Ancient Greece had a rich tradition of making pottery vases, pitchers and other vessels and painting them with elaborate designs. This art form spans the centuries, from the basic Stone Age era, when ceramics were handmade without decoration to the sculpted figurines of the Hellenistic period. Children often enjoy learning of these ancient times and craft projects involving Greek pottery can serve as a hands-on introduction to the culture and art form.
Paint a terra-cotta pot to look like a piece of ancient Greek pottery. Use photos downloaded from the Internet or copied from books for inspiration. Geometric patterns and human figures are commonly found. Many styles of Greek pottery are found on red backgrounds, which the pot serves to duplicate. Pass out a pot to each child and instruct them to pick a design to copy. You’ll also need paintbrushes and black paint; acrylic paint works best. When the paint is dry, plant an herb such as mint or basil, which the Greeks commonly used.
Paper Plate Model
Creating a paper plate craft modelled on Greek pottery can be a good project for younger children. In addition to paper plates, you’ll need paper, pencil, black and gold paint, black pipe cleaners, tape and a paintbrush. Have pictorial examples on hand for the kids to copy or have them create their own drawings based on Greek mythology. Start by drawing a rough outline on a piece of paper. Paint the paper plate black and let dry. Use gold paint to paint the drawing onto the centre of the plate. Once this dries, attach the pipe cleaners to each side to form handles, using any type of clear tape on hand.
For a more elaborate craft project, make your own vessels or sculptures from clay and paint them. Sculptures may prove to be easier for those who lack ceramics experience, as the figures can be formed easily by hand. If the children want to make a container, an easy technique is to roll the clay into coils and stack the coils on top of one another, smoothing them together as you go. Once the clay has dried, paint the outside to resemble the pottery you’ve modelled it after.
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