Polymer Clay Ambitions and
Twisted Kneads
The "BIG FUNKY"
Polymer Clay Mosaic Votive and/or Vase
or Fish Bowl, Candy Bowl, Cotton Ball holder, Whatever Thingy
Okay, okay, so that's a pretty big mouthful I'll admit, but, hey . . . it's a big votive!
Please keep in mind that this is just a "method". You can use any kind of base or glass top you
might have laying about and decorate using your own style.

This is just what I had in my "stuff" pile and my way of keeping stuff out of the land fill.
( There are "some" folks that think my craft closet IS a land fill but they also think that a vase is just a vase ...
This tutorial created April 6, 2008

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by Mae Holley
2006, 2007,2008,2009,2010
The blue item is a small (approx 6" round) vase and the glass piece is
a globe from a ceiling light fixture. I used these pieces

1. Because they were already in my stash of "stuff"
2. They fit together just right.

This is my "Mosaic Stuff" container. Pieces of colored clay were
baked flat and then some were cut into small pieces and put in a pill
saver container.

Bits and pieces of cured clay cut into pieces to put on base piece.
You can use small scissors to cut the clay as it is very thin and
pliable. The tweezers are a huge help for picking up and placing
pieces on the clay.

I've also discovered that a large nail clipper is an excellent tool for
cutting the clay 'chips' too.
Black Premo clay has been applied to the entire base and pressed
firmly to make sure there are no air bubbles (that doesn't meant there
won't be air bubbles but one can always hope).

I've started to apply pieces and start the design. I have no plan
except the one I see in my head so I'm making it up as I go along.
Palm trees are ALWAYS in my head ...lol!
 
Well, since I didn't "Plan Ahead" . . .
  Okay, I need to make more colors for my project so this would
probably be a good time to share how I make the clay "flat" ...
Using the colors I want, I run the clay through the pasta machine on
the #4 setting until it is well conditioned and then lay the pieces as
follows...
-Cover the bottom of your baking tray with ceramic tiles
-Lay a piece of plain paper on top of those tiles
-Place your raw clay on top of the paper
-Lay another piece of paper over the raw clay
-Add another layer of ceramic tiles over the paper.

Note ... you do not have to use tiles but you do need to use a flat surface on
which to lay the clay and you will need something flat and a little weighty to put on
top of the clay. The paper IS necessary if you don't want to end up with shiny
mosaic pieces. If you DO want your pieces to be shiny, just don't use the paper!
It will look something like this. Of course YOUR tiles will be much
cleaner but, either way, you will now have your clay sandwiched
between paper so the clay won't be shiny and since there are ceramic
tiles on top and bottom the clay will be nice and flat like you want it to
be.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove
from oven and do NOT remove the ceramic tiles until they are cool.
After they are cooled you can cut them into any sized pieces you like
or leave them as they are and cut them as you need them.
 
Okay, now that there are more colors to work with . . .
Continue to cut the pieces and push them into the clay until you have
the desired pattern.

I use a roller to embed the clay pieces as I go along but it is a good
idea to look over the whole piece to make sure the mosaic pieces are
nicely embedded in the clay.

Cure (bake) the base in a 275 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool.

At this point you may choose to sand it or not. It can be sanded down
for a smoother surface. I have left mine as it is ... so far :D

Because it is a mosaic and some of the pieces may fall off you can
apply a coat of "Minwax Water- Based Polycrylic Protective Sealer" in
a gloss or satin finish for more protection. I haven't decided if I want to
do that yet.

I nixed the idea of using the glass globe because I found the bowl was
a perfect holder for the various jewelry tools (pliers) that never had a
home.