Not Round Bowls

Objective: Discussion form and function of a common functional object.

Students were asked to think about the shape of a bowl and whether it must be a round shape. In the lesson I supported the children in learning about coil pot techniques, thinking about the rules of function vs design, and creating a functional bowl.  Before building they had to decide whether to start round and then alter, or build from an altered base.

  • Grade Level: 10-13 years old

  • Subject: Arts - Ceramic

  • Length of Time: 90 Minutes


Set Up

  • Slab Roller/Rolling pin
  • 2lbs of clay for slab and extra clay for coils
  • Pin tool and smoothing tools
  • Water and sponges
  • Paper and Pencil for sketching
  • Underglaze colors

Discussion:  What makes a bowl a bowl?

I had a meeting with the students to discuss the features of a bowl and to support them in defining the bowls there were going to make.

    1. What is the shape?

    2. Is there a standard Volume?

    3. What is the main function?

    4. Must it hold liquid?

    5. What makes it functional?

    6.  Does it have to be functional?


Structure and Construction 

Coil Pots!

  • These students have already had lesson in coil pots so we did a refresher.

The Base:

  • The students have the choice to make  a round form and then alter it or to start with and altered base and build the walls of the bowl up from that base.

They must consider:

  • Stability - Coil building process
  • Structure - 4 inch high walls
  • Shape - not round
  • Rules of bowls discussed
  • Volume - Minimum 2 fists
  • 3 colors for painting