Ideas for Clay Slab Boxes

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    Habitat Box

    • Build a slab box in the shape of a dwelling. As well as clay, rollers and a work surface, you'll need images for inspiration: houses and human living spaces, but also other concepts such as animal habitats. Use modeling like skewers and spatulas to create texture; stone, brick, tiles and vegetation. Cut out holes for doors and windows. When the pots are fired you can use colored glazes to accentuate details, or paint unglazed fired pots. You can paint fired clay with acrylics; alternatively, use tempera or gouache under a clear acrylic varnish.

    Flower Box

    • A round-shaped pot lends itself well to a flower motif. Make a round pot by cutting a circular base and building the walls of the pot from one long curving slab of soft clay. The clay must be very soft and you must shape it gently so it doesn't crack as you curve it. Cut another round piece for the lid. Roll out a thinner slab and cut out petal shapes. Stick the petal shapes to the lid with slip. Cut smaller petals and stick these on top of the first layer of petals. Roll up several little balls of clay and stick these in the center, pushing a skewer into each to make a dimple. You can also cut leaves and stems to stick on the walls of the pot. Fire the pot unglazed and paint the flower in bright colors.

    Treasure Chest Box

    • Make a rectangular box. Make the lid from a curved slab with two semi-circles of clay at each end. Cut strips of clay and stick them vertically over the lid, with corresponding strips on the box to suggest metal bands on an old-fashioned pirate chest.Use modeling tools to sketch rivets on the bands and wood grain on the sides of the box. Make a model padlock and stick it to the front of the box with slip. Around the base of the box, stick circles and twisted ropes of clay to suggest a pile of treasure. When the box is fired, paint the bands black and the wood brown. Paint the treasure gold and silver. Glue plastic gems to the box as a finishing touch.

    Cake Box

    • Make a round slab pot. Make the lid from a circular piece of clay, slightly larger than the diameter of the pot. Around the edge of this, stick a strip of clay with one edge cut in random wavy lines to suggest frosting. When this is dry, pipe or drizzle a design onto the top with thick slip. Cut a long strip of clay from a slab and wrap it around the "cake." Fold a bow from another strip of clay. When the box is fired, paint the cake, making the ribbon and the slip design matching colors.

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