Gather a group of friends, a stack of supplies and schedule a making afternoon!
Gather your supplies
• Air-dry clay in white
• Large fresh green leaf (try liquidambar, maple or plane tree leaves)
• Water-based paint in colour of choice
You’ll also need
Clay mat (or other flat mat or board); baking paper; rolling pin; craft or stencil knife; small shallow kitchen bowl (optional); aluminium foil (optional);paintbrush; paint tray; waterbased sealer such as Jo Sonja’s All Purpose Sealer (optional)
This item is for decorative purposes only and is not suitable for use with food.
Step 1 Cover clay mat or work surface with baking paper. Using clean, dry hands, knead an amount of clay into a small disc on prepared surface until soft.
Step 2 Using rolling pin, roll out clay to size of chosen leaf to a thickness of 7mm. Add more kneaded clay if necessary and continue rolling.
Step 3 Put leaf on top of clay, ensuring vein side of leaf is facing down in order to impart the best impression.
Step 4 Gently work rolling pin over top of leaf to further press leaf pattern into clay.
Step 5 Use knife to carefully cut around perimeter of leaf and trim away excess clay. Seal excess clay back in pack to keep from drying out. Peel away leaf and set aside.
STEP 6 To mould leaf bowl, you can make a ring out of aluminium foil or use a suitably sized kitchen bowl to sit it in. Choose your option then, holding baking paper, lift leaf off work surface. Put leaf and baking paper on top of foil ring or bowl and let it gently drop in centre, forming a bowl shape.
If desired, adjust shape slightly by gently pulling at baking paper and manipulating clay. Leave to dry overnight.
STEP 7 Once dry, gently remove leaf bowl from mould and peel away baking paper.
STEP 8 Put a small amount of water-based paint in chosen colour on paint tray. For a light wash of colour on bowl, thin paint with a few drops of water and mix well with paintbrush or a stirrer. Coat bowl with a thin layer of paint solution and let dry.
Do not drench clay. To build up colour on veins, edges and reverse side of bowl, apply more coats of paint solution to edges, allowing time to dry after each coat.
STEP 9 We left our bowls unsealed for a chalky finish. To give a polished finish to your bowl, apply a coat of water-based sealer to each side with a paintbrush and let dry. Let bowl harden for 3-4 days before putting to use.