To make the cups, start by rolling out a slab of clay that is about 10" x 5" long and about 3/8th's of an inch thick. You can give students a template for cutting out the basic rectangle or let them decide on the size. For these smaller cups, I cut out an arced rectangle that is about 8" long on the high side and 6" long on the bottom side x 2" tall. The short edges of the rectangle need to be scratched and then it is wrapped up into a cylinder, attaching the edges together. To create the bottom, you'll need another slab of clay. If you have enough clay left over from your rectangle, use that, if not re-roll out all of your scrap pieces of clay. Then take the cylinder and put it on top of the slab of clay and using a pointy tool or a knife, trace around the perimeter of the cylinder to get the exact size needed for the cup. Once it's cut out, go ahead and scratch-to-attach it on, I find it's easier to do this when the cup is upside down or if you put on hand on the inside of the cylinder and connect it with the other hand on the outside. HINT: Make sure that you don't leave any holes when your attaching the parts of the cylinder together--your tea will leak out!! This creates a basic cup shape which could be used for a variety of projects but since we're making tea cups, the next step is to add a handle.
Using the extra clay that you have, roll out a coil of clay that is about as thick as a pencil. Fold the top of the coil over so that from the side it looks like half of a heart shape. Scratch-to-attach the top and bottom of the heart shape and the top and bottom of your cup. Press the handle on using your fingers on the inside and outside of your cup making sure it's secure. (Don't pick it up by the handle until its fired!!)
Your cup is complete and you're ready to decorate with textures. You can use the extra pieces of clay to create strips or polka dots to add on (remember to scratch-to-attach!) or you can use tools to push in the texture. Be sure to cover the entire surface of your cups.