Clay Crafts: Basic Techniques
Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 13 2004
Use a rolling pin to flatten several pieces of different-colored clay into sheets (we used four). Stack; trim to form a rectangle. With a plastic knife, cut into slices; lay them on their sides so they touch (stripes facing up). Flatten with rolling pin to desired thickness. Cut out your shapes with a small cookie cutter.
Use a rolling pin to flatten two pieces of different-colored clay into sheets. (If you like, you could use three pieces of different-colored clay.) Stack; trim to form a rectangle. Roll into a log. Roll again between your palms to desired thickness (the rolling will also help the sheets of clay stick together better). With a plastic knife, cut log into slices.
Making a Bull's Eye
Roll a piece of clay into a log between your palms. Use a rolling pin to flatten a piece of different-colored clay into a sheet; trim to form a rectangle (the length should be the same as the log's). Put log on sheet, then roll together so that the sheet wraps around the log. Roll again between your palms. With a plastic knife, cut into slices.
Making Paper Clips
Roll a small piece of clay into a ball; add tiny clay pieces to create a design. With your thumb, flatten into a disk. Flatten a smaller clay ball into another disk. Place disk with design face down; press the top of a paper clip into the disk's back; press the other disk on top, sandwiching the paper clip in between.
To create a face shape, roll a small piece of clay into a ball; with your thumb, flatten into a disk. Make tiny clay balls for eyes and nose and a log for mouth. Arrange pieces, and press onto a clay ball. Roll ball to smooth out. swirls Roll clay into a thin strand, wrap around a clay ball, and press. Roll ball to smooth out.
Roll clay into a thin strand. Cut into small pieces, then roll the pieces into balls. Arrange pieces, and press onto a clay ball. Roll ball to smooth out.
For the petals of the flower, make five small white clay balls; make a yellow ball to use as the center of the flower. Arrange pieces, and press onto a clay ball. Roll ball to smooth out surface.
Making Round Beads
Clay balls can flatten if they're set down inside a baking dish. To keep them from touching the bottom of the dish, use a paper-clip skewer. Straighten a paper clip; slide beads onto it, leaving space in between so they're not touching one another. Balance the skewer across the top of a ramekin or the cup of a muffin tin.
After you've created your design on a ball, flatten the ball into a disk with your thumb. Place disk face down; press the top of a thumbtack onto the disk's back. Fold the disk's edges gently over the head of the pin and cover so that the underside is no longer visible.