Handbuilt Fish with Found Objects

Designer: Bailie Benson



  1. Plan out what kind of three fish you’d like to make.
  2. On a piece of paper, draw out a round body outline with a top and back fin, plus a little jut out for the jaw.
  3. Cut out your outline.
  4. Find a variety of objects (natural or manmade) to use to press into the clay for texture. Some of the textures we used on our fish were netting, dandelion leaves, cardboard, and the backs of paintbrushes.
  5. Pick out at least two colors of glaze per fish. We used two foundations and one jungle gem color per fish.
  6. Roll out and compress a slab of clay from your two pounds of clay about a 1/3rd inch thick
  7. Lay your paper template on the slab of clay and trace with a toothpick.
  8. Remove the template and cut all the way through your traced area.
  9. With the remaining clay, cut out a round shape (for the eye) and heart shape (for the fin) attachment and set aside.
  10. Lay your found objects on the areas of the clay you would like to print.
  11. Press item down with your fingertips.
  12. Using a plastic card, smooth the object down onto the clay
  13. Carefully peel the texture objects up out of the clay
  14. Using your toothpick, scratch into the back side of your clay eye and fin attachments.
  15. Scratch the surface of the main fish body where you want your attachments to be.
  16. Take a small drop of water and drip onto the scratched portion of the body.
  17. Press and wiggle attachments onto the body where you placed your drop of water. 5. Allow to dry 6. Bisque fire to shelf cone 04
  18. Apply 3 coats of Foundations Sheers to the textured areas of your fish.
  19. 3 coats of Jungle Gems glaze can be applied to the less textured areas.
  20. Stilt and fire to shelf cone 06.



  • 2lbs of low fire clay


  • Foundations Sheers
  • Jungle Gems

Decorating Accessories

  • Found objects (flowers, lace, pencils, etc.)
  • CB-604 # 4 Soft Fan

Miscellaneous Accessories

  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Toothpick