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Polymer Clay Vase

Posted by goregt On May - 26 - 2007

Creating a Marbled Vase

This is a quick and easy tutorial that will demonstrate how to take a plain Jane glass vase and turn it into a work of art with the help of a little polymer clay. This is the first time I have ever done something like this myself so at the end of the page I will cover some lessons learned.

This really is a simple tutorial and I’m convince just about anyone can easily create a marbled vase. If it seems a little challenging at first then just keep practicing and it will come to you in no time at all.

The polymer clay I am using for this particular piece is Premo.

Glass vase filled with Premo polymer clay No need to cringe, you do not need that much clay for this tutorial. I was shopping at my local Hobby Lobby and went a little overboard on the clay. All is good since I will have plenty of clay for future projects. To give you an idea on how much clay you will need, I ended using less than one block of two or three colors by the time the vase was completed (My glass vase is around five (5) inches tall).Note: Make sure the glass vase that you purchase can be baked in an oven.
Polymer Clay Premo The first step is to condition the clay. Premo is a little firmer then the clay I normally use, Super Sculpey, so a pasta machine comes in handy here. I’m only using two colors on my vase so I keep rolling out the clay until it is fully conditioned.
Marbled clay The next step is the mix the two colors together and roll them both through the pasta machine. I repeated this step several times until I got a design I was happy with. Just roll the clay, fold, squish it together and roll it again. You don’t want to fully blend the clay, the key here is to keep the marbled look.
Applying polymer clay to the vase Simply press the clay onto the glass vase. I started from the bottom and worked my way up on this piece.
Polymer clay vase tutorial Still applying clay to the vase.
Smoothing out the clay Using one of my dental tools I blend the individual pieces together. Spend some time on this stage since you want the clay to look as if it was on piece. Try to avoid parting lines if possible.
Polymer clay vase art Once you create your own vase you will see how easy this tutorial really is. I personally like to try and take things to the next level when I create my art. A marbled vase is cool but a marbled vase with art hanging off of it is much cooler. I sculpted an Indian on my vase just to give it a little something extra.Tip: To cure the piece bake it in the oven at 275 degrees for 30 minutes (per 1/4 of an inch).
Profile of polymer clay vase A side view of my vase.Probably 98% of the colors on this vase are made up of clay. I added a little paint to tint the skin but other than that no paint was applied to this piece.

Lessons Learned

As I stated at the beginning of this tutorial, this was the first time I have tried something like this. The vase was a good learning experience for me and I did learn a few good lessons along the way. Here are a few tips I plan to use in the future:

1. Wear surgical gloves when sculpting a vase – No issues with the skin here, I just ended up with tons of fingerprints in my piece. Latex gloves would have been a quick and easy solution to avoid any fingerprints. Alcohol can remove the fingerprints but that is a lot of extra work.

2. Don’t rush the project – in all honesty this is not my favorite piece that I have created. I have a lot of other projects I should have been working on but just had to give this idea a try. I only gave myself a few hours for this piece and now looking at it I wish I would have set aside a little more time. All is not lost since I really did learn a lot by creating this vase.

3. Keep your area clean – key warning here, little clay particles lying around will somehow end up in your lighter clays. Also be sure to clean off the pasta machine before mixing different colors of clay.

That’s it! I’ll be sure to do more vases in the future and will probably show more of the sculpting stages in the process. The goal for this tutorial was to show you how you can mix glass and polymer clay to create a piece of art.

Until next time,

- Gerald

3 Responses to “Polymer Clay Vase”

  1. aarti says:

    Hi,

    This is a wonderful website. New to polymer clay, I am still exploring this medium. I have a couple of q:
    1. Where can I purchase polymer clay from? Can you suggest which brand?
    2. How can I identify a vase that can be baked in oven?

    I appreciate your response.
    Thanks and good luck to you.

  2. Gerald says:

    Hi Aarti,

    My favorite clay to use is Super Sculpey. It is easy to work with and great for getting a lot of details in the sculpture. Super Sculpey will need to be painted so if you are looking at colored clays then Primo and Fimo are good choices.

    Not sure if you are around a Hobby Lobby or other art stores but they do carry a variety of polymer clays. Hopefully that helps, if not let me know and I’ll locate a few online dealers that carry polymer clay.

    Regards,

    Gerald

  3. Christy Ann says:

    I live near Puerto Vallarta and have no kiln. I give many mosaic workshops, but my students are always wanting to make a “center tile” for the project. I am thinking that polymer clay is perfect for these workshops. 2 questions….how long does it take to cool after baking!? and…..why don’t I see any tiles being made with this medium? P.S. do you have any sources, besides on line, that I can find polymer clay in or near Puerto Vallarta/Guadalajara?

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