Ideas for Ceramic Sculptures

by Nick Mann

Creating ceramic sculptures is an art form that has been around for thousands of years. Numerous cultures have implemented ceramics to produce both art and functional objects such as bowls. Nonetheless, it's sometimes difficult for artists to consistently come up with new ideas. That's why following four guidelines should help to inspire artists with the creation of new sculptures.

Natural Objects

Nature provides a seemingly infinite number of possibilities to pattern a ceramic sculpture after. Some ideas include trees, seashells, animals and flowers. In general, it's best to pick one of your favorite objects found in nature and create a sketch of it. Then work on a small scale version of the object. Afterward, you should create a larger scale version for the final product.


Pots are one of the most traditional forms of ceramic sculpture, but there are many shapes, designs and colors you can add to yours. Creating a pot will require a pottery wheel in order to spin the piece of clay. Shaping the pot will be done by your hands, so feel free to experiment with the design by placing your thumbs on the interior of the clay as it spins. After the pot has been fired in a kiln, you can add different colors of paint to give it a unique feel.

Historical Figures

Another idea for a ceramic sculpture is to base it around one of your favorite historical figures. You can create either a bust or the entire body of the person. In order to make the sculpture as realistic as possible, you should find a detailed picture or painting of the person to model the sculpture after.


Sculptures of masks are commonly found in tribal and African art. They are relatively easy to create and can be done by laying down a clay slab on a table. From there, the mask should be hand molded until the desired design is achieved. Afterward, you should cut out eye holes by poking your fingers through the clay. You can also cut out additional nose and mouth holes if you want. Once it has been fired in a kiln and cooled, you can add paint to decorate the mask accordingly.

About the Author

Nick Mann has been a writer since 2005, focusing on home-and-garden topics. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

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