One the things I enjoy when I’m back home with my parents is adding to my crafting skills. I find that dabbling in craft and art projects is a great way to relax. My fabulous friend Gill had been promising to show me how to make clay roses for some time, this was a skill she picked up when she first left school at 15 to work in the one of the Staffordshire “Pot Banks”. These were the factories that were found all over Staffordshire at the time which made all the hand finished fine bone china which was exported all over the world.
So with a good supply of air dry clay she sat down with me and my mum and gave us a master class in clay rose creation. I suggested videoing her demonstration so that I could use it here on my blog and to make it exciting I asked if she thought that she could complete it in the time it took me to sing one of her favourite songs “Danny Boy”. So I started to play the track as she started to demonstrate the process, but you will have to play the video to see if she makes it 🙂
Gill holds demonstration classes in Stockport and I hope that you will all agree that she has quite an amazing skill and one that she makes look so easy. So to help anyone who wants to have a go at making one of these beautiful roses Gill photographed my attempt and I have used the pictures along with a written explanation to help break down what she taught us.
Break off a small amount of the air dry clay, I found a ball shape of about 2 to 3 cms in diameter was sufficient. Then roll it in your hands to produce a cylinder shape ( like a sausage ).
Grip one end of the cylinder between the base of your index and middle fingers. Then pressing firmly on the opposite end, flatten out the clay on the palm of your hand to make roughly an oval shape.
Take the cylinder and pinch the clay at the base of the flattened oval, then bend the top of the flattened oval shape ever so slightly before breaking away the excess clay from the base of the petal. Make sure to leave enough clay on the base of the petal to use when you add it to the finished rose.
Continue by repeating the above process making eight leaves in all.
Then taking a similar amount of air dry clay as before make another ball shape about 2 to 3 cms in diameter, Then on your work surface roll out the clay to make a cylinder about the length of your thumb. Then place it on to your work surface and flatten it out in a rough rectangle shape.
Try to make one of the longer sides a little flatter than the other as this will be the top edge of the rose bud of your rose. Then starting at one end roll the clay a bit like a “Swiss Roll”. Then pinch the base of the roll leaving the thinner petal end clearly on show.
You then take one of the petals that you made earlier and using the excess clay left at the base of the petal attach it to the base of the rose bud that you have just made. Then press along one edge of the first petal so that it attaches to the rosebud, leaving the other side loose. Do the same with a further two petals, spacing them equally so that the centre of your rose starts to take shape.
Then with the remaining five petals that you have left add them using the excess clay at their bases to attach to your rose. Try to space them evenly around the centre to give a natural look to your rose. With all the petals now in place press them together firmly all around the base, you should now have the petals in a very traditional rose shape.
Then to finish off hold the rose upside down and gently rotate the base by twisting lightly between your thumb and index finger. As the base starts to become thinner and longer remove any excess air clay by pinching through and breaking it off.
Make sure you leave just enough air clay attached to the base of the rose to allow you use it in whatever craft project springs to mind. I’m going to use them on cards and in my box frame pictures but they look just as good painted when dried and used to embellish all sorts of things.
Here is a card that I created using the flowers that I made, the middle flower is just a rosebud, the only problem is that I now have to learn how to make the boxes to deliver them in 😉 But that is for another day ……