Monster Mug

by AMACO brent

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Put the FUN in functional with a playful project that teaches the basics of ceramic hand building. Either come up with your own set of beastly attributes or use a random generator for the number of eyes, type of teeth, and more.


Plan Monster

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Discuss monster ideas with students. What makes something a monster rather than a regular face? Texture, eyes, teeth, claws, etc. Have students come up with attributes of the monster they want to recreate as a mug. Optional: have students draw numbers and attributes out of a hat as a random monster generator.


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Have students draw their monster as a mug, including planning the handle.

Cut out and Texture Slab

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Cut out and texture a slab 11.5” x 5”. Fur can be imitated with a comb, scales with net fabric or a roller stamp. Try out different items, like pine cones or rocks, to see what kind of textures you can make.

Form into Cylinder

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Curl slab into a cylinder with the texture on the outside. Slip and score the ends of the cylinder.


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Cut a circle from a slab for the base and score and slip to cylinder.


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Make eyes. Roll balls of clay, score and slip and press gently into the mug. Use hollow tool or texture stamp to make iris and pupil.


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Use small coils for eyelids, if desired.


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Make a mouth. If it’s an open mouth, lightly press the clay inward, and smooth.


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If there will be teeth, make those and attach them before making the lips. Make lips with thin coils of clay. Score and slip.

Nose / Snout

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Make a nose, if desired. Nose can be any shape. If it will be large, make it hollow and poke a hole it to vent in firing.


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Make a handle. If the handle will be more than ¾” thick (like the claw / horn handle pictured) make it hollow and be sure to include a hole in the base to allow it to vent in firing. For a tentacle type handle, it can be solid. Texture the handle to match the mug.


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Dry slowly and bisque fire to cone 04. Glaze with CTL, LG or TP glazes, fire, and enjoy.


    Monster Mugs Download File


    Versa Clay No.20 Moist Tool Hardwood No. 8 Rubber Rib No. 2 Fettling Knife Scoring Tool Ceramic Brush Set