Sunday, October 9, 2011

sculpt peruvian peasant and llama ornaments

Mexican folk art created by hand-shaped salt clay are shown above. 
These brilliant colors were made with gel food coloring.
Description: I discovered these charming little Mexican, folk ornaments in a flee market. These salt clay ornaments are hand-shaped. Unlike the molded variety, it is important to use the recipe that requires vegetable oil when crafting them.

Supply List:
  • table salt
  • flour (white unsifted)
  • gel food coloring (many colors)
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • plastic wrap
  • glass mixing bowl
  • clean, even counter top
  • rolling pin
  • acrylic varnish
  • small tools to shape clay with
  • Lama and peasant templates
  • scissors
  • garlic press
Ingredients for a Stiffer Salt Clay:
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups table salt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup water 
  • 1 tablespoon glycerine or plain vegetable oil
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients thoroughly by hand in a glass mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the water and oil and stir till the dough is stiff.
  3. Knead the dough on top of a flowered surface vigorously for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. Let the dough sit covered with a towel in the glass bowl for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. You may wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it over night at this point or continue to shape and work with it.
  6. You may also tint parts of the dough with gel food coloring. Remember the color will dry darker.
  7. The Mexican examples of clay dough ornaments shown above are tinted with gel food coloring but, you may choose to paint your ornaments instead. 
  8. Download and print out the templates for the lama and peasant examples above.
  9. Roll out some of the natural colored clay and place the templates on top. Cut along the outside edges with a small knife in order to duplicate the llama and peasant pictured above.
  10. Roll, cut and prick similar decorative additions as shown above.
  11. Always moisten the clay joints with a small amount of water as you work to form a "bond."
  12. Use the garlic press to squeeze out the thinnest, decorative, clay trims.
  13. Prick the thicker parts of your ornaments for better drying results. Do this on the back side of the ornaments!
  14. You may either "air dry" your ornaments for several days, this varies according to the humidity in the air, or bake them at 250 degrees for about three hours.
  15. Varnish the ornaments in order to preserve them for many years to come.
Additional Suggestions: Always store this type of finished salt clay ornament in air tight containers, preferably tin containers. Mice will destroy these if given the opportunity. 

Use a garlic press to create the 
delicate clay filigree shown above.
Peruvian peasant and llama template.
This template may be downloaded and sized in a
word document. Read the Terms of Use before
using it folks.  

The Nutty Crafter shows you how to make salt dough.

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