Polymer clay is a great moulding clay for sculptors of all skill levels. From ornaments to jewellery, the list of potential polymer clay projects is endless. Advanced users can make more practical objects with polymer clay, such as fruit and flower baskets. Because fruit baskets require the sculptor to use more clay, they are more challenging to construct than beads or necklace pendants. To make your own clay fruit basket, you just need a little patience and practice.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Polymer clay
- Oven-safe glass dish
Break off a half-dollar-sized piece of clay. Work the clay between your fingers to make it soft. Roll the clay back and forth across the table into a thick rope 12 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.
Break off more clay and roll two additional 12-inch ropes of clay.
Criss-cross the three ropes of clay on top of one another so that it looks like a six-pointed star, or six spokes on a wheel. Gently mash the raised centre of the clay with your fist where the ropes overlap one another. Flatten this area until it is roughly 1/4 inch thick.
Roll another 12-inch rope of clay.
Starting at the centre of the star, weave the new rope in and out of the spokes. Go over one spoke, under the next, over the third, under the next and so forth. Once you get to your starting point, continue with a new row above the old row.
Roll another 12-inch rope of clay when you run out of the first rope. Connect the new rope to the old rope by pinching the two ends together. Continue weaving where you left off.
Continue this process. When you start getting toward the middle of the spokes of the basket, pull the weaving clay a little tighter so that the sides of the clay roll upward, creating a bowl shape. If you accidentally pull too hard and break the rope of clay, just pinch the broken pieces of clay together and continue weaving.
Shape your basket as you weave your way outward from the centre. Lift the sides of the basket to make it rounded instead of flat. Try not to roll any of the ropes too thin, or else the basket will collapse on itself.
Once you've reached the top of your basket, break off any remaining weaving clay. Roll a final piece of clay to create the rim of your basket. Encircle the top of your basket with the rim. Cover any loose ends or spokes with the rim. Squeeze the loose ends and spokes into the rim so that the surface of the basket looks uniform. The rim should hold your basket together and help it maintain its shape.
Place your clay onto an oven-safe glass dish and put it in the oven. Check the clay packaging for cooking instructions. Different brands of clay have different cooking requirements, but you should expect to cook your clay at 135 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
Tips and warnings
- Try to roll the clay to a uniform thickness. Thinner areas may break or cause the basket to collapse on itself prior to cooking.
- Do not stick your fruit basket in the dishwasher. Hand-wash it with mild soap and water.
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