reference (High School Proficient):

1.4 Analyze and describe how the composition of a work of art is affected by the use of a particular principle of design.

2.1 Solve a visual arts problem that involves the effective use of the elements of art and the principles of design.

4.5 Employ the conventions of art criticism in writing and speaking about works of art.

Objective: Students will create a ceramic tile and demonstrate understanding of design elements, shape and line, by simplifying an image onto the tile. Student will demonstrate competency and understand the process of glazing by low fire glazing their tile. Student will develop critique skills to become objective evaluators of each other’s work as well as their own by participating in an in class critique.

Simplified steps:

1. Students completed a worksheet on line where they simplified a given image into its basic shapes and lines.

2. They then created their own unique simplified line drawing.

3. Students then transfered their drawing onto a 6″x8″ slab of clay, 1/2″ thick, with about a 1/2″ border.

The slabs were rolled out using rolling pins and 2 rulers stacked on each side as guides.

4. Students carved their drawing out of the now leather-hard slab using a trimming tool

5. After the bisque firing students glazed their tiles.

6. After the glaze firing a batch of black, white, and grey grout was mixed to fill in the lines the student had carved out. The students covered their tile with their choice of grout, let it set for a minute, then wiped off the tile with a sponge so that the only grout remaining filled in their design.

Now what you really care about, the awesome student work:

Lesson ended with the art criticism activity where students each awarded one tile “best use of line”, “best use of color”, “best overall design”, and a “free choice” award. Once they had given their awards the class discussed why a tile was successful in use of line, color, design, etc…


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