Use a Yogurt Container as a Clay Template

by Iris Rodriguez

Want to make a decorative and functional bowl but do not know where to start? In this tutorial, I show you how to shape a color a bowl with Activa Self Hardening clay and color with Fireworks Sprays. I found that Fireworks plays well with porous or paper clay. The Activa clay is a nice porous clay that takes pigment inks and craft sprays nicely. I blended together Summer Sky, Danube Blue and Tuxedo Black in Fireworks Craft Sprays. Check it out!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 Hour to make the bowl, 2 days total for bowls to air dry

Directions


Step 1

For this project, I used Activa Plus clay. In case you’re not familiar with this clay, I will describe its properties. It is an air-dry clay. It is fine, moist, malleable, firm, but not hard. Keep the clay moist by spraying a little water, which also makes it softer. When the clay is wet, it is a beige like color, and when dry it turns off white color. The rate that it dries will depend on the thickness of the project and room temperature. The drier the room, the faster it dries. It is highly porous, which is nice, because it takes just about any kind of medium for coloring onto the clay, such as Imagine’s dye/pigment inks and craft sprays. For this project, I used Fireworks Craft Sprays. Use a wooden board or another non-porous surface to work with this clay.


Step 2

Condition the clay by wedging the clay or just rolling it around.


Step 3

Roll out a sheet of clay. You can use a pin roller or use a clay roller.


Step 4

The clay is usually very smooth when it’s rolled out. If it is not, then smooth out the clay with your fingers, rib tool or another smooth-edged tool.


Step 5

Now we will create a makeshift mold for the bowl shape. I used a small plastic yogurt container.


Step 6

The clay will stick to the plastic. Add newspaper and tape it down with masking tape. Masking tape is ideal; it’s porous and the clay will not stick to it. We could just use the masking tape, but the newspaper with the tape comes off easier as one unit.


Step 7

Drape the clay over the container.


Step 8

Smooth the clay onto the container. Cut the rim with a knife.


Step 9

Add texture to the clay with a jagged rib tool or another textured object.


Step 10

This is optional. Wrap hemp string around the bowl, to add additional texture. Allow the clay to dry for one day.


Step 11

At the start of day 2. The clay will be slightly moist. Because the clay will slightly shrink when it gets completely dry, you risk the clay cracking while the clay is wrapped around the container. Take out the mold while it’s moist. The container comes off easier while the clay is moist; you can maneuver the clay without it breaking or distorting. If you get cracks, wet your finger and smooth it out.


Step 12

Let the clay dry for another day. To determine if it’s dry, take a look at the natural clay color; it will turn an off-white when dry. Also, if the clay feels cold then it’s still wet.


Step 13

Cut off the help string.


Step 14

Spray one layer of the Summer Sky Fireworks! Craft Spray. Allow it dry completely. The color will dry lighter. If you add additional layers allow it dry completely before adding more Craft Spray. If you spray too much at once, it will begin to weaken or activate the clay. Also, by waiting for each layer to dry, you can determine the color intensity that you’ll want. Use a heating tool to speed up the drying process.


Step 15

Spray one layer of the Danube Fireworks! Craft Spray. Allow the clay to completely dry before adding more layers. Use a heating tool to speed up the drying process.


Step 16

Spray one layer of the Tuxedo Black Fireworks! Craft Spray. Allow the clay to completely dry before adding more layers. This spray will look very dark when wet, but when it dries you’ll get a Navy or Prussian Blue type color. Use a heating tool to speed up the drying process.


Step 17

Add On Point Glue. Adhere to the silver leaf. It is very important to seal the bowls. The clay is porous, therefore liquids can weaken or activate the clay. The sealer makes it look purposely finished. You can use a spray sealer like 3M/Krylon or brush on a water-based varnish or polyurethane.

