Dalí Inspired Clay Projects for Primary

Teaching Art


From his flamboyant persona and crazy moustache to his whimsical dream like paintings, students always love learning about Salvador! Using this paintings as inspiration as well as trolling Pinterest for primary clay project ideas, I have completed Ceramic Surreal Butterflies with Lower Primary and Ceramic Clocks in the Sun with Upper Primary.

After introducing Surrealism by discussing the work of Dali, students learned some basic ceramic skills – making a slab, cutting around a template with clay tools, making a coil and how to score and slip when attaching two pieces of clay together. These techniques were then applied to create the butterfly shapes from air dry clay.

IMG_2435IMG_2440 2

The butterflies were placed in bowls with the student’s name, class code and table colour. The bowls then were stacked once dry and passed back to the correct table the following week for painting. Students painted the entire butterfly one solid colour using acrylic paint.


To make the butterflies ‘surreal’ students used white, black and then gold or silver to splatter paint on top of their butterfly. I mixed acrylic paint with some water and GOLDEN ADDITIVES Acrylic Flow Release to create the right viscosity to allow for the paint to drip, drizzle and splatter.


The students loved the process and learning many different techniques to apply to clay constructions and finishing.

For Upper Primary, students used Dali’s most famous painting, ‘Persistence of  Memory’ to make clay clock creations.


Using the same techniques as Lower Primary, the older students rolled out a slab and then cut out a the clock shape that they wanted. After adding a coil around the edge, they added numbers, hands and other details of their choice.


Students created them flat and then before allowing the clocks to dry, they were hung off the edge of a table. Once dry, students painted the face and trim of the clock. Lastly, students painted numbers, the hands and final details.

Venus McArsty sang a song about Salvador Dali while students worked on their clay projects. By the time they were finished, students knew several facts and details about Dali’s life and artwork. The power of music!

Leave a Reply