New This Month

Project

Air-Dry Clay Vase

These terra-cotta vases have a warm and organic design. You won't have to worry about perfection because the uneven surface gives this clay vase a natural charm.

clay vases

Photography: Anusha Rajeswaran

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This idea comes from our friend Anusha Rajeswaran of Fish and Bull.

materials

  • Air dry clay (Pictured: Craft Smart Natural Clay, in Terra Cotta, $13.49 for 10 lbs., michaels.com.)

  • Craft knife

  • Wax paper

  • Sponge

  • Rolling pin

  • Glass bottle for mold

  • Clay carving tools (optional)

steps

  1. Knead a handful of clay into a small tennis ball sized sphere. On wax paper, roll out clay into a disc about 1/4-inch thick. (Tip: Roll in different directions to ensure that it is even thickness.)

    sculptural clay vase
  2. Using a craft knife, carve the clay into a rectangular piece roughly the circumference of the glass bottle and bend it gently around the bottle. (Tip: Clay will stick to glass if pressed against the surface, so use a light hand in working with clay on the bottle mold.) Add strips of clay to form the bottom portion of the vase, using your finger to smooth the joints. Add another strip to create a top lip. Use your finger gently to smooth the surface, join the creases, and use a small amount to wet clay along the seams. Use dampened sponge to smooth uneven surfaces.

    sculptural clay vase
  3. From the bottom opening, gently wriggle the glass bottle out of the clay vase. Patch up any flaws with more clay. Create a bottom for the vase by sitting it on top of a clay slab. Cut around the vase using craft knife and smooth the seams together. (Optional: Use clay carving tools to carve patterns and designs into its surface.) Allow vase to dry completely about 48 to 72 hours before using.

    sculptural clay vasep

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