Clay Dinosaurs

In this lesson, students will work three dimensionally with clay to create dinosaurs.  Once the clay is dry, student will paint on glaze.  The sculpting will take place with the art docent.  The painting of the glaze can be done by either the teacher or the docent.



  • Realistic: a form that is recognizable a true to life, not abstract
  • 2-Dimensional:  Something flat, with to dimensions to measure: heigh & width
  • 3-Dimensional:  A form with three basic directions to measure: height, width, & depth.  Not flat.
  • Form: The 3-dimensional expression of a shape; cube, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cone, etc
  • Sculpture:  A work of art in 3-Dimensions, a sculpture can be completed by molding, carving away, or constructing.

Creating in Three Dimensions

Creating art in three dimensions can be different than creating a flat painting, drawing or other two dimensional piece of art.  First, the work of art can be viewed from multiple sides, so attention must be paid to the front, back, top, and sides.  Elements of the work can also stick out to enhance the work or contribute to its overall form.



  • Clay
  • Tooth Picks


  • Glaze
  • Paint Brush
  • Salsa Cups
  • Paint Brushes


You’ll want to cut each block with floss or yarn into 24 pieces. Divide in half then third each half then quarter each third.  You’ll need to cut a slice out of a second block so you have a piece to Work with.

What to do:

Part 1 – Sculpture
  1. Students should form their chunk into an egg.
  2. Pinch/pull about a third into the head and a third into the tail. Don’t let the tail get skinny.  If a part falls off, smash it altogether and start over.  Trying to reattach parts usually means a broken finished product in the kiln.
  3. From the middle third they’ll need to pinch 4 STUBBY legs.
  4. Then they can get creative with making smaller pinches on the head for the nose, mouth, ears, horn, etc.
  5. You’ll want them to use mark their initials on the bottom using a tooth pick.

Part 2 – Glazing

The teachers are really good at knowing how to do this and each one has their own process.  One thing to remember:  DO NOT GLAZE THE BOTTOM OF THE FEET!  Other than that, be conservative with using the glaze–it costs about $12 a bottle–that’s why we suggest using salsa cups to dispense it!

For The Gallery

Ask your teacher to print labels.  Cut a piece of cardstock big enough to place the dinosaur and place the label on the card stock.  The sculptures will be displayed on table in our MPR gallery.


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