Clay Petal Vase + Spring Craft Link Party

March 22, 2012

Have I ever mentioned I want to take up sculpture?  No, I mean it, I really do. I want to take a real class someday to study the art form, it intrigues and inspires me to no end. So as I was aimlessly browsing the aisles of the craft store the other day (a frequent habit) I came across some moldable stone clay and thought, hey why not give it a try – I’m adventurous like that with $10 to burn.

What started out as an experiment ended up as something I’m rather proud of, this pretty three dimensional clay petal vase that combines two loves of mine: white ceramic sculptural thingies and very big blooms.

diy clay petal vase cg

 

No I didn’t sculpt the vase (ha!  I wish!) that was a purchase from Michaels, but I did sculpt the large bloom mounted on the front out of the white stone clay with my very own fingers.  I’ll show you how.

First, grab yourself a pretty vase or vessel and some stone clay at a craft store.  I used the Premier version and was happy to find it’s very soft and silky to the touch.  Dare I say, sensual?  Hmm, maybe too strong a word, but it’s a really soft texture to work with.

vase plus clay

I pulled off a piece and started to roll it out with a small PlayDoh rolling pin I borrowed from the kids’ stash – that didn’t work very well so instead I used my palm to create a smooth flat surface, and learned the warmth of my hand worked like magic.

flatten with palm

 

Again experimenting, I tried different tools but found the back of a butter knife worked best for carving the petals.

cutting clay petals

 

Use the back of a steak knife (another experiment) to separate the clay petal from your work surface, then smooth with your finger you create little petals, like so.

finger petals

 

Pinching the petals at the base helps them curl up a little bit more.

pinch petals

At this moment, you’ve probably concluded that this girl needs a manicure but honestly who’s got time (I don’t) – but I welcome suggestions and I’ve read good things about shellac, is that right?  Is that what we’re doing these days?  Somebody fill me in.

Build your blooms, large or small, by layering your petals one by one.

form flower

 

Smooth any imperfections, then leave the finished bloom to air dry overnight (with this particular brand of clay).  Once it’s solid, use an adhesive like Liquid Nails to attach the bloom to the vase, but make sure you allow sufficient drying time for the adhesive to cure before standing the vase up.

drying bloom and liquid nails

 

And hey, there’s no need to do white on white – the dry clay is paintable so if you’re wanting color, then go for something more like this anemone vase by Anthropologie.  A little craft enamel paint topped with a coat of high gloss will get you a similar look.

white on white or color label

Practice with the technique and you’ll end up with your own keepsake clay petal vase.

white clay petal vase cg

 

Who knows what this new found love of stone clay will lead to – I know I’ll definitely try my hand at sculpting more little things if only to make whimsical little figurines with oddly painted faces to humor myself and my children. :)  For anyone who’s curious, that ridged ceramic urn is something I bought as a souvenir from my Joss & Main sale a few months ago, but you can find both a small and large version here.

Crafted something for your home for the spring season?  Link it up, can’t wait to see it!  Links open until Saturday March 25th at midnight.

Please be so kind as to visit the two links above yours and leave a comment!

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