Swirled Clay Bowls

Inspired by Elsie and Emma over on A Beautiful Mess and their marbled clay dishes, I decided to buy some oven-bake clay and also have a go. I have to admit, it was much easier than I thought, required very little art skill (woop) and I’m super excited about how they’ve turned out!

So far I’ve found them really useful for random earrings and bobby pins I would otherwise probably lose, but they could be used to keep anything small, or just decoratively

If you want a predominantly white/lighter coloured bowl try and make sure that other colours don’t overwhelm the white, so go slow on how much you use. Another thing I found was to be careful not to over-twist the strands or over-roll (is that a word?) them once in a ball as it mixes them further which loses some of the individual colours.

How to make them!
Start off rolling out each colour of clay you want to use, with longer ‘snakes’ for colours you want to be more dominant and darker colours, such as black, slightly smaller. Then twist them all together and finally roll them into a ball!

If you have seams in the ball from the twists, these will stay when you bake the bowl so knead the clay and roll your ball out again if this happens so that it’s smooth.

Roll out the clay with a rolling pin or jar to about 0.5 – 1 cm thickness (about an English pound coin) – different rolling directions will change where the colours are so experiment until you get a pattern you like

Using a template or something like a jar to cut around, use a craft knife (or I used a regular kitchen knife) to cut out a circle to make your bowl, and place this in the middle of another (oven safe) bowl/ramekin, or if all your bowls are too small/ flat you could try turning one upside down and putting the clay over the bottom of the bowl for the same effect.

A clay circle inside another bowl
A clay circle inside another bowl

Bake them according to the instructions on the package (mine was 30 minutes at 130 degrees C), and leave it to cool before trying to take it out of the bowl. Because it’s oven-bake clay it will probably still be slightly flexible afterwards.

The greatest challenge I had in making these was getting them the right size. My first one came out very flat due to the fact that when I baked it, it was in a bowl that wasn’t quite as round as I needed, – so remember that the shape really depends on the bowl/ramekin you bake it in. Putting your clay in a bowl and having the edges not quite flat means you get wavy edges which I quite like.

You could then add gold gilding paint, which I really love around the edges! I found mine on Amazon for about £6 ($8.5ish):

With gilding paint
With gold gilding paint

I’ve also seen gold nail polish works just as well, which you can get much cheaper and might already have :) I’d be interested in trying other colours like silver as I think they’d work too

Over on XoJane I also saw that she had spray painted her bowls completely metallic gold on the bottoms which also looks super fab!

Happy crafting!

Charlotte x

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