EGYPTIAN CARTOUCHE – Clay, Composition, Colour

Students design an ancient Egyptian cartouche using air dry clay and add colour with watercolour paint.

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EGYPTIAN CARTOUCHE – Clay, Composition, Colour


  • Crayola Air Dry Clay - 1.13 kg white - 1 per 3 students
  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Watercolour Paints
  • Crayola Sketchbooks - 1 per student
  • Pencils - 2 per student
  • Masking Tape
  • Paperclips - 2 per student


Step 1
  1. Choose symbols for the cartouche based on composition not meaning.
  2. Make several practice drawings of hieroglyphics.
  3. Pay particular attention to the use of space, details and overall balance.
Step 2
  1. Work on a piece of light cardboard or a plastic placemat.
  2. Use a rolling pin, piece of dowel or paint brush handle to roll out enough clay to make the cartouche.
Step 3
  1. Use a pin tool to cut out the shape of the cartouche.
    - Make a pin tool by taping an open paper clip to a pencil.
  2. Roll out a long coil for the border and the base of the cartouche.
  3. Score and slip the coil onto the slab of clay. (See the Score and Slip lesson plan available on this website.)
Step 4
  1. Roll balls and coils of clay to form hieroglyphics.
  2. Use the additive technique to attach these pieces.
    - Remember to score and add slip each of these pieces to join them to the clay.
  3. Make a carving tool by taping a closed paper clip to a pencil.
  4. Use subtractive technique to carve out hieroglyphic details from the clay.
Step 5
  1. Allow the clay to dry for about 48 hours.
  2. Once the clay is dry, use watercolour paints to add a few colours to the cartouche.
Step 6
  1. Add colours used by the ancient Egyptians such as red, blue, brown and yellow or gold.
  2. View your cartouche with fresh eyes.
    - Does it look authentic?
    - What do you see that makes you say that?
    - What did you do to balance the composition?
    - What do you like best about your work?
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Social Studies,

    • Visual Arts

  • Grades:

    • Grade 7,

    • Grade 8,

    • Grade 9,

    • Grade 10

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