Art Club- Clay Corals

For our final Lockdown Art Club before returning to school next week, I’m suggesting another clay activity! (Lots of you said how much you enjoyed working with the clay Elmers).

The activity is to make a clay coral. These are great fun and the lovely thing about this activity is that the coral really evolves as you pinch out the clay and it gives plenty of scope for imaginative decoration (especially pressing or ’embossing’ objects into the clay). The video is about 17 minutes long (so I apologise if I go on a bit!) but hopefully it will give you some helpful hints.

  1. Start off by wedging (or kneading) the clay to get rid of any air bubbles.
  2. Work your clay into a ball shape.
  3. Poke a hole through the centre of the ball with your finger. Tidy the opening up with a paintbrush and a little water. (As you work the clay it dries out slightly through the warmth of your hands and this will avoid any small cracks emerging on the opening of the hole.
  4. Now poke another hole through the centre from the side of the ball.
  5. Continue until you have poked six or seven holes through the ball of clay. Tidy up the openings with a paintbrush and a small amount of water (you do not want your clay ball to turn into a mud pie.)
  6. Pinch the clay areas out between the holes if you would like your coral to be ‘sharp’, smooth between each hole with a paintbrush if you want a smoother finish.
  7. If ‘sharpening out’ , continue to pinch the clay out until it is ‘crisp thin’ at the edges.
  8. To add texture, press objects into the clay. You could also push soft clay through a sieve to get a floral/seaweed effect. This can be very effective, just add the ‘seaweed’ to your coral model.
Sharp effect by ‘pinching the clay’ out.
A smoother effect through using a paintbrush and water to smooth between the holes (openings). The ‘cross’ decoration here was achieved by simply pressing in a Phillips screwdriver!
A seaweed texture can be achieved through pushing soft clay through a sieve.