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Friday, October 13, 2017

Faux Ceramic Woven Clay Bowl

Faux Ceramic Woven Clay Bowl by Iris Rodriguez

Hello Makers!

I got a little envious of the cool bowls people make using ceramics. So I thought, why can’t I do what they do in polymer clay?  So I tried it. I made this blue faux ceramic weave bowl. I used Makin's Professional® Ultimate Clay Extruder® for the strips, boy was it ever so nice to use for this project. I did not have worry manually cutting even strips of clay, which is not easy to do and can drive you little nuts. What I also like about using Makin’s Clay® for this project, the clay will not break because of its flexibility; it has give if dropped or banged against something. This bowl can be used for holding non-edible, lightweight items or simply as a decorative accent for your home.


Makin's Clay® - White
Makin's Professional® 
  • Cutting Mat
  • Ultimate Clay Machine®
  • Ultimate Clay Extruder® - Disc #8
Acrylic Paints, desired colors
Acrylic Glaze, to use with paints
Gloss Glaze or Varnish for sealing
Cotton Cloth


You will need a bowl, any shape, to drape your clay over. The bowl I used measures 4.5 inches.  The extruder comes with two rectangle discs, used to make the strips. I used the larger disc (Disc #8). The bowl can be made any size, but if you want to make a smaller bowl, I recommend using the smaller disc. Recommend using at least two complementary paint colors, one being darker and a white color.

Place white clay into the extruder and extrude one strip at a time.  Keep clay you are not using in an airtight container with a damp paper towel or a moist towelette.  Do not extrude several strips at a time because the clay begins to dry as soon as it’s out of the bag and you need fresh flexible clay to weave. Ensure the strips are bigger than the bowl to account for shrinkage. You will get the chance to cut down to a desired size toward the end.

If you remember doing paper weaving as kid, it’s exactly the same. The main idea is to lay down one strip at a time and weave it into to the other strips.

Start out laying down a couple of strips next to each other.

The next two strips will be weaved going the other direction; perpendicular to the other strips. Weave by going over and under the other strips.

Okay, now that you have a few strips laid down, you will continue to weave one strip at a time, always alternating direction, and weaving at a perpendicular direction and going over and under.

Once you get to the sides, it gets little tricky, because you don’t a flat plane to work on. Continue the weave following the downward sloping plane, see picture below.

After you have completed weaving the bowl, then glue down the strips. Use a small flat object get in under the weave areas where the clay touches each other.

Now you are ready for the clay to cure, but before doing so, place the bowl on top of jar or something to elevate the bowl. The reason for this; the clay strips extend beyond bowl, when it lays flat, it pushes up on the strips, making it harder for the clay to harden in place, unglues the strips, and you also risk losing the shape.

Allow the clay to cure for 48 hours, normally 24 is good enough, but this was a lot of clay and the strips are a little bit thick. The clay can be handled right away though, but it gets nice and firm after a couple of days.

Now the bowl has cured and it’s ready for surface treatment.

Trim the top with scissors. Ensure to leave enough room for clay that will adorn the top of the strips.

Roll a long strip of clay, beginning on setting #1 and ending on setting #3. Cut it down to ¾ of an inch, depending on the size of the bowl. The strip does not have perfectly straight.

Sculpt the strip on the top edge by folding it in half and smoothing it over the dry clay and into each other through the holes; this will allow the clay to stay in place. 

Paint the bowl with acrylic white paint. I used Basics Liquitex Titatium white. Add at least three layers of paint. It’s important to only use white acrylic paint and not gesso. The white paint will allow you to wipe off paint easily, due to it plastic quality, therefore, slippery. Gesso on the other hand, has grit and is porous.

Now we add color to the bowl. I used Golden Cyan Primary (blue) and Payne’s Gray (dark blue indigo).

Mix Cyan Primary with Glaze. The glaze add a translucent quality and blends paints very nicely. Use a ratio of 10 to 1; pour 10 small drops of glaze to one drop of paint. It will expand your paint volume, which is great, saves you paint.

First add the Cyan Primary color, let it sit for about 1 minute, then wipe off with a cotton cloth. Allow this layer dry completely. You can use a heating tool very sparingly and not close the bowl, the paint will bubble and you end with holes.

The bowls need a several layers in order to get that faux ceramic look.

Next add the Payne’s gray, or any other color that is darker, adds contrast. Also mix in the Glaze as stated above. Do the same wipe off the paint. Repeat this step if necessary.

Using a makeup sponge, dab on white paint. Mix the Glaze with paint, as stated above.

Once everything dries completely add a glossy glaze or varnish, really adds to the faux ceramic look and seals and protects your bowl.

Now you have a nice decorative faux ceramic bowl without the need of kiln.

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