Gilded Pinch Pots

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Gilded Pinch Pots
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Good as gold! Find out how to make an air-dry clay dish! We’ll show you simple sculpting techniques (including a pinch pot method) to build small bowls and how to add gold leaf for a bright pop of color.



1. Create a pinch pot. Roll clay between your hands to form a ball. Press your thumb into the center of the ball, and push down hard to create a hole deep into the ball, but not all the way to the bottom.

2. Keep your thumb inside the clay ball and “pinch” outward by squeezing the clay between your thumb and remaining fingers. This should push the clay away from the center and enlarge the opening.

3. Rotate the clay ball and repeat. Continue the process of rotating and pinching until the clay takes on the desired shape. For best results, open the pot up slowly, pinching from the bottom and gradually moving up. Try to use even pressure to maintain a consistent thickness.

4. Store any remaining clay in a ziplock bag or airtight container. Allow pots to dry overnight until they are no longer cool to the touch.

5. Brush the inside of the pinch pot with gold leaf adhesive. This is a special type of glue that holds gold leaf in place and will not cause it to tarnish.

6. Carefully tear off pieces of composition gold leaf and gently press them against the adhesive with a dry, soft brush. The gold will only stick to the adhesive. Brush excess gold leaf away.

7. While the adhesive is drying, paint the outside of the pot with black acrylic paint, if desired, to create a dramatic look.

8. Seal the pot with metal leaf sealer to protect it and maintain the brightness of the composition gold. When using the sealer, read and follow all directions carefully, and don’t apply it if children are nearby. Do not store the sealer near heat sources, as it is flammable.

9. The finished pinch pots are not intended to hold soil or water, but are perfect for displaying air plants, storing coins or small pieces of jewelry, or for simply enjoying the gilded glow they create.