Autumn Leaf Bowl

What You Need:

  • A variety of leaves
  • Air drying clay
  • Clean work surface, preferably a flexible cutting board
  • Rolling pin
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Butter knife
  • Glass bowls of various sizes
  • Foil
  • Paint (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Collect a variety of fall leaves. Rinse them off and pat dry so that they are as clean as possible although you probably won’t get them perfectly clean.
  2. Choose a leaf that will make a good bowl. For a small bowl, try to pick something that is about the size of the palm of your hand.
  3. Open the package of air-drying clay. Working with a fist-sized piece, knead it on top of the cutting board until it is easily pliable and then roll it out so that it is about ¼ inch thick. Tear a piece of parchment or waxed paper and place the clay on top of this on the cutting board. Smooth out the surface of the clay.
  4. Press the leaf into the clay and roll them down with the rolling pin. You aren’t trying to make the clay thinner but are simply making certain that the leaf is pressed into the clay.
  5. Peel up the leaf and use the knife to carefully cut around the leaf impression and remove the excess clay.
  6. Turn your glass bowl upside down. Drape the leaf over the base of the bowl, gently shaping it into a curved bowl-shape. Allow to dry overnight.
  7. Carefully remove the clay leaf from the bowl. Turn it over and sit it inside the bowl so that the sides of the leaf bowl are supported by the sides of the glass bowl. Again, allow to dry overnight.

If you weren’t able to get the leaves clean, you may have brown and black flecks in your clay. After it dries, paint your leaf a high-gloss white or a bright autumn color. You can also press multiple leaves into the clay, overlapping them slightly. Cut out this collage of pressed leaves and work through steps 6 and 7.

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