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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Kulchuk Brownies 11/9/14 1:30-3:00pm

For 10 Brownies working on their Pottery Badge.


Badge Requirements:


Crafts made with clay have been around for thousands of years. People who study history have found ancient clay art and everyday objects. Work your way through these steps to become a clay artist yourself!


1. Find some pottery

2. Get to know clay

3. Make a simple pot

4. Make an art piece

5. Paint and glaze!


When I've earned this badge, I'll be able to make my own projects out of clay.

Step 1. Find some pottery

Find the pottery that/s all around you--that way you can get ideas for making your own. When you do one of these things, begin an artist notebook to write your great ideas or draw a picture of something you have seen.

Choices--do one:

-Visit an art gallery or museum.

Ask your Brownie volunteer to help you find a clay exhibit or gallery with pottery. Remember that pottery can break easily. Be respectful of artwork!


-Look for clay in your life.

It's all around you at your house, at your school, in your community. See how many things made of clay you can spot in a week.

For more FUN: Have a scavenger hunt with friends and see how many things you can find that are made of clay.


-Look in books, magazines, or online for clay things.

Did you know that false teeth used to be made out of clay? What else can you find that was made from clay?

For more FUN: Paste pictures of what you find in your artist notebook.

Step 2. Get to know clay.

Visit with a clay expert! Ask this person to tell you about scoring, storing, wedging, and firing, and why each of these is important.

Choices-do one:

-Visit a potter's studio.

A clay artist is often called a potter.


-Invite a craft teacher to your meeting.

Ask them to bring clay samples, if possible.


-Go to a pottery class as a community center.

Many offer classes for beginners.

Tip: Ask the expert to help you through the rest of the steps in the badge.

Step 3. Make a simple pot.

Pots have been made from clay for thousands of years. Pots do more than hold flowers! People carry water, eat food, and drink from them. Make your own simple pot. You could use it to hold jewelry, candy, or pencils.

Choices- do one:

-Make a pinch pot.

See the directions for help. Hint: in step 2, start pinching from the bottom of your container and move slowly to the top.


-Make a coil pots. 

A coil pot is made from "coils" of clay. See the directions for help.

For more FUN: Stack your coils into interesting shapes.


-Make a slab pot.

A slab is a piece of clay rolled flat. See the directions for help.

For more FUN: Try building a pot on a triangular or square base.

Words Worth Knowing

In pottery, to SCORE means to scratch tiny crisscrossing lines on two pieces of clay that you want to stick together.

Pinch Pot

1. Use your thumbs to made a dent in a ball of clay.

2. Pinch around the dent to make the sides of the pot. Try to keep an even thickness around your pot.

3. Ta-da!

Coil Pot

1. Roll out a ball of clay to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut a circular base with a cookie cutter or a cup.

2. Roll lumps of clay into snakes to make coils for your pot.

3. Score lines across your snakes and around the edge of your base. Use a pen, pencil, toothpick, or clay tool to score. Moisten clay with water where it will be joined.

4. Press the first coil to the base, scored sides together.

5. Keep going with the rest of your coils until your pot is as tall as you want it. Ta-da!

Slab Pot

1. Roll out a ball of clay to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out a circle to be your base. Then cut out a rectangular slab. This slab is your pot's wall. (Make sure it will fit around your base!)

2. Score one end of your slab. Wet the scored area.

3. Roll the slab into a tube and press it to itself to make the wall of your pot. Score the bottom edge. Wet the scored edges of the wall base. Now stick the wall, scored side down, onto base. Ta-da!


Additional Group Interests:


"…my goals were for them to see different types/styles of pottery, that it was from all over, that it was old & new, and that it could be utilitarian, artistic or both. They will be thrilled for some hands on…"

"…locate pottery from different geographies and times and identify its use and how it was made. The girls have sketch books and were going to sketch things they see that they like along the way."


Created By

Alexandra Ford