Decorative Ceramic Clutch Vase

Learn how to mold a functional and creative ceramic rose clutch vase.


Patty Barnett is one of those people who took her childhood memories of making mud pies very seriously. Perhaps it was the fact that she and her siblings earned quite a bit of money with their grass-embellished mud creations — even if it was just leaf-based currency. But more likely, it was the joy of working with her hands that led her to eventually perfect her skills in the form of ceramic sculptures. Reminiscent of her childhood days, her whimsy is evident today in her ceramic ladies' accessories, like her high-heel business card holders and purse vase sculptures.

Materials and Tools:

25 lb. bag of greenware clay
underglazes, sienna gold, brown, black
clear glaze
paintbrushes and paint palette
dispersing agent
liquid luster
laminated paper purse pattern
slab roller
clay-cutting wire tool
ice pick
leather hard clay cylinder
clay-shaping tools
5 circle cutters in graduated sizes
clear ceramic glue




1. Cut off a wedge from a 25 lb. block of greenware clay. Throw the clay on a slab roller twice to flatten it slightly.

2. Roll the clay through the slab roller to create a sheet.

3. Place the laminated paper purse pattern on the clay and trace around it with an ice pick. Cut out the shape of the outside of the bag. Remove the excess clay but save it for the clutch sides.



4. Place a leather hard clay cylinder (made earlier) in the center of the bag-shaped clay. Insert flowers in the clay cylinder later.



5. Cut two end pieces from the excess clay sheet for the bag ends.



6. Fold the handbag-shaped clay around the cylinder. Score the edges of the end pieces and the edges of the handbag. Apply slip to the scored edges and pinch the end pieces to the handbag. Remove the excess clay.

7. Shape the clutch bag and smooth the clay using clay-shaping tools. Let the bag dry to a leather hard stage.



8. Bisque-fire the bag in the kiln for 12 hours. Let cool.

9. Pour clear liquid glaze inside the bag. Swirl it around, pour the excess out and let it sit.

10. Paint the base coat of the bag with sienna gold under glaze.



11. Paint on the leopard spots with dark brown under glaze over the base coat.

12. Paint the outer edges of the leopard spots with black under glaze. Under glaze fire the clutch in the kiln. Let cool.



13. Clear glaze the entire outside of the bag and fire again in the kiln. Let cool.

14. Clean the top of the bag with a dispersing agent so that luster may be applied. Let it dry for 30 minutes.

15. Carefully brush gold liquid luster over the top edges of the clutch bag. If you mess up the luster, clean the clay again with the dispersing agent, dry, and paint it again. Fire the clutch vase in the kiln. Let cool.



16. To make the clay rose; roll out a slab of clay on the slab roller. Cut several circles with each of five graduated circle cutters.

17. Starting with the smallest circle, roll it between your fingers to make the center of the rose. Pinch the edges of medium circles to make the next outer layer of the rose and attach it around the center bud.



18. Pinch the edges of larger circles and attach them to the second layer. Continue until the rose shape is complete.

19. Bisque-fire the rose in the kiln. Let cool.



20. Apply white under glaze and fire the rose in the kiln. Let cool.

21. Apply the final glaze and fire the rose again in the kiln. Let cool.



22. Attach the rose with clear ceramic glue to the front of the ceramic clutch vase.

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