1,2,3... EASY TECH­NIQUES FOR CLAY

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Clay Craft -

air-dry­ing clay is a ver­sa­tile prod­uct that can be used in many craft projects. It doesn’t need to be heated, un­like tra­di­tional clays that need to be fired in a kiln at a very high tem­per­a­ture, or poly­mer clays that need to be heated in an oven to cure. This type of ma­te­rial hard­ens and cures at nor­mal room tem­per­a­ture and, once dry, it can be painted or dec­o­rated in a va­ri­ety of ways.

GEN­ERAL TOOLS

Rolling pin; nat­u­ral sponge; sharp knife; fine sand­pa­per; acrylic paints; old credit card; craft knife; di­a­mond cut­ter set; sculpt­ing tools for shap­ing and scrap­ing

CUT­TING SHAPES

Here’s how

STEP 1 Work­ing on a flat, clean sur­face, roll the clay out to the thick­ness you re­quire. If you find the clay is dry or crack­ing, use your hand to driz­zle a lit­tle wa­ter over the clay and rub it lightly on the sur­face.

STEP 2 De­ter­mine how many shapes you need to cut and start cut­ting from the outer edge in. You can use a craft knife, tem­plate or bis­cuit cut­ter to cre­ate your shape. Care­fully lift your cut shape and lay it flat to dry. Once dry, if the edges are a lit­tle rough or un­even, you can use sand­pa­per and care­fully sand the dried clay smooth.

COLOUR­ING

Here’s how

STEP 1 Knead white clay un­til it is mal­leable, roll into a ball. Poke your thumb into the top of the ball, to cre­ate an in­dent.

STEP 2 Fill the in­dent with the acrylic paint colour of your choice. You may find you will need to add ex­tra paint if you want a stronger colour. Pull the clay and fold it over the acrylic paint. Keep knead­ing and fold­ing the clay un­til the colour is even and well mixed into the clay.

STEP 3 If you find the clay is dry or the colour is still mar­bled, add a dab of wa­ter and knead again un­til you have the de­sired colour and ef­fect.

IMPRINTING

Here’s how

STEP 1 Roll out the clay and cre­ate de­sired shape/size, here we have a square. If you find the sur­face too dry to work with and it is crack­ing, lightly rub wa­ter on top.

STEP 2 Use an ob­ject or shape that you would like for in­dent­ing.

STEP 3 Care­fully push down onto the clay, be­ing care­ful not to go all the way through to the other side or to warp the shape.

JOIN­ING SEC­TIONS

Here’s how

STEP 1 Join­ing clay re­quires 2 over­lap­ping pieces to be­come one and have an in­vis­i­ble join. For this project we are us­ing a glass bot­tle to mould a shape. Roll your clay flat with a rolling pin and a lit­tle wa­ter to keep clay moist.

STEP 2 Cover bot­tle in cling wrap, then grease sur­face with oil. Wrap clay over the top.

STEP 3 Us­ing an old credit card, ap­ply slight pres­sure to smooth over­lap­ping pieces of clay un­til even and join is no longer vis­i­ble. Use wet fin­gers to fin­ish off any messy in­dents.

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