Supplies

Imagine

Other
  • Activa Plus Self Hardening Clay – White
  • Modeling clay tools – smooth rib tool, knife, textured rib tool
  • Rolling pin
  • Silver Leaf
  • Hemp string
  • Wooden board
  • Sealer (spray, polyurethane)

See How to Make a Beautiful Beaded Bowl

by Iris Rodriguez

See How to Make a Beautiful Beaded Bowl

They say it’s the little things that matter. So one day, I was at my local craft store and noticed the beads were on clearance. How can I pass up this aisle, right? I saw these two large turquoise beads. I got inspired to wire wrap them into a small bowl. I made the bowl using Activa Self Hardening clay, a nice porous clay that takes pigment inks nicely. I decided to use inks that would complement the beads. I used Turquoise Gem, VersaMagic, a stunning turquoise that contrasts nicely with the Crimson Copper and Rocket Red Gold Brilliance inks.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 Hour to make the bowl, 2 days total for bowls to air dry

Directions


Step 1

For this project, I used Activa Plus clay. In case you’re not familiar with this clay, I will describe its properties. It is an air-dry clay. It is fine, moist, malleable, firm, but not hard. Keep the clay moist by spraying a little water, which also makes it softer. When the clay is wet, it is a beige like color, and when dry it turns off white color. The rate that it dries will depend on the thickness of the project and room temperature. The drier the room, the faster it dries. It is highly porous, which is nice, because it takes just about any kind of medium for coloring onto the clay, such as Imagine’s dye/pigment inks and craft sprays. For this project, I used pigment inks. Use a wooden board or another non-porous surface to work with this clay.


Step 2

Condition the clay by wedging the clay or just rolling it around. Roll out a sheet of clay. You can use a pin roller used or use a clay roller. The clay is usually very smooth when it’s rolled out. If it is not, then smooth out the clay with your fingers, rib tool or another smooth-edged tool.


Step 3

Create a template for the bowl. Make the template out of scratch paper. The template will guide you when cutting out the clay.


Step 4

Place the stencil over the clay and in a pouncing motion ink the clay with Turquoise Gem VersaMagic ink. Then ink on the Crimson Copper Brilliance ink. Add the Rocket Red Gold Brilliance ink over the Crimson Copper. If you do not have a stencil, you can cut shapes out of paper and place over the clay. The moisture of the clay keeps the paper in place.


Step 5

Place the template over the clay and cut out the shape. Ensure that you work on the wooden board when cutting out the clay. DO NOT use the craft mat to cut.


Step 6

Place the bead on the end. Place the circle stencil over the bead and find a circle that fits the bead.


Step 7

Using the stencil as a guide, cut out the shapes. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the other side. Ensure that you work on the wooden board when cutting out the clay. DO NOT use the craft mat to cut.


Step 8

Place the clay bowl into a real bowl or other object and allow it dry for one day. It will take on the shape of the object.


Step 9

At the start of day 2. The clay will be slightly moist. Perfect time for drilling the holes. If the clay is completely dry, and you try drilling, you risk the clay breaking. Use a small drill bit and manually drill the holes. Ensure that the wire will fit through the holes. Do not use a power drill; it’s overkill and the clay is too delicate. Wipe off the clay burrs with a brush. Let the clay dry for another day. No need to put it back in the real bowl. At this point, the shape will stay in place. To determine if it’s dry, take a look at the natural clay color; it will turn an off-white when dry. Also, if the clay feels cold then it’s still wet. It is very important to seal the bowls. The clay is porous, therefore liquids can weaken or activate the clay. The sealer makes it look purposely finished. You can use a spray sealers like 3M/Krylon or brush on a water-based varnish or polyurethane.


Step 10

Now that the bowl is completely dry. Time to embellish it. You will need beads, plyers and 20 gauge copper wire.


Step 11

Cut out about 15 inches worth of wire. Add the bead to the wire, take it to the center of the wire.


Step 12

Wrap the wire over and under the edge of the bowl.


Step 13

Wrap the wire three times to secure the ends. Cut the wire.


Step 14

Now you have you finished your decorative bowl.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Activa Plus Self Hardening Clay – White
  • Modeling clay tools – rib tool, knife or needle tool
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden board
  • Large Beads
  • 20 Gauge copper wire
  • Stencils
  • Sealer (spray, polyurethane)

Show Your Love With a Mixed Media Wall Hanging

by Iris Rodriguez

Wooden wall hanging with a your are loved sentiment on a flying clay heart made with Tsukineko and Imagine color products.

