In time for Valentine's Day, a heart shaped bowl. I made this clay using air dry stoneware clay.
Lately, I have been experimenting with different brands and types of clay. What can I say, I am a simply lover of all clays. To make this bowl, I used Amaco's Artists' Modeling Clay in white. It feels and behaves like ceramic clay, which is made of earthenware or stoneware. This clay is very strong. It is air dried and is not kiln fired.
Your pieces can take two days to two weeks to dry; depending on the size and thickness of your pieces. It's always wise to make your pieces hollow, just like you would ceramics. After my pieces completely dry, I put in the oven at 230 degrees F for about 30-45 mins , I feel that it makes the clay stronger. It does not bother the clay and it does not produce any fumes.
You can sand it or carve into when dry. I sanded this bowl, just a little, with fine sandpaper. Don't want to use sandpaper? You can smooth it out when dry by activating it with water. You can't reshape it though. However, if you smooth it enough when wet, there is no need to sand it. It may develop cracks once it dries. This is due to shrinkage, ceramics clay does the same. If this happens, just wet your finger and smooth it out. You're kinda burnishing it out.
When wet, you can stamp into it and use cutters and, if it's leather hard, you can carve designs (sgraffito). For this project , I used Makin's Clay mini heart cutter from the Makin's Clay Mini Geo set. I also textured it with Makin's Clay Texture Sheet, set F-Abstract sheet.
So to make this piece, I rolled out a slab (a flat sheet), then cut out the heart shape with a needle tool. Then I I cut out the mini hearts with the cutters and textured it. I then laid it down inside a real bowl. I let it dry for two days. Once it was completely dry, I put it in the oven for 30 mins-this step is optional.
Because the clay can be activated when wet; I highly recommend sealing it, with any kind of sealer (spray, polyurethane, varnish) before painting it. Brush on black acrylic paint, then brush on red acrylic paint. Do not paint the inside walls of the small heart with the red paint. I added a little bit of black paint with a fine paint brush along the outer edges of the little hearts and the bowl's edges. This adds dimension. Also, added red metallic wax, for added coolness. Finally sprayed it with Krylon Glossy sealer. Well, I hope you like my little heart shaped bowl.