Ceramic Cell Phone Holder... Make them your own !

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Cell Phone Holder from Slab Clay
This is a great first project with clay.. and the subject matter seems to be very popular with teens, and everyone else who misplaces their cell phone from time to time. It also is a great holder while recharging.

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   We are working with low fire clay (earthenware) that is very plastic, wet with NO GROG. 
It is moist enough that with a firm press will marry the clay together, with out the aid of scoring and slip.

NOTE: If the clay you will be working with on this project is not that moist, you will have to score the pieces at the joints, and add slip before attaching.

 

 

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Begin: 
Place a piece of canvas on the 1/4" depth side of the clay board.. Place a 1 inch slice of  clay and center it on the board.

Roll the clay until you have obtained the thickness of the side boards.

NOTE The roller board controls your thickness.  It is important as your projects grow larger, that you maintain the same thickness of clay as you hand build. This allows for even drying of your ware.

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Cover this piece with a sheet of plastic wrap, and set aside. It is your bottom.

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The side walls are created from a 2" thick slab of clay.

With the heel of you hand, flatten the slab slightly to widen it, before rolling.

 

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Once your clay has been rolled to the 1/4 inch side board thickness.

Choose a Texture Mat.. There are over 50 designs.. I like the pebble texture for this project, but you choose ! 

Note: If you flip the pebble mat over you will get an inlay mosaic texture in your clay. So many choices ! So much fun !

Plastic Texture mats are available from Arts and Craft Stores.. 

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After placing the mat over the clay, turn your board. The roller should not be resting on the side bars.

Begin with the side closest to you and press and roll just once, to impress your texture.

 

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Peel the mat from the clay surface. 

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Using a Potters Needle tool mark a width of about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the right side of your textured slab.

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Slice the slab using the needle tool. 

Note: A potters needle tool has the strength to cut through clay without bending giving you a very sharp cut. 

 

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Peel away the trim, and place it in a plastic bag, to be re-worked.

Move the base slab back into your work area and remove the plastic.
Note: I move the project back onto my clay board. The board allows me to turn the work without over handling the piece. A turn table works at this point too.

Remove the 3" wide textured slice, and wrap it into an oval in the upright position on the base slab over lapping in the front.

Pressure in added to make sure the clay edge is well seated onto the base slab. 

Note: If you have allowed time for your cut edge to begin to heal, you will need to do the score and slip attachment at this point.  But if you have moved quickly there is ample moisture in the cut to marry the side walls to the base

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Using the potters needle tool, trim the base to the edge of you side walls.

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remove the excess after your trim. 

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Using a palette knife and working upward from the bottom, marry the clay base into the side walls.

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To re-detail the bottom edge, use the flexible mat in an upright position, and two or three fingers on the inside for support and pressure. 

Begin working around the bottom pressing the mat into the clay, while keeping your fingers inside for support. 

Don't be concerned with matching the texture.. the pebbles blend nicely together. 

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At this point.. the basics are accomplished... and your ideas and desires begin. 

You can alter the top edge by trimming.. note the photo at the beginning of this article.  Lower on one side to give the piece some motion.. But you choose ! 

I finished off the top edge with a fluting, but you might leave yours as is.. or do a pinched edge finish.

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Don't forget to place the opening in the back to insert the end of the cell phone charger..  Your cell phone sitter makes a nice charging station too ! 

Using you needle tool makes this job easy..  Be sure to start your opening 1/4 inch from the bottom to retain the base. 

To attach the flip flip adornment...  see the class on Clay Cuts ! 
Terms
Marry the Clay:
  A bonding of the clay without the aid of scoring and slip to attach two pieces of clay.  Requires a wet plastic clay.

 


Definitive Guide to Mold Making and Slip Casting: Contemporary Techniques for Potters

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