This week we are going to talk about texturing our clay projects. This is one of my favorite parts of working with clay. It is just so much fun to take a piece of clay and use some simple tools to give it the texture to make it look like something else.
These are my favorite tools for this process and none of them are expensive. Most in fact are free or almost free. None will cost you more than a few dollars. In a future Clay 101 we will cover things we add to clay to give it texture today I am limiting the items to tools that we use on the surface of the clay.
First up is the peppercorn. Yes, you read that correctly a peppercorn from the kitchen. These little things are really just little balls of texture. Each one is just a bit different and they are small and easy to use. Look for one that has lots of texture, some are much smoother than others.
Next is really a category and I will just call them “pointy tools” these can be anything that comes to a sharp point. The three here are my favorites but look in your stash and see what you can come up with. My all time favorite is the dental pick, I use it all the time for so many things. In working with minis it is really just an extension of my hand. I like it the best of these pointy tools because of the long handle so I can get the point to just the angle I want it. Do note that dental tools come with different styles on the pointy part, for me the style I show in the video is the most useful and easiest to use. The pin is my next favorite, try to find one with the bead type head, they are much easier to hold onto (and they don't get lost as easy on the work table) Pins are really good when you need to texture really small areas since the point is so much smaller than the one on the dental pick. Toothpicks on the other hand have a much larger point and are a good addition to your texturing tool collection as well as being so useful for other areas of crafting.
A ball of aluminum foil is the next tool we are working with. Either a large ball or a small one, or have a few on hand of different sizes. Just crumple the foil up a few times then mash it into a ball that is comfortable to hold. I love that from one piece of foil I can have so much variety in texture depending on how I crumple it. It is also great for texturing a large area quickly so I can lay down a base layer of texture then use the other tools to refine the texture.
Our fourth “tool” is some sandpaper and/or an emery board. They are really used for the same texture just different scales of the texture. I also occasionally bake items on top of a piece of sandpaper, that way the texture just happens automatically. I also use the emery board to help me hold/support items when I am using some of the other tools. To really work well for texturing you need a coarse grit and I am completely out of that kind. At least I couldn’t find it in time to do today’s video.So you really can't see the texture in the photo.
The pot scrubber, you can get these near the dish washing items in the grocery store or the dollar store. Different brands seem to have different textures and you can usually see what they look like in the package. Check both the regular stores and the dollar stores, the ones I normally find in the dollar stores tend to be softer so the effect is very different from the firmer texture of the grocery store brands.
Our last tools are the brushes. I use both some wire cleaning brushes that I purchased at Harbor Freight and a dollar store toothbrush. I am sure you can get the wire brushes just about anywhere that sells tools. These both are so handy and I use them a lot.
So those are my favorite tools to texture clay with. I hope you are finding this series helpful. If you have specific areas of working with clay you would like me cover be sure to let me know.
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