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Umbrella Table Planter

Ann Mitchell creates a textured table planter centerpiece — perfect for your patio table.

Materials and Tools:

1 lb. brick black Premo polymer clay
2 oz. bottle Liquid Sculpey
paper paint mixing pot
paper towel roll
foil
Sunset Gold Pearl-Ex mica pigment powder
Shade-Tex "Leaves" texture sheet (cut in half, 4-1/4" x 11")
8" x 11" piece of glass
brush
tissue blade
craft knife
wooden skewer
clay-dedicated toaster or convection oven
clay-dedicated flat baking tray
oven mitts
oven thermometer
ceramic, granite or acrylic work surface
paper towels
metal palette for mixing liquid clay

Steps:

1. Measure 3 inches up from the bottom of the paper pot and draw a line around the pot. Use a craft knife to cut paper pot down to 3 inches high. Cut the pot in half along the diameter (figure A). Cut a 3-inch piece off the end of a paper towel roll. Cut the roll in half lengthwise. Cover one half of the roll with foil and place it in the center of the glass.

2. Make a 3" x 8" rectangular paper pattern. Condition a brick of clay by rolling it through the pasta machine multiple times. Roll out 5 sheets of clay at a #1 setting. Cut two 3" x 8" pieces out of two rolled pieces of clay using the paper pattern (figure B). Save the extra clay.

3. Make a 4" x 10" rectangular paper pattern. Generously dust Sunset Gold Pearl-Ex powder over the Shade–Tex texture sheet with a brush. Cut two 4" x 9" pieces out of two more rolled pieces of clay. Lay a 4" x 9" piece of clay over the texture sheet and roll them together through the pasta machine (figure E). Using the 4" x 10" paper pattern, trim textured clay sheet. Repeat with the second piece.

4. Lay one of the 3" x 8" pieces of clay centered over the paper towel roll on the glass (figure F). There should be 2-1/2 inches of clay laying flat on the glass on either side. Bake for 20 minutes at 275 degrees. Repeat with the second piece. Allow to cool on glass before removing.

5. Cover one half of the paper pot with a thin layer of liquid clay. Cover the pot with the 4" x 10" piece of clay folding over 3/4 inch of clay over the top edge (figure G). Trim excess. Be careful not to press too hard on the texture. Repeat with second half. Bake each half for 20 minutes at 275 degrees. Allow to cool.

6. Hold the sidepiece of clay (the one baked on to the glass) up to one of the pot halves. Cut a semi-circle out of the bottom of the clay-covered paper pot based on the configuration of the sidepiece. Repeat with the second half. Place one half of the paper pot down on the remaining piece of flat clay and trace around the bottom. Cut piece out of clay, trimming it to fit the bottom of the pot. Cover the bottom of the pot on the outside with a thin layer of liquid Sculpey and then cover the bottom with the piece of clay. Roll a 1/4-inch snake of black clay and use it as a trim around the circular part of the bottom (figure I). Repeat with the second half. Bake both halves for 15 minutes at 275 degrees.

7. With your finger put a thin layer of liquid clay around all the cut edges of the paper pot half. Roll a 1/4-inch snake of clay. Run the snake along all of the cut edges of the paper pot half (figure J). Put another thin layer of liquid clay over the snake. Attach the sidepiece to the pot half by pressing the two pieces together. Repeat with the other half. Trim any excess. Bake both halves separately by placing them back down on the glass-baking sheet to hold the shape. Bake for 15 minutes at 275 degrees.

8. In one section of the metal palette mix one teaspoon of liquid clay with 1/16 teaspoon of Sunset gold mica powder. Mix thoroughly with a skewer. With your finger spread a thin layer of the gold liquid clay over the non-textured side of each half pot (figure L). With a brush spread a thin layer of untinted liquid clay inside each half of the planter. Spread a thin layer of liquid clay on the textured sides of the planter. Bake the two halves for ten minutes at 275 degrees, cool.

9. Fill planter halves with cactus planting mix and plant succulents. Arrange planter on patio table on either side of umbrella pole.

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