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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Materials  >  Ceramics
Interactive resource

Going down and burning up

Bring the Hubble Telescope back to Earth for repairs. Build a heat shield to protect the space telescope from burning up. Choose a material that will not easily burn, melt or transfer heat.


French souvenir doll with fishing net and basket of mussels, 1890-1900

This is a female doll with a fishing net and a basket of mussels. It was probably made to be a souvenir of a French coastal town, and would have been intended for display rather than play. It was made in France from bisque (unglazed pottery), wood, cotton, human hair and wool between 1880 and 1900. The body and legs are ...


Moorcroft vase, 1949-73

This is an earthenware vase made in England by William Moorcroft at some time between 1949 and 1973. It features a smooth upright rim and bulbous sides, a painted blue flowerhead with green leaves on each side. It is covered with a glossy blue glaze. The vase is 9.0 cm wide and 8.0 cm high.


Vegemite jar, 1923-28

This is an amber-coloured glass jar, cylindrical in form but slightly tapering from the base to the neck. The jar is both lipped and footed. It is missing the lid and the label. Marks on the underside show 'FRED WALKER and Co. PTY LTD'. The jar measures 7.2 cm height x 4.7 cm diameter.



This is an information sheet on australites, a dark, glassy type of tektite. 


Toy teacup, c1880-1900

This is a glazed ceramic toy teacup. It measures 30 mm (length) x 30 mm (width) x 28 mm (height). It was excavated in 1988 in part of a district known as 'Little Lon', Melbourne. It would have been in use in about 1880-1900.

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: What's it made of?

This comprehensive teacher resource explores the properties of materials of objects in the school and classroom environment through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Senses are used to explore and describe unseen objects, comparisons are made of objects of different materials and objects are classified ...

Interactive resource

Life without chemistry

Rebuild everyday products in a city. Test the properties of industrial materials. Choose materials suited to making items such as cars, buildings and clothing.

Interactive resource

Skateboard race [Windows version]

Help a teenager to fit new wheels for his skateboard. Test the strength and hardness of materials such as glass, aluminium and polyurethane. Choose the most suitable material.


Paving patterns - mathematics activities

The photograph shows paving laid in a pattern that 'grows' rather than repeats - it has just two repeating elements. Within its border of small square tiles, it uses tiles of three different colours, and two different sizes. Working out how many of each tile is needed for a given large area requires the identification of ...


Islamic tiling patterns - mathematics activities

This photograph of Islamic tiling suggests descriptions and explorations of the symmetry as well as the irregularity (or 'imperfection') deliberately included in accordance with traditional Islamic craftsmanship. Islamic tradition does not encourage pictorial representations in artwork so beautiful tiling patterns evolved. ...


Woman laying pavers, 1975

This is a colour photograph of a woman laying pavers in front of a building's access ramp in 1975.


'Teacup ballet', 1935

This is a black-and-white photograph, measuring 35.4 cm x 28.4 cm, that was made by Olive Cotton (1911-2003) in 1935. It consists of a group of six cups and saucers that have been carefully arranged in an asymmetrical pattern on a flat surface. The items have a glossy surface and are slightly translucent, which suggests ...


St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, 1884-1917

This is a black-and-white photograph from a silver gelatin dry-plate glass negative, produced by the studio of Charles Kerry and Co, Sydney. It shows an interior view of the nave of St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, looking eastwards towards the stained-glass windows. The congregational area is in the foreground of the image. ...


'The sisters', 1954

This is a large ceramic sculpture made from earthenware clay, measuring 95.5 cm x 50.0 cm x 34.0 cm. Made in 1954 by Arthur Boyd (1920-99), the work consists of two standing figures that are hugging each other with long spindly arms. Both figures, which are joined at the midsection, have strangely distorted heads, exposed ...


Shark vase, 1987

This is an earthenware clay sculptural vase, made in 1987 by Lorraine Jenyns (1945-). Measuring 36 cm x 23 cm x 20 cm, the vase is in the shape of a shark's head that is set on a flat base with the head pointing upwards. The shark's mouth is gaping wide open to reveal two rows of shiny white pointed teeth. One small button-like ...


'Tattooed lady', 1974

This is a painted clay sculpture made in 1974 by Bert Flugelman (1923-). Measuring 116 cm x 84 cm x 46 cm, the work is in the shape a figure of a nude woman standing with her hands on her hips and staring straight ahead. The figure is truncated just above the knees and at the upper part of the head. The proportions of the ...


'Thaal the black eagle, Mal the red eagle', 1994

This is an earthenware clay pot made in 1994 by Thancoupie (1937-). Measuring 29 cm (height) x 32 cm (diameter), the pot is almost spherical with a small, irregular opening at the top. It is covered with bold decorative designs that have been carved into the surface as thick dark lines set against the off-white colour of ...


Brick veneer house construction, 2001 - asset 1

This is a 2001 colour photograph of a typical brick veneer 'project home' in a then new Australian suburb on the south coast of New South Wales. The featured house is two-storeyed and has a double roller-door garage and a tiled roof. The house is set well back on the block to allow for a large front lawn.


Brick veneer house construction, 2001 - asset 2

This is a colour photograph showing the incomplete construction of the corner of a brick veneer house being built on the south coast of New South Wales in 2001. A wall of bricks has been partially laid against a heavy timber frame. A blue-grey strip of damp-proof membrane has been tacked onto the timber so that it sits ...