Introduction: Rustic Clay Angels

These angels are simple and charming, and are fun to make as well! What I love about them are the endless possibilities of decoration, size, and even color.

While I am instructing here with mid-fire clay, this project would work just as well with polymer clays; just substitute paint for the Red Iron Stain & glaze.


Step 1: Your Materials...

  • Clay of your choice, about 1.5 lbs (I'm using B-mix)
  • Water or slip
  • Sponge
  • Needle tool, skewer or other sharp tool
  • Rolling pin/ small roller
  • Textured pieces (burlap, cardboard, lace, doilies) or stamps

  • Red Iron Oxide powdered stain (add water)
  • Glaze of your choice

Step 2: Rollin Rollin Rollin...

Lay out your clay, and flatten with rolling pin. Periodically flip the clay piece, and roll until it is about 1/4" thick and at least 8" square-ish.

Step 3: You Gotta Cut It!

Using your sharp tool, cut the clay into roughly a large triangular shape, with a little "swoop" cut out at the top. Make sure your curved bottom edge is much wider than your top (about 8" across the bottom versus 1" top).

Step 4: Now Make It Purty...

Take a few minutes to "prettify" your angel's robe! Using any textured surface (burlap, lace, cardboard, stamps), add some details that will really look great when finished.

Step 5: Who Wants Wings?

Use the leftover clay to cut out the angel's wings. The ones pictured are very simple, about 2". Have fun with it, try larger or fancier wings if you'd like!

Next, roll some of the clay into a oval-ish ball for the head. Hold it to the triangular piece and add or take away clay to get it to just the size you want.

Step 6:

Make scratch marks along one long edge of the robe.Take the angel's triangular robe and roll it gently around your fingers into a cone shape. Use slip or water as "glue" to smoosh the edges together. If your texture design gets mussed when you do this, simply reapply where needed.

Don't forget to smooth the inside seam as well, either with your fingers or a long tool handle.

Step 7: I've Got a Splitting Headache...

Use a tool to gently dig out a small hole in the bottom of the head. This will allow the otherwise solid ball to dry more quickly. Bonus - it won't explode when you fire it!

Use a generous amount of slip/ water to stick down the head on the top of your robe. You can fold down the top edge (similar to a collar) for more stability.

Step 8: Score!

VERY IMPORTANT - Using your sharp tool, scratch/ score the inside edges of your wings and apply with slip to the back side of your angel.Positioning is up to you, but make sure these suckers are secure, or they will fall off later with the slightest knock.

(This has never happened to me, because I'm absolutely not clumsy. No sir, not me!)

Step 9: If You Like It, Then You Shoulda Put a Ring on It...

Aww, every angel needs a halo!

Roll out a small coil, then fashion it into a small ring. Dab the top of the head with slip/ water, then gently squeesh the halo on. Add a little more slip on top to help it stick!

Step 10: Every Time a Bell Rings...

At this point if you'd like, you can add little praying hands to the front, or even have them holding something like a wreath or a little heart. I make them with or without, and they're just as charming either way.

Before you continue, send that angel into the burning depths of your kiln and bisque to Cone 04 (or your oven at 275 F if you're using polymer clay).

Step 11: Did You Fall From Heaven...

..into a puddle of Red Iron Oxide? Why yes, these guys did!

Now you'll use your RIO..if it's powdered, just add water until it's about the consistency of milk (but it will not look as yummy). Either dip or brush your angel with RIO over EVERY surface, inside and out.

Next get a small pail of clean water, and use your sponge to remove most of what you just put on! You can leave some areas darker, like the robe, but clean off especially the face, halo and wings. You can even go back once you are finished and add details with RIO if you like (such a stripe on the robe, etc).

Step 12: My Wings Are Glazing Over...

Almost done!

Use your glaze of choice to coat the wings front and back, as well as the halo. I prefer to use an opalescent white glaze, but any pale, opaque glaze will look lovely.

Then send him back to the kiln and fire to whatever Cone you need, depending on your glaze.

Step 13: Look! We Made Angels!

Hope you enjoyed this Instructable as much as I enjoyed coming up with ways to make it silly.

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