You Can Now Turn Ordinary Glass, Ceramic, and Wood
Vessels Into Art...
With A Master Clay Artisan As Your Guide.
To clay artisans, Donna Kato is a name that's synonymous
with quality. Now, imagine learning to work with clay with
one of the Master Artisans as your guide, whose articles are
regularly featured in leading arts, crafts and jewelry making
"Creating Vessels" is the fourth video in a four Volume set
from Mindstorm Productions featuring renowned Master Polymer
Clay Artisan, Donna Kato. The series teaches you to work with
clay to transform ordinary objects into artistic forms. In
this Volume you'll learn a series of techniques to turn ordinary
glass, ceramic, and wood vessels into works of art. These
techniques include: Fixed Armature, Woven Vessels, Carved
Vessels, Removable Armature, Free Form Vessels, and the Balloon
Because this is a technique driven video, you won't find
specifics regarding the color or brand of clay that you use.
"I prefer to leave those details to you and your imagination,"
says Donna. What she will demonstrate is a variety of ways
to create and embellish vessels with carvings, woven patterns,
molded impressions, gold leaf, patina, and stone effects.
In addition to clay, you'll need a variety of tools to complete
the projects on this video. They are all outlined in detail
and include items that are common to clay artisans, such as
a pasta maker to shape and condition the clay, and a sharp
blade to cut it. You'll also need some common household items
such as baby oil and Armor-All.
The first method you'll learn is fixed armature. This is
perhaps the easiest method to create polymer clay vessels.
"Armature is anything that forms a skeletal structure and
support," says Donna. It's the mold you use to create your
vessel. A fixed armature remains joined to the clay after
Using a glass votive candle holder as an armature, Donna
demonstrates how easy it is to cover it with Gold Sculpey
III clay. Glass is the perfect material to use when creating
fixed armatures. But you're free to use any material as long
as it can withstand the curing process. Plaster, however,
will be particularly challenging because the clay doesn't
adhere to it as well as it does to other surfaces. But if
you do decide to choose a clay vessel as your armature, Donna
offers tips to make it easier.
During her demonstration, Donna reminds viewers of the importance
of first conditioning the clay before working with it. She
also offers suggestions for avoiding and removing air pockets
from the clay. Then using a technique she teaches in "Introduction
To Polymer Clay," Volume I of the series, Donna uses scrap
clay to create a decorative fish mold. She then applies the
fish to the candle holder to embellish it and give a finishing
Variety is what makes decorative embellishments stand out.
And so Donna also shares a great tip for insuring that your
decorations and embellishments don't all look the same.
Another way to decorate your fixed armature vessel is to
cover it with a woven texture. And so, after mastering the
fixed armature method, you'll take it one step further by
creating a woven vessel.
Once again you're guided step-by-step through the process
of covering a glass vessel with clay. You'll then watch as
Donna cuts and criss-crosses strips of clay around the vessel
to give it the woven look. Finally you'll apply gold clay
and baby oil across the criss- cross pattern for the perfect
You can also embellish your vessels by cutting patterns into
the clay. When carving, your choice of clay is critical since
some clays tend to chip easier than others. Here Donna offers
her suggestions for choosing the clay that will be easiest
to work with should you decide to add carved patterns to your
And don't be intimidated if you're just starting out! Intricate
patterns and designs are easy with a master teacher like Donna
to guide you. Her calm voice of experience will guide you
through even the most difficult patterns.
After mastering the fixed armature method, you'll move on
to creating removable armature vessels. They're removable
because you use the vessel as a mold to create the shape,
but afterwards it's separated from the clay. In this section
you'll also learn of an embellishing technique called a "crackle
pattern" which you'll create by combining clay, gold leaf,
and translucent Sculpey III.
The final technique you'll learn is the Balloon method where
you'll create a vessel using only clay and your hands. You'll
also learn how to integrate embossing powder with clay to
create a grainy "stone" look.
Finally it's time to create your own armature! You'll do
this by using biodegradable peanuts and aluminum foil wrapped
in clay! You'll then see how working with different colors
of liquid Sculpey can create a variety of finishes and textures.
The video ends with a montage of a variety of polymer clay
vessels you can create using the technique you learned on