Intro: Bowl With Soul With Low Fire Clay
This could be a fun classroom project to educate children about world hunger and promote the “Empty Bowl” project. You could even play the game, “Simon says”, and let each child roll out their own ball of clay and press it on the texture of the bottom of their shoes. That’s why it is called a “Bowl with Soul”! While you are blending the pieces of clay together, talk to the children about other people who go to bed hungry every night. The bowls could be raffled off to raise money to donate to a local food bank! I love using art to give back to the community!!
2 lbs of ACTÍVA Products low fire clay
Buttons, stamps, texture on bottom of shoe or handmade stamps
(see Stampin in Style) to press into clay
Paper towel Potter’s rib or plastic credit card Sponge
Plastic bowl that is smooth on bottom
Access to a kiln
Low fire glaze
Step 1: Prepare the Clay for Stamping
Pull off wads of clay and roll into small balls.
Take the paper towel and drape it over the plastic bowl so the clay will not stick to the bowl.
Take a ball of clay and pat it gently in the palm of your hand flattening slightly.
Step 2: Stamp the Clay
Take a stamp or button and press into the disc of clay. You can even use the texture on the bottom of your shoe!
You might need to dust the stamp with cornstarch to avoid sticking.
Try not to get the clay too thin when you press the texture in. The clay should be about 3/8” thick.
Step 3: Mold the Bowl Shape
Place each disc of clay one by one textured side down on top of the paper towel covered plastic bowl.
Blend the clay in a horizontal direction to keep the texture intact. Try not to press into the bowl but gently blending from side to side.
When you have completely covered the bowl with clay discs, take a rubber rib or a plastic credit card and gently smooth out the surface blending horizontally.
Keeping the bowl turned upside down, roll out a coil of clay and press around the mouth of the bowl. If clay has become dry, you may need to spray lightly with water and take a wooden skewer and score each piece (make crosshatch marks) and slightly moisten to have the pieces adhere to each other.
Step 4: Finishing Off, Firing and Glazing
Take a sponge and lightly smooth the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Gently flip the bowl over, leaving the plastic bowl inside and smooth and flute the mouth of the bowl.
If you are very careful, you can get a sneak peek of your beautiful textured bowl by gently removing the plastic bowl.
Place the clay bowl back on the paper towel covered plastic bowl and allow the clay to begin to harden. Make sure to remove the plastic bowl when the clay bowl is able to maintain its shape.
The clay will shrink and if left on the plastic form too long it may crack if not monitored closely. Let the bowl dry completely.
Bisque fire to 04 and glaze fire to 06 according to manufacturer’s directions.
Only use food safe glazes if this bowl is to come in contact with food.
Artwork and photography by Karen Lowrey