Spiral Vase

Spiral Vase lesson plan

Looking for a memorable, handmade gift? The sculpting technique of building with coils may be ancient, but this vase crafted in Model Magic® is totally cutting edge.

  • 1.

    Spirals occur often in nature. Where have you seen spirals? Perhaps in a Nautilus shell or the center of a sunflower? Find out about spiral or coil pots made in various cultures such as Native American peoples. This coil vase, which is a contemporary version, makes a great gift!

  • 2.

    Roll colored Crayola Model Magic into several snakes. Coil a base with one snake. When Model Magic is fresh from the pack it sticks to itself!

  • 3.

    Place a recycled plastic container atop the coil, so it becomes an armature for your vase. Cover the sides of the container with more coils, but with whimsical twists. Create lumpy layers by going back and forth. Embed shapes or animals within the coils. Change colors. Finish the vase with a lip at the top. Air-dry the vase for at least 24 hours.

  • 4.

    Continue the theme by filling your vase with spiral flowers. Roll chenille stems into coils. Place them inside vase. Or you could fill the vase with dried flowers or other craft items to suit the recipient of your gift vase.


  • Students identify spiral shapes found in nature and throughout history.
  • Students use this ancient pot-building technique to form a contemporary, unique coil pot.
  • Students embellish their creation with decorative techniques and materials.


  • Use shape words like spiral and spiraling in a poem or story. Write your poetry in the shape of a spiral.
  • Learn more about Robert Smithson’s great earthworks "Spiral Jetty." This counterclockwise spiral, 1500 feet (457.2 m) long and 15 feet (4.572 m) wide, is made with mud, salt crystals, and rocks in Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Find out why it is rarely seen and
  • What’s a spiral staircase? Ask people to describe one to you. Record how many people use their hands in a spiraling motion and how many do not. What other words are difficult to describe without using gestures? Try to construct a spiral staircase.
  • Start a log of spiral shapes found in nature, design, and history.