It’s the festive season and if you’re anything like me you’ll be planning your gifts and decorations…and how you’ll make them all! I love a handmade Christmas. It’s so special to take the time to create pieces that add a personal touch to your celebrations. My favourite Christmas traditions include a touch of the handmade. From the decorations we made as children that still get hung on my parents’ tree to the homemade Christmas pudding that my dad serves with ceremony at the end of Christmas dinner.
I see Christmas as an opportunity to create new designs, or perhaps just an excuse to try new crafts! So here is a gift from Clare Gage. A project that introduces you to my technique of bringing textiles and pottery together. These are my two favourite things and its great fun to celebrate them in this way.
To make the designs in my collection I begin my making a handmade textile model. I then use this to create a mould which allows me to cast in porcelain clay and create a useable, pottery cup. Great for your cuppa on Christmas morning!
This project uses a simplified technique which allows you to experience a little of how I feel every time I open a mould to see the textile detail recreated on the porcelain clay. It’s always lovely to see. You can make your table centre using air drying clay so this is a project for everyone to try at home. Have a go and enjoy your results! You’ll create a beautiful new addition to your own handmade Christmas.
Enjoy and merry Christmas!
Christmas Table Centre Decoration
You will need:
- Air Drying Clay,
- Cardboard box with low sides and flat base (a small pizza box works well),
- Parcel Tape,
- Double sided tape,
- Hessian fabric,
- Rolling Pin,
- Letter stamps,
- Gold paint,
- PVA glue.
- Cut out star shapes from the hessian fabric and use double sided tape to attach them to the inside base of the cardboard box. Use parcel tape to cover any joints of the box (this prevents the plaster from leaking from it).
- Mix up the plaster following the manufacturer’s instructions. When it is thickening nicely pour it into the box. Gently shake the box to help air bubbles rise up away from the base. Leave the plaster to set.
- Remove the plaster block from the box. Turn over to see the fabric stars caught in the base of the solid plaster. Gently pull the fabric away to reveal your mould, you may find using a needle with help you to catch the edge of each star and ease it out of the plaster.
- Roll out some air drying clay on a flat surface. Lift and place on to your mould and gently press the clay into place. Use a rolling pin to flatten the clay.
- Carefully remove the clay from the mould and place on a flat surface. Use a template to cut the desired shape. Use letter stamps to imprint with a festive message. Leave to dry completely.
- To decorate firstly use the gold paint to colour the stars. When dry use 2 coats of PVA to finish. Your table centre decoration is now finished! Using a tea light on the decoration looks great, the light sparkles off the gold and highlights the textures of the hessian stars.
We would love to hear how you get on making this and would love to see your creations. Why not pop over to our Facebook page and share your Festive centrepiece there? httpsss://www.facebook.com/claregagedesign