I’ve had some air dry clay in my craft stash for a while but hadn’t thought much about what I’d use it for. Then after misplacing yet another earring I had the idea to make little jewellery dishes – one each for my desk, the bathroom and my bedside table. I’m always taking my rings and other jewellery off while I’m working at my computer, or at various random places at home. Do you do that too? They sometimes get knocked onto the floor or otherwise misplaced and it’s so frustrating. Now I automatically put things in one of the three dishes and I always know where to find things.
This tutorial on how to make petite dishes also incorporates my current love – and a major trend – copper.
All you’ll need is air dry clay and a copper metallic marker – and/or copper leaf, sizing, a paint brush and a spray sealer.
Knead the clay and roll out a long sausage about 1 cm (three eighths of an inch) thick. Remember making coil bowls at school? That’s what’s next: make a small coil bowl. Initially you need to make a bowl shape, not a dish shape.
Smooth out the inside and outside of the bowl.
Now start thinning out and shaping the bowl by gently pinching it between your thumb and fingers. Be gentle so that you don’t make deep thumb imprints. As the bowl gets thinner start shaping the walls outwards to form a dish shape. Keep pinching and shaping until the clay is a couple of millimeters (less than an eighth of an inch) thick. We are aiming for an organic free-form shape with some parts of the side wall higher than others. If you like you can smooth out the surface by adding a small amount of water to your fingertips and rubbing them gently over the bowl.
Allow the dish to dry thoroughly according to the instructions on the clay packaging.
I used a Sharpie to color around the rim of one of my dishes and it went on easily and allows you the control to draw any sort of pattern or decoration you like. The other two dishes are embellished with copper leaf which has a gorgeous finish and looks like a true metallic compared to the Sharpie. To compliment the organic shapes of the dishes I wanted a finish that wasn’t neat or uniform. When using any sort of metallic leaf work in an area without a draft – it’s so light and can easily get everywhere. Follow the directions on the pack, applying the sizing first, followed by the copper leaf and finally the sealant.
These sweet copper trimmed jewellery dishes would make a lovely gift too, so if you’re thinking about handmade for Christmas get onto this and get a head start!