–white, black, and colored oven bake clay (a few ounces of colored clay and the 1.75 pound white clay will make several dishes!)
-X-Acto knife or plastic clay knife
-small bowl or baking ramekin that is oven safe
–gold liquid gilding and small paintbrush
-rolling pin or large round jar
-large can or jar to trace around
–glaze to seal dish (optional)
1. Roll each color of clay that you want to use into a snake about 5″ long. I usually make two larger rolls of white, a medium roll of grey, a small roll of any color I am using, and then an extra small roll of black. I don’t have exact clay measurements for you (and most people don’t have a scale to weigh exact ounces of clay anyways) so just use the photo as a guide. You basically want enough total clay to roll out a 6″ circle, but don’t worry about getting exact amount of one color or another, even if you use the same recipe every time, each dish will look different.
2. Combine the smaller rolls into one big roll and twist together.
3. Roll the large twist into a snake about twice the original length to combine the colors. Twist the ends opposite ways after every few motions to give the colors more of a candy cane look. Once it’s twice the length, fold the snake in half and twist the two ends together, as pictured above. Repeat the rolling, folding, twisting, and rolling again process 2-3 times.
4. Smoosh all the clay into a ball. You want to see most of your colors on the surface of the ball, so pull the ball in half and re-smoosh together if you don’t.
5. Use a rolling pin or glass jar to roll out your marbled ball. I like to use a glass jar so I can see what is happening as I roll harder or softer over certain colors. The colors should blend together and create a marbled pattern as you roll over it. Try rolling different directions, from the edge, from the center, etc. to push the clay from different angles. Roll to 1/4″ thick.
6. Use a round item about 6″ wide as a template and cut out your dish circle with an X-Acto or clay knife.
7. Place your circle gently into a oven-safe bowl or ramekin that is a little smaller than your circle so it will sag a little in the center and give you more of a dish shape. Bake the bowl according to the temperature on the clay package (mine was 15 minutes at 275°F). Remove the bowl from the oven and allow the clay to cool before turning the larger bowl upside down and tapping lightly until the clay dish falls out.
8. Once the clay is completely cool, use a small brush to paint the rim of the dish and allow the paint to dry. Seal the dish with a glaze if you desire. The glaze won’t make the item food safe or totally waterproof, but it will give you a glossy finish if that’s what you’re into 🙂
Since you are working with oven bake clay the dish will still be a tiny bit flexible when when cooled and feel more like hard rubber than porcelain, but that’s ok! It should still keep it’s shape perfectly fine and hold your rings like a champ.
While the color combinations are endless, my favorites were made with white, grey, black, and two bright colors that make a pretty third color when mixed. I would definitely suggest using a oven-bake clay like Sculpey that is already soft to start with. It will save you a lot of time and finger strength than if you use the clay that requires a lot of kneading to get it to that softness.
If you don’t feel like you’re the DIY type, you can still snag a beautiful handmade ring dish but these bowls turned out even better than I hoped they would! And you can see I was able to make quite a few of them, so I’ll definitely be giving a few away as gifts…how sweet would one of these be as a present with a cute ring already in it? xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from A Beautiful Mess actions.