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Explore Louvre Abu Dhabi art works at home!

Make and Play are short, fun videos for all the family to make art inspired by the collection using simple materials.

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Make a Jar | Art Activity

Make a Jar

About the Artwork

Prior to the invention of the potter’s wheel, these jars were built up entirely in coils. Spatulas, stones or shells were used to smooth and polish the surface. Imprints of cords, bamboo tools or shells were used to decorate the jars with stylised patterns of clouds, fire and water. The jars would have been fired before being used.

Make a Jar Instructions

Title: Make a Jar

Overview: Create a clay vase with cord patterns

Themes: Ceramics

Jar with Cord – Patterned Decoration
Japan, 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE
©Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi/ Photo by Thierry Ollivier

Age Range:6-12 years old

Activity Timing:45 minutes

Materials: Modeling clay, board, paint brush, clay tools or tooth picks and water

Thinking Questions:

  • What patterns do you see on this object?
  • What do you think is the function of this object?
  • How do you think the artist made this object?


1. Take a piece of clay and make it into a round shape. Flatten it onto the board
2. Score the edges of the clay.
3. Take another piece of clay, roll it, sausage-like and score along its length.
4. Use a paintbrush to cover the length of clay with water.
5. Coil the clay on top of the clay base.
6. Repeat until you reach the height you want.
7. Use a clay tool or your fingers to join the coils inside the jar.
8. Design the top of your jar.
9. Leave for one day to dry.
10.Take another piece of clay and flatten it.
11. Wet the jar. Wrap the piece of clay around the jar to cover the coils.
12. Smooth the clay so it connects to the jar.
13. Using a clay tool or a toothpick create a pattern on the outside of the jar inspired by the artwork!

Share your designs!
Tag us online @LouvreAbuDhabi #MakeandPlay

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