Thursday, July 26, 2012

Clay Flowers

Clay Flowers
Since my last post, I've finished up a few projects, been working on some quilt repairs, put together my photography portfolio, and reorganized my crafts storage area. I have all the pictures ready, I just have to find a time to sit down and type out the descriptions of what I've been working on. I'm trying to scratch as many things off my to do list as I can before school starts for all of us, including me.

My sister came over and made a cardboard castle perfect for our Princess Fairies (I'll be posting that soon, also. Need to take a few final pictures.) Our Friday craft nights are becoming a tradition.

Clay Crafting

In the meantime, I've been teaching a class at our church on clay crafting. I'll be the first to admit, clay is not my primary medium. I don't have much experience with it and I certainly didn't feel qualified to teach a class about it. Still, I volunteered. The first session lasted four weeks. We did coasters, spiral boxes with lids, and wind chimes. We learned through trial and error that our cheap air dry clay was too crumbly after drying. One poor girl barely touched her box on the way out and it fell apart.


We just finished our third week of session 2 and things seem to be going more smoothly. The first week we made crosses from air dry clay and slugs (based on Dreamwork's Flushed Away) from non-hardening clay. I had clay all over my hands, so no pictures. But the slugs were adorable, each one had a different personality. Some of the kids got creative and added stripes, spots, tail ridges, etc. I believe the Flushed Away DVD has a tutorial on how to make the slugs among the special features.

No, this isn't one of the kids' slugs. It's mine. Of course, the poor thing has been dropped, left behind at the church, and rescued. Then it came home where a certain five-year-old has been poking it with toothpicks, accidentally knocked out its tongue, reattached said tongue, and changed the facial expression three times. Poor slug!

Clay Flowers

I asked my students what they'd like to learn how to make. Several of them said flowers (including the boys, which surprised me). I didn't know the first thing about making clay flowers. I found some great tutorials online which I'll share with you here.

Rose: Digikids Arts and Crafts Rose Tutorial

Daisy and Zinnia: Modified from Scrapscene Polymer Clay Flowers

Lily: Pedro Ramirez How to Make a Polymer Clay Lily

I haven't tried the lily yet, but it looks amazing. The others turned out pretty well. The kids loved this project and learned quite a bit about working with clay. The roses are my favorite by far. The kids were having a little trouble mastering it, but looking at their projects, you can definitely tell which flowers are roses and which are daisies.

From the Scrapscene Tutorial we learned our nifty trick of the day: use baby powder on your mold to keep the clay from getting stuck.

Here are the kids' creations after they came out of the oven. Such artistic kids! The yellow squiggles on the right of the lower picture are slugs made by my daughter from the leftover scraps. 


Teddy Bear and Heart

The tiny teddy bear and heart are my creations. To make the heart, roll a small piece of clay into a ball. Pinch one end to make a teardrop shape. Use a toothpick (or your nail) to make the indention in the other end.

To make the teddy bear, roll a ball just a little larger than the size of a pea. Roll a second ball about the size of a pea and attach it to the top of the first ball. Roll two balls to 1/4" diameter. Attach these at the bottom of the larger ball as legs. Roll three balls to just larger than 1/8" diameter. Attach one on each side of the body for arms. Attach the third on the face for the muzzle. Roll three more balls, about 1/8" diameter. Attach one to the back side near the bottom for a tail. Carefully flatten the other two and attach on either side of the head for the ears. Use a toothpick to fill in facial features. Bake according to package directions.

Clay Crafting Week 3

This week, we made cups/bowls by wrapping coils of clay around flowerpots. We also made erasers using a kit. To solve the problem of kids fighting over colors, we had them all make rainbows. The boys opted to make lollipops instead. One boy added a face to his.

So far, the kids are enjoying the class and I'm liking playing with a new medium. I will probably attempt the lilies and some of the other gorgeous clay flowers I've found online at some point. For now, on to the next thing on my list!

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