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Clay Cactus

Clay cactus projectMy quest for finding easy clay projects that create sturdy little sculptures has led me to this, working with little plastic cups.

I found that a little cactus formed in a plastic cup will help keep the arms in place while they dry. The cups also helped some of my very young students make their art on a scale that could hold its own weight. My previous snowman project ended up with too many tiny creations, even though students had more than enough clay to work larger. I’m happy to say that only one of these 30 cacti became detached from its base, which is easy to fix in the firing process.

MATERIALS
• Ceramic clay
• Plastic souffle cups found at Smart & Final
• Water
• Scratcher tools

DIRECTIONS
1. Soften clay with water. Fill bottom of cup with clay, enough to make at least a 3/4″ or so base.
2. Form the center tube of the cactus that is approx. the thickness of a hotdog. Scratch the base and attach.
3. Form arms in the same manner, scratch to attach, and form so they may rest on the edge of the cups.
4. Let dry. To speed it up, cut the plastic down to the base. The clay will shrink as it dries and allow you to easily remove the cactus and scratch names on the bottom.
5. Fire clay and finish with glaze or acrylic paint.

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