This “You are Loved” stamp inspired this whole piece. Made me think of those around us that you love and think about every day. Then you think if they are happy, sad or going through a tough time. You so badly want them to know that no matter what is going on, they are loved. Send them a reminder this with wall hanging made using a wooden substrate with embellishments. Wanted to make a custom-made heart to fit the stamp; made it from polymer clay. The wooden substrate is treated with Walnut inks. Check out how this project is made.

Skill: Advanced
Time: 1.5 Hours

Directions


Step 1

Begin by selecting wooden untreated cradled board (shadowbox like frame) or other substrate that is made of untreated but finished wood.


Step 2

Using the palette knife and Iridescent Turquoise Creative medium stencil a background onto the board. On a light surface, the Creative Medium appears as an almost translucent off white. Allow the medium to completely dry.


Step 3

Spray on a layer of the Terra Cotta Walnut Ink, completely covering the substrate. Allow this layer to completely dry. Spray the Walnut Ink on random sections. Allow this layer to completely dry.


Step 4

To protect the ink from humidity in the wood, seal substrate with Varathane Polyurethane by brushing on a thin layer. One layer will suffice. It has a nice soft finish and will not alter the surface and comes in matte, satin and gloss.


Step 5

While the substrate dries, work on the embellishments. Begin by working on the heart. Stamp the sentiment on a plain piece of cardstock paper.


Step 6

Draw a heart shape. Do not worry if it’s not perfect; we’ll work on that later. This so you get an idea how big the heart will be.


Step 7

Fold the paper down the center of the heart. Cut along the heart line. You will end up with an even heart shape and a template to cut out the clay.


Step 8

Take the clay out of the package. Condition the clay in a pasta machine or use a roller. Roll out a sheet of clay to about 4 mm.


Step 9

Place the template over the clay and cut out the clay using a clay needle tool or knife. An alternative to using a template is to sculpt the heart or use a heart shaped cutter.


Step 10

Smooth out the edges and any other areas.


Step 11

Ink the stamp using Nocturne VersaFine CLAIR and stamp into the clay. Do use an acrylic block. Before stamping, clean up any ink that may have gotten onto outside the image, this will stain the clay. Press down evenly and firmly into the clay with your fingers. Ensure that your stamp is deep. Pigment and StazOn inks work best on polymer clay. If you get ink outside the stamped image, clean up with fingers right away or dab with a clean cloth into a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol and clean the clay. Use it sparingly, if you use too much, it makes the clay soft and sticky.Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the package.


Step 12

Ink the heart with the Ruby Red Delicata and ink the edges with the Tuxedo Black Memento Luxe ink. It really makes the heart vibrant and gives a sense of dimension. Heat set the ink with a heating tool or throw back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Seal the heart using a polymer clay sealer or polyurethane, the same one used to seal the substrate.


Step 13

Add the chipboard or other embellishments. Figure out placement; cut the chipboard to ensure fit.


Step 14

Color the chipboard pieces using white gesso using a sponge. The gesso will allow the ink to better adhere, plus you’ll get the inks true colors.


Step 15

Ink the butterfly wings using the Turquoise Gem VersaMagic ink. Heat set with a heating tool. Then ink with the Golden Glitz Delicata ink. Heat set with a heating tool. Add two layers of the Shimmer irRESISTible Pico Embellisher. This gives the wings dimension.


Step 16

Ink the rest of the chipboard embellishments using the Rocket Red Gold Brilliance ink. Heat set with a heating tool. Then ink with the Golden Glitz Delicata ink. Heat set the ink with a heating tool. By adding a darker, reddish color as a foundation really make the gold stand out. In the end, you will see more gold. Add two layers of the Gold irRESISTible Pico Embellisher. This gives the embellishment dimension.
All the pieces are done. Simply glue the pieces onto the substrate.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Ampersand cradled wood board – 6×6 inches
  • Crackerbox and Suzy Stamps – You are Loved
  • Creative Embellishments chipboards – Circle Doodles frames; Flourish #12; Monarch Butterfly set
  • Sculpey Souffle – Cherry Pie (red)
  • Clay tools – roller, needle tool, knife
  • Varathane (indoor water based Polyurethane)

Create Your Own Embellishments

Innovative Embellishments
by Mary Prasad

2016 Artist in Residence, Mary Prasad, shows you how to make your own custom embellishments with innovative designs and details.