Native American Hand Building


Students will be constructing a vase that will be decorated with Native American designs, imagery and patterns. They will employ 5 – 6 advanced hand building techniques under my instructions and supervision.

As with many cultures, coil containers were used as storyboards to record our history. Clay coil containers were written on with artwork, very old alphabets, and designs that have revealed a great deal about human history. These pots came in all shapes and sizes. While constructing the coil containers students are embarking on a practice that has been shared by many cultures for many purposes. Vases are versatile containers that can be used for a variety of purposes. They come in many shapes and sizes, so as you build your coils, find a shape that you like and be creative. Visit the web pages to identify a specific kind of design, and then recreate the styles and patterns. Maybe your designs will reveal something about you to your classmates as well as tell a story.

This lesson will provide you with a better understanding of art and culture, as well as the time and energy it takes to create a functional pot.

Educational Objectives:

This lesson provides opportunities for students to:

  • Create a coil vase.
  • Role, stacks, and designs a vase.
  • Learn about native designs and patterns.
  • Learn to use glazes and fire clay.
  • Develop patterns and repetitive designs.
  • Develop an understanding of the Native American Culture an its artistic inspirations

Firing Costs:

I need to know how many students will attend to access material costs.  If you do not have a kiln the students will be using air dried clay.  Air dried clay is more expensive but it saves on all the firing and glazing costs.  With the air dried or firing type clay the arts teacher will have the students paint them in the following weeks.   So they will need a safe place to be stored in-between. (See FAQ.)

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