Arts & Crafts / Be Creative! / Be Inspired! / Hobbies

Pottery & Sculpting: File Under “Getting Better”

Last week, I revealed the results of my first attempts at working with clay. While I technically completed the tasks as required, I think we could all agree that there was room for improvement. I also wanted to add some finishing touches to the charming creations I’d made.

BADGE WORK UPDATE: CERAMICS AND CLAY, ART IN 3-D

Let’s start with a look at how the original creations were finally finished. Those pinch pots, rustic in their baked state, deserved a little flair. A coat of gloss was applied to the exterior, and I finished off the inside of the pots with some acrylic paint. All of a sudden, I kinda liked ’em. I mean, I wouldn’t charge people money for them, but they’re all right!

Next, consider “Self Portrait: Nude Sunbathing.” Seemed to me our gal needed some suntan lotion, so I gave her a gloss finish. Am hoping it will help her weather the Texas sun a little better while she soaks up the rays in the garden.

Remember the coil flowerpot? Yes, it was decidedly lopsided, but it was not without its charm. By adding a finish to the exterior, I’m also hoping it will retain water and keep roots cooler. And flowers make everything look better, don’t they?

Then there was the hybrid pinch/coil bud vase–another tribute to asymmetry. But once again, throw on some paint and gloss, throw in some flowers, and voila!

And guys, those are real azaleas I’ve managed to keep alive and blooming over the winter.

And now, for something completely different…

Finishing these treasures was all well and good, but I needed to try my hand at another project. I pondered what might be the finest use of my new box of white Sculpey. What could I create that would be an actual asset to my little world?

Of course, there was only one answer: a Chia Pet.

Followers of the BSP know that I’m collecting these clay creatures as part of the “Collecting” Hobbies badge. So wouldn’t creating my own Chia Pet be the bestest, grooviest, awesomenessest use of clay possible?

Take a look:

I know what you’re wondering. You’re wondering, is this a sort of satanic goat or something? Nope. Nope, nope, nope. It’s our wonderful dog, Freida:

See those eyebrows on her? When the chia seeds sprout, they’re gonna grow over the eyes! It’ll be great!

So there you have it. I finally feel as though I’ve met these badge tasks in both deed and spirit.

P.S. — For any of you Sculpey users out there… this particular box of white clay was hard as can be when I got it home. I didn’t have any of the manufacturer’s conditioning fluid, but I read online that a couple of drops of baby oil would help condition the clay. It worked well–and it didn’t seem to impact baking at all.

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4 thoughts on “Pottery & Sculpting: File Under “Getting Better”

  1. Pingback: Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Goodness!! | The Big Scout Project

  2. Jean — how long did you bake your chia pet for? Do you remember? I’m wanting to do a few of these with a class of kids that I teach art lessons to and was inspired by your post.

    Also, did you ever grow seeds on it? Did they do ok? And what seeds did you use?

    Many thanks! Fun project and great post.

    • Hi, Julie — I’m so happy you were inspired by the post! The home made chia pet took about 30 minutes to bake. I’ve had to travel so much that I’ve actually been waiting to to see if would grow seeds until I’m home every day for three weeks to water it — and that process should start next week (stay tuned…). Do I think it will work? Well, because this is a polymer clay, I think i tmight not be pourous enough for the water to seep through the clay to the seeds, but I hope to be proved wrong.

      A couple of other things I learned working with Sculpey that might help: since I did the project, I’ve heard that the fumes from baking are on the toxic side. You can smell it, and it definitely doesn’t smell… well.. natural. So shoo the kiddos outside or keep all the windows open during baking. Also, I’ve gotten a few batches of Sculpey that are hard as a ROCK. Sculpey sells a clay softener that works very well, but a little bit of baby oil also worked for me. Not too much though…

      Have a great holiday weekend! — Jean

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