I'm back! May was one of the craziest months I've ever had, but crazy in a good way. I can't wait to unveil the fall projects I've been working on. But really, who wants to think about fall when there's summer to enjoy? At any rate, I thought I'd return with a project I did for my column in the July issue of Family Circle.
I've been obsessed with texture for the longest while now, which led to the lace decoupaged containers and then to these clay projects. I won't hesitate to tell you they were inspired by high-end pieces of pottery crafted by true artists. And while these inexpensive versions will never have the nuance and subtlety that finely crafted pottery has, they satisfy me just the same - both in the making of them and the finished result.
This was only my second time working with clay (and the first time was kid-oriented, so this was an entirely new approach for me). I was able to make about fifteen pieces in one day. Drying time took anywhere from one to two days and sanding, glazing, and varnishing was quick. It was fun, rather than tedious, and very addictive once I got started.
Make a set of coasters or nesting bowls as a weekend house gift, make party favors for summer gatherings, or place them around your house as handy catchalls. It's also a good activity to do with your kids (my 4 year-old loved making the walnuts and pressing things into the clay). But keep in mind that these pieces aren't food safe and while varnish makes them water resistant, they aren't fully waterproof, so clean them when necessary with a damp cloth.
See the July issue of Family Circle for directions or get them at Family Circle.com.
Glazed & Varnished:
Examples of items to use for texture:
Leaves (sturdy, heavily veined leaves work best - fig leaves shown here)
Stiff, textured lace trim or vinyl lace (I used a vinyl lace tablecloth on some designs)
Plastic Texture Mats (such as the wood pattern shown) or Texture Wheels
Honeycomb Foundations (from beehive supply companies)
Pasta or Pastry cutters to create decorative, pinking style edges
Candy or cookie molds (I used two cookie molds to make the walnuts)
Basic Supplies -
DAS Air-Dry Clay (found at Michaels)
Sculpey Clay Mat and acrylic roller (found at Michaels)
Americana Glazing Medium (found at Michaels)
Ceramcoat Interior Varnish (found at Michaels)
Acrylic craft paints found at all craft stores
Textural Elements -
**UPDATE: Click here to see clay dishes imprinted with evergreens.