1. While clay is still wet, trim casting close to design using a knife.
2. Use your fingers to spread water on the back of the casting and the rock. Then, apply casting to the rock following the instructions below**. Let dry at least 24 hours (longer in moist climates).
3. Paint as shown or use your imagination. We used a dry brush technique (see Techniques for Special Effects) with a peach-colored base coat and a terra cotta dry-brush coat.
4. Optional: Apply a coat of varnish to the casting. Let dry.
**Applying castings to unfinished wood:
1. Before you apply any clay castings to unfinished wood, make sure the wood surface for your project is finely sanded.
2. Use the Rolling-Pin Method (see Basic Clay Casting Instructions) to create your castings (***because they will have a flat back and adhere well. The Pressed-Ball Method leaves a more uneven surface). Do not allow the castings to dry before applying them to the wood.
3. Apply wet castings to the wood by dabbing a few drops of water on the wood and the back of the casting. Then put the casting on the wood and press lightly on the design to make sure it bonds to the wood.
4. If you want a well-defined edge around the casting, careflly trim around the design without cutting into the surface of the wood.
If you prefer a blended edge on your casting, press the soft edges of your casting with the rounded end of a paint brush, a blunt tool, or your finger, sloping the edges down to the wood. Dab water on the edge of the design if it resists blending.
Use a wet paint brush to smooth the area between the clay and the wood. Let dry.
Note: Be careful not to leave a lot of water on the wood. You will probably need to allow a day or 2 for this type of project to dry.
5. After the clay is dry, sand the rough edges of the castings.
6. Apply primer, varnish, and/or paint as desired to decorate your project.
This clay casting project is featured along with dozens of others
in our book The Art of Clay Casting, which includes basic paper casting
instructions, techniques for special effects, and a glossary of terms.
Project designed and created by Sue Moore. Photography by Paperworks, Corvallis, OR.