This week as part of our State Studies Unit, our art project was to recreate the salt glazed pottery, commonly found in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states. More on that in a moment.
When I was little, my mom could be uber-organized in the big things. She was great about party planning, making sure snacks and oranges got to soccer games, running the Brownie Troop, and stuff like that. BUT she was awful, and I mean awful about keeping track of the little things. Mail, glasses, books she was reading, and oh my goodness... her car keys where always misplaced. We had to plan into our daily routine of leaving the house time to find her keys. The three of us kids would scatter across the house to check all of the "usual places" but really they could be found anywhere... just never on the key rack hung by the back door. At a young age, I took over control of those little things. I was the one entrusted with hotel keys and emergency cash... because... no one, including my mom, felt secure if she had them.
I could never understand as a kid, how on earth she could misplace things so easily. But now as a mother, with a thousand things on the schedule, homeschooling papers up to my eyeballs, and all that other "stuff" that fills your mind... I am apt to misplace things too. Not quite the same... my keys are always hung on the hook in my hallway (I think my childhood of searching for keys was enough of that nonsense) but books, crafts supplies, and things of that nature, will frequently get misplaced.
And now you may be wondering why I chose to share this tid-bit of chaos with you now, as a prelude to this week's craft project. Well, several weeks ago I ordered a large block of the Sculpey clay need to complete this project. It came in one afternoon and we were having some people over later that day, so I tucked it somewhere safe. I didn't put it away on my clay shelf (yes I have a clay shelf and that would have made so much sense). No, instead I tucked in somewhere safe that I could get to quickly because I knew we needed to do that project in a couple of days. But, a couple of days later I couldn't find it. I spent a week doing little searches to no end. Finally this weekend, when I couldn't put off the project another day, my husband and I looked everywhere for that brick of clay. He even went so far as to check the garbage outside... and nada. It was all in vain. I can't find it anywhere. Oh, it will show up at some point. I tucked it somewhere safe ya know. But it wasn't to be had in time for my girls to complete this project... so we had to improvise.
White or Translucent Sculpey Clay
Blue Non-Washable but Non-Permanent Marker
Because of the Sculpey Clay misplacement... my girls did this project, Faux Salt Glazed Pottery, using Salt Dough (recipe here). It worked OK... but the final results were not nearly as nice as the demo version that I made with a small amount of Sculpey Clay that I had on hand.
To start with, I like to warm the sculpey clay by placing it in a plastic baggie and then soaking it in a bowl of hot tap water. This just makes it easier to handle.
Add a few pinches of kosher salt to the clay. About 1/2 tsp per 4oz of clay. This will give it a bit of that bumpy texture and a bit of sheen to the finish.
Make a pinch pot with the clay (or cookie cutter ornaments might be a fun project variation). I find the easiest way to make a pinch pot it actually to roll out long snakes of clay. Wind about a third of the clay around to make a base... then pat it flat. Then wrap the rest of the snakes around and around to make a side wall.
We chose to add some cut out designs to our faux salt glazed pots. You can do that if you would like, but it isn't necessary.
To add a washed effect, dip a cotton swap in rubbing alcohol. Lightly dab the center of each marker design. The alcohol will spread out the design slightly. Be careful, if you use too much alcohol you may remove the design all together.
When dry, you have a cute faux piece of salt glazed pottery. Remember that these are not food safe and are only for decoration. Make it big enough and it might be a cute place to store your keys. ;)
When we do find our Sculpey clay brick... we will give it another go. I may have the girls make animals or some other fun shapes... possibly ornaments using cookie cutters.
PHOTOS: MB 3/16/14