Greece: make an Ancient Greek Vase

Pottery was important in Ancient Greece because it was used for storage. There were ‘vases’ (storage vessels) in many different shapes and sizes, and each had a special purpose – to store wine, olive oil, water, grain, and more! Pots were also used in the way we use coffins today. These were known as funeral pots.The pottery of Ancient Greece is a wonderful source of knowledge for historians because the artwork on the pottery reflects Ancient Greek society. Much of the artwork on Ancient Greek vases tell stories of their life and culture.

  • An amphora was used for holding oil, wine, milk or grain.

  • A volute krater was used for mixing water and wine during special celebrations.

The vases were made with a red clay. Older pots were decorated black with a red background, but from the 5th century BCE onwards, the pots often had a black background with red figures.

The designs on Greek pottery were very beautiful. Often simple geometric designs were used to decorate the pottery. But the designs on Ancient Greek pottery also told a story. There were vases that told the story of daily life. There were also vases that told the stories of the Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece – retelling epic adventures.

For this activity you are going to create a piece of art inspired by the amazing pottery of the Ancient Greeks!

You will need:


  1. Print a copy of the Greek Vases printable. We’ve provided a selection of vases for you to choose from.

  2. Paint the vase a red-brown colour. Allow time to dry

  3. Using your black sharpie, add patterns and drawings to your vase. Perhaps you’d like to use a story from Greek mythology, or a story of your own daily life.

  4. Cut the vase out and put it on display.

Click to download the Greece Vase Activity

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