Ceramic Summative – Lotus & Lily Pad

Hello! This is my Ceramic Summative post, my final project using clay in this unit. I decided to design a container in the shape of a lotus flower, accompanied with a separate lily pad base. I also decided to add texture to both the lotus’s petals, and to the lily pad’s surface. Below is my process in pictures and captions; following that will be a reflection about this project and the unit. Have a look!! =)

*I am still working on this project, but I will keep updating this post as I progress through it. Thank you! =)


Lotus Flower Ceramic


– I rolled out a VERY LARGE slab of clay and formed it on a hemisphere mold. Then I drew and cut out a petal shape on cardboard. I used this as a petal template to make identical petals. Above, you can see how I’ve attached the first petal (with LOTS of slip).



– Once I’ve attached 4 petals it looked like this.. These are also my base petals, I attached 4 more on top.



– Once I’ve attached all my petals (8 in total).. In the picture on the far left, you can see my cardboard petal template I used to make my clay petals. 



– I then used a texture engraver I already tried out in my second formative (which turned out very successful). The engraver tool has a teardrop shape, which looks very similar to my petal shape. I alternated the orientation of the teardrop on every petal to make it more interesting. I like the overall look of how it turned out! =)



– When my lotus ceramic was dry enough, I turned it so it was the right way up.. It looks great! I was also very happy to see that it sits properly on a surface (it didn’t sway at all which means it has a good, even base).


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– After my lotus turned into bisque from the kiln, I glazed the petals with a very light pink color to emphasize how feathery flower petals are supposed to look. I then glazed the lotus’s interior with a very light blue (for the same reason as the light pink); and in this picture it practically looks white.


– THE FINAL LOOK!! =) Professional photography right here. Ceramic Runway =D


Lily Pad Ceramic


– I rolled out yet another VERY LARGE slab =) This time I formed it over a circular mold. I only used the flat side of the mold because the other side was a dome shape (and I didn’t want that). I smoothed the surface with a rubber rib so that it was indent-free. I also made sure the slab’s edge was tightly pressed onto the mold, and also smooth.


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– I then used a tiny leaf roller to add texture to to the lily pad’s surface. The pictures above show my process when I turned the lily pad over and made its side even and rigid so that it can hold the lotus’s weight. To make the side stronger, I added clay; and used vinegar and slip to hold it tightly together. ( Thank you Mr Stavinoha! =) )


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– I then added a small piece of clay onto the center of the lily pad’s backside. I made sure it was the same height as the circular side so that the ceramic won’t sway when placed on a surface.  ( Thank you Mr Stavinoha! =) )


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– Once it came out of the kiln as bisque, I glazed the lily pad’s top surface with dark green glaze. This picture seems to show the color as a dull grey..it looks better in real life though! =)


– THE FINAL LOOK!! =) Professional photography right here. Ceramic Runway =D


Lotus and Lily Pad – Ceramic Set




img_4703 – 1st Formative

img_4727 – 2nd Formative

img_4822 – Final Summative


For this final clay project, I wanted to go beyond simple geometric shapes. I wanted to do something even more organic than my second formative. What inspired me to make a lotus flower container was the Art room itself. I looked around one day and saw the hemisphere mold. It sparked some ideas in my head and I knew what I wanted my summative ceramic to look like. I also did some research on Pinterest to look at what people with a similar idea did. This helped a lot and made me really think about all the artistic decisions I had to make. I decided I wanted to make a bowl shaped container, then add pieces of petal-shaped clay on its exterior. I also loved the idea of making a separate ceramic lily pad to go with the container as a set. =D

I am very proud of the final product! I had my doubts when a piece of my lotus ceramic popped off in the kiln; but in the end, it all came together to look really nice. I didn’t expect my lotus flower’s exterior glaze to look so opaque! I thought the pink would look much lighter, but in any case, it looks great this way. The blue glaze in the lotus’s interior looked exactly like I wanted it to, light and calm. The lily pad looks perfect! It was the green I wanted it to be; and the texture on its surface made it look pretty cool. I think I improved a lot since my first formative. I have much more control over the clay now and I’ve become confident enough to experiment with it. It was definitely a risk to do such an organic composition but I thought in the end it would be worth it. I was right. =D

This final project taught me a lot. Even though this was my third project using clay, I realized that things can go wrong even if you think you thought through all of the obstacles it might come across. I didn’t think that a piece of my lotus container would pop off when it was getting fired. This especially surprised me as it didn’t happen with my two formatives. Then again, I never tried adding clay to another clay surface, so this was a risk. I now know to use my formatives more wisely and practice many techniques on them before my final project. Clay is a very tricky media to handle, and I know now that I should be very very careful with it. Texture was our main focus for this unit, and it was very fun! Texture in general is a very cool thing to experiment with. I learned many different ways of creating texture, but also that it can be made with either a lot of work, or a little. This unit was fantastic! I enjoyed it so much. =)

Thanks for reading!

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