Air dry clay for absolute beginners - part one

Air dry clay for absolute beginners – part one

I used to absolutely love playing with clay as a kid. I don’t think anything I made has really stood the test of time, but the thought and determination was definitely there. Picture 8 year old me with full fringe and pigtails trying to make a ridiculously intricate jewellery box for my mum with no real clue of how to put a box together. Even though I’ve had virtually zero practise with any form of clay since, my inner stubborn know it all is sure the results will be so much better now I’m nearly 30. Obviously, you develop skills just by flicking through Pinterest not by trial, error and practice.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting back into clay for a while, but everything I had seen online was over £10 and for once I’ve been trying to watch the pennies. Then The Works opened right over the road from work. My friend had never experienced the joys of that place and actually laughed at me when I said I wanted to go in, but I managed to convert her with super cheap canvases. Anyone who hasn’t been and has a shop nearby needs to go. I’m not sponsored, just obsessed.

Back to the point. £4. It would have been rude to walk away without it.

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The basic plan was coasters and textures. Coasters because I have a severe lack of them in my house and textures because pushing things into other things is (in my opinion) the best tactic for any project. I set myself a limit of 5 minutes to run around and find anything that could be useful. A mini rolling pin, lace, screws, bottle cap, cheap clay tools from years ago, and a few ribbons.

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My method was very simple, roll (my clever little rolling pin has two bands that determine the thickness of what you roll so I started with the thicker one and then went down to the thinner), make sure there is enough surface to trace around the square mold, press things in, roll again, cut out, roughly smooth the edges. The last point is a bit of a contradiction, I basically mean getting rid of the wispy bits but not being too precious about it.

On reflection, cardboard probably wasn’t the best choice as a base. a couple of rolls in and my surface was starting to sag ever so slightly. Not a huge issue but I think it may have left me with slightly different thicknesses. The corrugated texture also shows through on the back side, not a major issue but something to bear in mind. Things that you can put textures into will take patterns on both sides, duh.

Aside from those little points, I have really enjoyed myself and don’t hate what I have come out with. It’s now waiting time to see how they dry and whether I have actually just made a whole load of nothing or some potentially cute coasters for my wine.

Stay tuned!

Much love!

Hannah

xxx

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