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Talking Pictures Week 32: Biscuit Plate

Platter Earthenware Spanish 18th Century

Talking Pictures for Children 

Talking Pictures is an online resource for children and their adults based on artwork from the Crawford Art Gallery Collection. We will share creative prompts for happy talk and play every Wednesday.

Biscuits and kilns

This plate was made in Spain in the 18th century, which means it is over 200 years old. It is made with red clay which has been baked in an extremely hot oven. This extreme heat hardens the clay and bakes it, much like a biscuit. In fact, most pottery is baked in the kiln two times and the first time is called the ‘biscuit firing’.

Unlike biscuits, not all plates are meant for eating. A lot of highly decorated plates and tableware are made for display on shelves and walls. It wouldn’t be wise to eat a cheesy toastie on this ancient plate, although it would make a very special meal.

Simple colours and silhouettes

One of the striking features of this plate is the simple colour scheme. There is a white base with blue decorative designs on top. The potter has used silhouettes of animals and plants to decorate their plate.

Do you know what animal is in the centre of the plate? Can you find the insects? Now let’s look at some more silhouettes. Can you guess these animals from their shapes?


Make your own!

Now that we have practiced some interesting silhouettes let’s make some of our own tableware.

You will need:

  • Paper plates, old tea/coffee cups or disposable wooden cutlery
  • Paints or markers or pens
  • Pritt Stick
  • Paper
  • Scissors

Make sure to hold on to any takeaway cups because they are perfect for redecorating and reusing as pen holders or containers for small treasures.


Now things get a little more complicated. Using a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, can you draw the silhouettes of these animals and objects?

Objects and animals

Let’s begin!

If your base object already has writing on it that you don’t want, cut out some new paper and stick it over the writing.


Another way to cover this up is by cutting out some of the silhouettes we made earlier and sticking them directly on to the cup with your pritt stick.

You can continue pasting your silhouettes onto your new tableware. You can also add details with markers or paint or crayons. Here we have stuck with the same blue and white as the pottery above but bring in more colours if you want to!

Once you are finished you can fill with pencils, treasures or pennies!

Cups with treasures

Adios until next week!

Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

Talking Pictures: Dinner plate was devised by Annie Forrester

Please share:

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