Saturday, November 10, 2007

How to: Make a texture roller for clay

This project is instant gratification. Something that is not that common in the world of clay. With this texture roller, you can use it as soon as the hot glue has cooling, which is very fast. It's a great project to do in a class, or on your own so you have a custom tool that no one else has.

  • a roller of some sort (cut up pieces of PVC, empty rolls of tape, couplings for PVC, plastic rolling pins from the dollar store or craft store).
  • a sharpie.
  • a hot glue gun. They only cost a couple of bucks.
  • extra hot glue sticks.
Draw your pattern onto the rolling pin. It's easier to work out the pattern before with a Sharpie than it is later with the hot glue. Think about some sort of connected pattern, they tend to have the best results. And don't go overboard with the lines, you'll regret it later. And remember that the hot glue line aren't going to be perfect, so just go with the imperfection.

While you're drawing, plug in your hot glue gun. Make sure that you do it on a surface that you can toss when done, like newspaper or cardboard. When you're done drawing on your design, start gluing. Be a bit heavy handed with the glue. If the lines are too thin, they won't show up on the clay as well.

After the glue seems cool, start rolling away... The first attempt might stick a bit, but after there is some dusty clay on the roller, it won't really stick.

If you're not a hand builder, a nice use for one of these textured slabs is in the bottom of a thrown and altered casserole.

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At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love this... i am going to try it this week-end.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

OH MY GAWD - now why didn't I think of this? Yesterday, I was using some texture plates - and contemplating making some bisque texture rolling pieces or buying some pre-made ones. I even broke out some of my lino-cut plates from school to use as texture.

Thanks for the tutorial - I'm going to give this a shot today!

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You rock, Emily!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger star said...

freaking awesome! thanks so much! can't wait to give this a try

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Pam McFadyen said...

You are brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous John said...

Hi Emily
For the throwers out there:
If you use a small print roller with a handle to put the design on, you can hold this against the side of a freshly thrown pot while supporting the pot wall from the inside. I use this type of decoration a lot in my pottery classes.

At 4:54 AM, Blogger L'Officina said...

Hello I'm from Italy. Thank you for this good idea. I did this last week and I made a very good job!!! Excuse me for english!

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Thismuds4u said...

This is great, we learned this technique at a Lana Wilson Workshop using PVC, the rolling pins are a better idea! Keep the ieas comin'


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