Friday, May 19, 2017

Clay Sunflowers in Process

I've had an idea floating in my head for a while - sunflowers made out of clay. One afternoon, I sat down and sculpted two sunflowers in clay. One I set on a tile made of clay and the other was just a loose shape. I got some pottery plaster and after a bunch of watching videos on YouTube, I got up the nerve to mix up the plaster and made two molds of the clay pieces. To do this, the clay has to be wet. I coated the sunflower clay pieces with mineral oil and then poured the plaster on top of them. You have to have a form around each piece of clay to contain the plaster. I used some plastic boxes I had. The plaster forms around the clay and once it is set - I pulled the clay out and the sunflower shape was set into the plaster. Unfortunately I didn't take photos of the process because it was all so messy and I didn't want to add a camera into the mix. The plaster should set for an hour to be totally firm. I know this because my first try broke when I was taking it out of the plastic box and I had to start again. 

Once the molds were dry - this took a week for the plaster to dry because it was cold and humid - I was able to test them out. I was able to take photos of that process. 

Here is the sunflower tile mold.


Here is the clay being packed into the mold. 


Here is the clay when it is all leveled off. 


When the clay starts to shrink - the moisture gets absorbed into the plaster mold - it is easy to pull the molded piece out of the mold. Using some tools, I cleaned the messy bits off. My mold isn't perfect but it is a start. 


Here you can see the tile and the mold. This is going to be more of a decorative wall tile because it isn't flat so nothing could sit on it. I use a grey clay that dries white. 


Here is the smaller sunflower which I have a plan for where it will be used in my home. Would make a nice paperweight too. 


My plan is to make a few more of each mold and then play with the painting, color, and decoration of each sunflower. Stay tuned. 

5 comments:

Patricia said...

love it!

Maureen Lefebvre said...

I will definitely stay tuned as I am very intrigued by this process.

Angela's Diner said...

Thanks for sharing this process.

Nan said...

You are so talented! Not afraid to run with an idea.. I love the sunflowers & can't wait to see them painted.

LannieK said...

Perfect idea, Kristen! They are going to be so perfect for the garden wall when painted up :-)