Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Sand Dollar Bowl for Carrying the Rings

Auntie J and The A Man are getting hitched right there on the beach this week. It's going to be so beautiful. I can't wait to see the pictures. We made them a few little pretties so they would know how much we love them. We're going to share all the instructions with you so maybe you can make some pretties for folks in your family tree who are climbing matrimony mountain. 
Enjoy and share.
Auntie J and The A Man live at Sand Dollar Cottage all year long. What a beautiful little spot they have and it's packed to the rafters with love and giggles. We wanted to make them some Sand Dollar themed accessories for their wedding and came up with a ring bowl. 

Here are the products you'll need to complete this project.

Smooth dome shaped glass container without seams or ridges to use as a mold for your bowl. Mine was about 12 cm wide.
parchment paper to work on
plastic wrap to use as a mold release
rolling pin for clay use
craft knife
star shaped scrap of lace to add texture to the center of the bowl
acrylic craft paint (or Genesis Heat Set Oil Paint) in soft salmon, dusty blue and white
large soft flat paintbrush
pretty ribbon to tie your rings to the bowl

 Snip a small bit of star shaped lace to decorate the middle of the bowl. This part is optional. you can also use a flower shape or a monogram to add interest.

 Roll the clay out onto your parchment paper protected surface. Roll until the clay sheet is 3/4cm thick.

 Use a bowl to press a circle into the clay. My bowl was about 15 cm across. Place the star shaped lace into the center of the clay and roll over it so it's deep into the clay.

 Cut away all the clay outside the circle the bowl left. Cut five slits into the clay to make the clay disc look more like a sand dollar. Smooth the edges off all the cuts with a wet finger.

 (Not shown) Cover the dome shaped glass with a smooth layer of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will make it much easier to release the dried clay bowl from the dome. 
( seriously..... don't skip this step!)
Place the disc of clay over the dome, lace side in and gently smooth the clay over the dome shaping it as you go. Take care to keep the slits open.

 Check to make sure the design on the inside of the bowl is centered. This is a great example of why I like to use clear glass. It makes it much easier to see how the finished design will look as you're working on it.

 Add a worm of clay to the bottom of the bowl forming a ring. Press firmly to create a bond between the clay surfaces. Make sure it's even by placing the bowl right side up on a flat surface. I also engraved the year onto the bottom of the bowl with a pencil tip.

 I turned my edges back a bit to soften the design.

 Let the bowl dry on the glass dome for a day. After the piece has dried through gently remove it from the dome and remove the lace star bit. Let the inside of the piece dry for another day before painting.

 I used Genesis heat set oil paints to colour and seal my bowl but acrylic paint and a good water based varnish will do the trick also. I painted the outside of my bowl with a dusty blue and the inside with a soft salmon and cured it. (if using acrylic, let the paint dry before the next step.)
After the paint is cured (dry) I dry brushed white paint over the entire bowl and cured (dried) the paint again.

After coating the piece in a layer of varnish and curing (drying) one final time. I tied a ring to the inside of the bowl with some fairy tale ribbon. 
This ribbon said, "and they lived happily ever after......."