Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Experiment: Making Clay Texture Blocks

Yesterday, as the remnants of Sandy left us with leaves and branches on the ground and a drizzly rain, I decided to take advantage of a day inside and electricity.

A former student and subscriber to my newsletter sent me an email. She was really excited about the last issue (Issue #6). As a polymer clay artist, she is often embossing clay for printing. She hadn't thought of kidney beans and loved the results I was getting with the embossable foam blocks.

This gave me an idea. I am in the process of writing my book proposal. As my proposed book revolves around using materials from the kitchen for surface design, I wasn't sure if I would include using the commercial moldable foam blocks for embossing. So an internet search began for creating clay using kitchen ingredients. I was fortunate to find a number of recipes.

One recipe for Baker's Clay combined flour, salt and water.
First mix together the salt and flour.

Then add the water.

Stir then knead together until it is dough (clay).

After rolling out the Baker's Clay, I embossed it with my texture blocks.

Here I pushed one of my texture blocks into the rolled-out clay.
The embossed clay on the left. The texture block with almonds on the right.
 Then into the oven for baking.

A number of different textures embossed into the Baker's Clay.
 They puffed up a bit. I will probably try a second batch with slight modifications.

Today I decided to print with them. First, I used a foam brayer and then a foam dauber (I describe how to make one in Issue #4 of Julie Booth Surface Design News).

I was surprised...the results were pretty good.

I'll have to explore this a bit more.


  1. Wow and wow! Maybe I should leave a nice comment later on, when I'm not almost speechless!

    1. Hi Ersi- you are sweet! I was really surprised that this worked out as well as it did. I'm going to try it again with a little "tweaking". I'd like it if the "clay" didn't rise so much, i.e. that he blocks were flatter. However, the texture really took well..Might make it into a book chapter (working on the TOC for the proposal today).