Bonsai Plaque

Designer: Bre Kathman




  1. Roll a slab approximately ¾ inch thick.
  2. Cut in a circle about 7 inches in diameter.
  3. Cut the bottom of the slab straight across so your plaque can stand or be hung.
  4. Draw a bonsai tree on paper (no larger than 7 inches in any direction).
  5. Cut out the tree using x-acto knife or scissors (be sure to keep the negative of the cutout).
  6. Place the positive cutout on the slab where you want your tree and then place the negative cutout on the clay and smooth it with a dry sponge so there are no bumps.
  7. Remove the positive cut out.
  8. Using X-10081 tools, carve out where the trunk and limbs will be.
  9. Using a ballpoint pen, lightly tap to make indentations on the tree top.
  10. Remove the paper and clean up edges.
  11. Dry and bisque fire to cone 04.


  1. Mask off the tree, roots, and leaves with masking tape, using an x-acto knife to make the edges crisp.
  2. Paint 3 coats of a sunset in an Ombre style with the Stroke & Coat® colors.
  3. Remove tape and paint 3 coats using EL-142 Grass on the leaves using a round brush and stippling technique to push the glaze into the small indentations of the leaves.
  4. Paint 3 coats with EL-145 Ginger Root on the branches, trunk, and roots of the tree.
  5. Paint edges with 3 coats of SC-15 Tuxedo.
  6. Let dry, stilt and fire to Cone 06.

Bonsai Photo Credit:



  • Low-fire white clay


  • SC-15 Tuxedo
  • SC-6 Sunkissed
  • SC-97 Cant-elope
  • SC-75 Orange-A-Peel
  • SC-74 Hot Tamale
  • EL-142 Grass
  • EL-145 Ginger Root

Decorating Accessories

  • BT-910 Synthetic Sponge
  • CB-110 #10/0 Mini Liner
  • CB-404 #4 Pointed Round
  • CB-604 #4 Soft Fan
  • X-10081 Xiem Tools Modeling & Carving Tools

Miscellaneous Accessories

  • Ballpoint pen
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Scissors or x-acto knife
  • Toothpick
  • Masking tape