Making a Bronze Bowl

Metal clay is usually used for jewelry. However, there is no reason not to use it to make other decorative objects. Here we describe how to use metal clay to make a small decorative bowl. I used bronze, because it is inexpensive. However, the same methods would work with any type of clay you wanted to use.

First, roll out a fairly large section of clay. I chose 0.75 mm as my thickness. Thinner than that would probably be hard to work with. If you want thicker, there is no reason not to do that. Then I used a texture sheet to texture it.



I chose a small bowl as my form. Then I placed the textured clay over it, and patted it down smooth without damaging the texture. I wanted a ‘wrinkled’ look, so I used the clay as it was. If you want a smoother bowl, then you should cut gores in the clay.



After the clay has thoroughly dried, it can be removed from the bowl and cleaned like any greenware.


I thought it looked a bit plain, so I molded a skull (no reason, I just felt like it) to put inside the bowl. The molded skull, both before and after being attached to the bottom of the greenware bowl, appear below.



Afterwards, I fired the clay using standard methods. The fired and tumbled bowl appears below.


As is usually the case, application of a patina make the piece more visually interesting. I applied BlackMax ™ patina. The finished piece appears below.


IMG_0682IMG_0681 (002)

If one wishes to use metal clay to construct a decorative bowl, the limits are pretty much one’s imagination and the size of one’s kiln and tumbler. Decorative pieces could have been molded and attached to the sides. Decorative holes could have been made. Colors, other than bronze and black, could have been applied. A very different shape could have been used (e.g. the lower part of a small bottle of an interesting shape). If the idea of making decorative bowls with metal clay appeals to you, run with it! Let your imagination run wild!


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