Clay Project Ideas from Prague

I just came back from Prague. WOW. In addition to castles, cathedrals and pastry, I had the joy of checking out hand-made crafts in small shops throughout the city. These clay sheep and owls were so adorable I just had to try them myself!!!

czech clay sheep

I saw these charming clay sheep tiny gift shop on the Charles Bridge. The shop was so tiny only two people could enter at a time! The ceramic sheep are wheel-thrown clay bells, covered in clay spiral ‘wool’. They are unglazed.

My version of the Czech sheep:

spiral clay sheep

Top view

Top view

I started with an inverted pinch pot, stuffed it with newspaper, and added face, ears, and spirals. I will let them dry, bisque fire, then do a cold finish by painting with tempera or watercolors, then rinsing off in the sink.

I think this would work for grades 4-6, and take around 45 minutes -1 hour to teach.

Verdict: I showed my sample to my 6th grade helpers: they LOVED it.


czech clay owls

The Czech Owls:

These beautiful, textured clay owls were hollow clay cylinders with closed bases. A hole was poked in the base to keep the owl from exploding in the kiln.

My version of the Czech owl:

I started with two pinch pots, stuffed them with newspaper, and sealed together to form a cylinder. I smoothed the cylinder by rolling it back and forth on a board. Next I tapped the bottom on the board to flatten. Finally I wiped the cylinder with a damp sponge to smooth it out.

I textured the clay, and added wings and a beak. I would have liked to have some different texture stamps for the eyes….still, they turned out OK.

I poked a skewer through the bottom to let air escape when firing.

I will let dry, and bisque fire. These owls could be glazed, or just painted with watercolor and sprayed with clear gloss.

clay owl 1


These would take about an hour to make. Sixth grade and middle school.

You could also simplify this by using a single inverted pinch pot for the owl body. Be sure to stuff with crumpled newspaper before adding texture. This could work for grades 4-6.

Verdict: my 6th grade helpers thought my owls looked like penguins!!! They recommended making smaller eyes and bigger wings. They definitely preferred the sheep.

Although I did not bring home the Czech clay sheep or owls, I couldn’t leave that awesome gift shop empty-handed! I left with this fabulous Beethoven sgraffito mug as a gift for my husband.

sgraffito mug


Well, spring break was awesome but it’s over. Back to work!





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5 thoughts on “Clay Project Ideas from Prague

  1. Great job with the clay sheep and owls! Fun to bring a little bit of our trip back to your classroom.

  2. Love those little sheep. What a great way to practice coil work with kids. I can’t wait to add a version to my plans next year. Hope you had a fabulous trip!


    • Hi Kim
      Aren’t the sheep adorable? The kids will be really good at making spirals after this one.


    • Hi Miss
      So glad you like the sheep. They were so darling I had to come back and re-create them. Isn’t Prague amazing?

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