Hand Built Clay Flower and Heart Box

 

Products Used

Bisque
  • MB-1451 Classic Heart Box
Color
  • FN-212 Blue Diamond, FN-221 Milk Glass White

Decorating Accessories

  • CB-406 Pointed Round, CB-604 #4 Soft Fan, BT-910 Synthetic Sponge, Cone 04-05 Low Fire White Clay, Needle/Wire Brush Tool, Clean Up Tool

Miscellaneous Accessories

  • Pencil, Plastic Cups, Small Rolling Pin, Plaster Bat/Canvas Material, Wire Clay Cutting Tool, Paper Towels, Epoxy-type Glue

 

wp.heart box clay Flower
Designer: William Pulse
 
 

Instructions

  1. Start by slicing off a wedge of clay about ¾” thick from a block of Cone 04-05 Low-fire White Clay using the Wire Clay Cutting Tool. Pinch off some bits of the clay into small pieces and place into a plastic cup and add some water to make a thick slurry/glue for assembling the flower later.
  2. Use the Small Rolling Pin to flatten the clay to a thickness of 1/8” on a Plaster Bat/Canvas Material.
  3. Using the Needle or Clean Up tool to cut a circle about 2 ¼” in diameter. Use a wet finger to smooth and round off the edge. 
  4. Cut out about 15-18 tear drop shapes about 1-1 1/8” long using the Needle or Clean Up tool. Place the cut out tear drop shapes onto a moistened/wet paper towel and cover with a similar moistened/wet paper towel for storage and to where they won’t dry out while working the clay.
  5. Take a tear drop shape of clay and holding the larger end of the tear drop piece between the index finger and thumb, apply some firm pressure to the edge of the shape between the two pinching fingers, thinning the edge of the clay. The edge should look paper thin, yet the body/middle and tail end of the shape will be thicker for future support.
  6. Use the back edge of a Fettling Knife to” press” lines in the petal. Slightly bend the petal into an arc shape. Place the petal under the moistened paper towel for storage. 
  7. Once you have about 15-18 petals formed, it’s time to start the assembly of the flower. Place the clay disk/circle into the middle of the MB-1541 Heart bisque lid. This is to give you a platform to assemble the flower and a gauge for distance of the petals during assembly. If any clay is inadvertently applied onto the bisque surface, it can be removed later after the clay flower has dried using a damp sponge prior to firing. Use a Wire Brush Tool to score/mark the outside top edge of the clay disk/circle. Use CB-406 Pointed Round to apply some “slurry” to where you want to attach the petal. Place the petal onto the wet slurry area and firmly press the petal to the clay disk. The petal should hang over the edge of the disk about ½”. Repeat this process around the edge of the disk leaving little open spaces between the petals.
  8. Cut out more teardrop shapes for the second and third rows of petals as needed as before. Repeat the edge thinning and scoring of the petals as in the above step. Build up the second row of petals using the same process but backing the petals toward the center of the flower. The second row of petals should extend about half way over the first row of petals and to about the edge of the clay disk. Use the handle end of the fettling knife to form the well for the center of the flower by pressing into the center and securing the petals to the disk.
  9. For the center of the flower, roll out several small conical coils of clay. Cut off one end and flatten the edge to a nail head shape. Place about 5-6 coils together forming the pistil of flower. Take 3-5 petals and place them along the edge of the pistil. Cut off the excess clay so it can fit down into the center of the flower. Use the Needle Tool for placing it down into the flower where some slurry has been applied. 
  10. Once the flower has been assembled, use a wet brush to smooth out any rough edges on the flower petals. Let the flower dry for a day or two.
  11. Check the flower again and correct any defects in the flower with a wet brush. Carefully remove the flower from the bisque lid. Wipe off any dried clay on the heart box lid with a wet sponge. Make sure there is no excess clay on the lid prior to firing of the box and flower. When the flower is completely dry, it can be fired to the clay’s maturity while sitting on the box lid. Fire to Shelf Cone 04-05.
  12. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust. Check the inside of the box for any debris as well.
  13. Using CB-604 Soft Fan apply 3 smooth even coats of FN-221 Milk Glass White to the outside of the box. Apply 3 smooth even coats of FN-212 Blue Diamond to the inside lid and box.
  14. Thin about 2 teaspoons of FN-212 Blue Diamond in a plastic cup with water to a milk consistency. Using CB-406 Pointed Round and CB-604 Soft Fan to apply one good coat of glaze into the crevices and back of the flower petals. Since this color is thin, it can run into the unseen areas of the flower providing one coat of glaze on the unseen areas. Apply 3 coats of glaze to the top portion of the flower. Wipe off any glaze that is on the bottom of the disk before firing.
  15. Stilt and fire both pieces separately to Shelf Cone 05-06.
  16. Use some epoxy type glue to attach the flower to the lid.

Note: Any color of Foundations Sheers can be substituted for the inside box surfaces and the flower to color coordinate any decorating scheme.

 

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