Line Art Jewellery Dish Made from Air Dry Clay
Of late, there has been a sense of disorder and confusion in the world, so much is out of our control. Our personal space and home environment is one area that we can work to create calm, balance and a sense of order.
Keeping a clutter free space can be instrumental in helping to manage stress, reduce anxiety and create a tranquil environment, leaving the weight of the world at the door. Having a place for everything makes finding things easier and, ultimately, it’s one less thing to worry about. However, it’s not always easy to find solutions for storage and organisation that fit your personal needs or the “look and feel” of your space. This tutorial will enable you to make the perfect piece tailored to your requirements with the added therapeutic value of playing with clay!
What You Need
What You Will Need
- 500g Block of Air-Dry Clay (colour of your Choice)
- Rolling Pin
- Clay Extruder
- Bowl of Water
- Line Drawing of Your Choice. Flip the image horizontally if you require a specific direction as you will be laying the image down in reverse. It is recommended to select a simple image.
- Clean Paint Brush
- Lint Free Cloth
Unlike Polymer Clay, Air Dry Clay requires little to no prep before working with. It is an easy and fun medium suitable for children’s projects but also equally adequate for more advanced applications.
After opening your clay, decide how big you would like your dish to be. It is recommended to keep Air Dry Clay to a min of ¼ inch or roughly 7mm thick. Roll out your clay with a rolling pin to the desired shape and thickness. You can use a blade to cut and shape your piece if required.
Roll Out The Clay
To create a lip around the edge of the dish, gently roll the clay and work it towards the centre of your piece. Using wet fingers to shape and smooth the clay. Be mindful not to add too much water as this can make the clay difficult to work with and cause cracks when drying. It will also extend the drying time of your piece. If you have too much water on your piece gently dab it up using a lint free, dry cloth.
Fingerprints or surface imperfections can be gently smoothed away with a clean paintbrush and water.
Once you have the desired shape for your dish set it aside to begin working on the Line Art detail.
Jewellery Dish Base
Line Art Detail
A Clay Extruder has been used for this tutorial however, if you do not have one available you can roll out the required stands with your hands.
Extrude or shape your clay into the desired thickness and length for the Line Art image you are referencing.
Using the clay stands trace the outline of your image on top of the paper. Using the paper as a base gently flip the line art piece onto the clay base. Press down gently to embed the stands into the base. Minimal pressure is required as the clay will be susceptible to distortion.
Tracing The Line Art Image
Once you have added your line art shape to the base, you can gently work out any joins, cracks or imperfections along the clay stand using your fingers and or a paint brush and water.
Adding The Line Art Detail To The Base
The Drying Process
The total time for the drying process will be recommended in the brand guidelines as each make of clay can have different recommendations. However, on average 24 – 48hrs is recommended for total drying time.
After allowing your piece a couple of hours drying time, you can come back and rework areas that may require some attention. This can be done using your fingers or if available clay/sculpting tools (any smooth preferably round tool will work) and water. Be mindful not to add too much water as this can cause cracks in the surface of your clay and will also extend the drying time.
Working Out Surface Imperfections
Working with slightly dryer clay will give you more control over shaping as the clay will be firmer and will hold its shape more easily.
Through the drying process you may find cracks developing in your piece, this is common with Air Dry Clay and can be corrected using a “Slip”.
Cracks Forming During the Drying Process
What is a Slip and How to Use it?
Making a Slip
A “Slip” is watered down clay paste. It can be used to fill in cracks and gaps, and when used in conjunction with “Scoring” it will allow clay pieces to be joined together.
Using a small amount of clay, add some water until you have a paste like consistency. You can now fill in any gaps or cracks along your piece using your fingers or another sculpting tool. Indentations or areas which may need filling can also be filled with a slip. Be mindful not to “overwork” your piece as this will extend your overall drying time.
The organic nature of Air Dry Clay is the beauty of the medium. The aim is not for your finished piece to be perfectly smooth and consistent – it is perfect in its imperfection!
Your Finished Piece
Once your piece has dried completely you can use acrylic paint to further personalise your piece. Air Dry Clay will have a natural matt like finish. If you wish to glaze your piece for a gloss or satin finish it is recommended to use an acrylic varnish or Air Dry Glaze – for example DecoArt Triple Thick Glaze.
Sealing your piece is only necessary to protect any acrylic paint from wearing or fading. ModPodge Acrylic Sealer can be used to help protect your piece as well as provide a water-resistant barrier.
- Keep your clay wrapped up in a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out or cracking.
- During the drying process, allow your piece as much exposure to air as possible.
- Turn your piece every few hours to allow it to dry more evenly.
- To colour your clay, add food colouring, acrylic or watercolour paint and kneed it in until you have a consistent colour throughout.
- A fine grit sandpaper can be used to smooth the surface of your dried piece.
You now have the perfect storage solution for your everyday jewellery pieces. This versatile project can be adjusted to suit other areas, such as your desk or front entry “drop zone”, helping to keep your space organised and clutter free!