Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mother's Day Clay Flower Bowl

 I have been working on some fun art projects to teach for Mother's Day and this one gave me a bit of a challenge, but I think the Mom's will love having this fun flower bowl that their child created.
 The picture doesn't show the bowl shape very well, but the flower forms a shallow bowl perfect for Mom's small treasures.

I have seen this project before using traditional clay fired in a kiln.  I wanted to try and find a way to create this without using a kiln.  It's too big for Sculpey oven baked clay, and I tried the Model Magic Clay but it is too rubbery and flimsy.  I also tried a natural clay that said it was an air dry clay, but it fell apart when it was dry.  I finally tried Crayola Air Dry Clay in white.  I found it easy to work with and it was paintable too.

First I divided a portion of clay into 6 pieces and then rolled them all into balls...

Then I pinched them between my thumb and fingers into a flat round shape.  I pinched mine gently at the base to create a more petal like shape.  Try and make 5 fairly equal flower petals, but don't worry  much about perfection.  Creativity isn't about being perfect.

Next wet the edges of each petal with just a dab of water by dipping your finger into a bowl of water - be very careful because too much water will make the clay very sticky and impossible to work with.  Be careful not to press hard on the clay or it will stick to the table.  A good idea is to place a pillowcase on the table under the clay - the clay will wash out easily.
Now place the petals so that they are touching each other at the bottom edges and smooth them gently together.  This is essentially glueing them together so they won't fall apart when they are dry.  Probably the most important step in making your flower bowl.

Next I flattened the 6th clay ball for the middle of the flower.  
 I used another dab of water and placed it over the petals.  
 Then I picked up the flower and smoothed the back middle edges together for extra strength when it is dry.
You can leave the middle smooth or use a toothpick to create a texture.
Now place your finished flower gently (if you push hard you will make lines on the flower petals from the bowl) on top of the upside down paper bowl so that it will dry in the shape of a bowl.  After 2 or 3 days you can take it off and turn it over to dry more evenly.

The next step was the painting.  Any color combo can be used.  I used acrylic paint on both the top and the bottom of the flower and let it dry.  Then I used a clear paintable glitter for the middle and a little on the petals and let that dry.  The last step is a coat of clear acrylic gloss spray paint to give it a nice sheen.  
As long as you are careful with the bowl I think it will last forever.

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