CLAY SOAP DISH

16/02/2022

"Mix Pébéo white and red non-firing clay to create an on-trend marbled effect soap dish."

Materials: 

  • WATERPROOFING VARNISH FOR CLAY
  • A small soft flat brush
  • A flat-bottomed glass to use as a template
  • Cling film
  • A sponge
  • A rolling pin and 2 sticks of 5 mm in diameter
  • A thin, pointed stick or a toothpick (to punch the holes)
  • A knife
  • A piece of fine sandpaper
Difficulty level: 
  • Difficult 
  • Time to make: 2 hours of moulding / 12 hours of drying time / 1 hour of piercing and smoothing / 2 days of complete drying / varnish drying: 2x 10 hours per side



  • Cut a slice of about 1 cm from the block of WHITE NON-FIRING CLAY and RED NON-FIRING CLAY.
  • Cut these slices of clay into small pieces and spread the two colours out (the final result will depend on the proportion of each colour you choose to use). Use your fingers to press the two colours together then roll them out into one piece. 
  • This next step - mixing - is very important: There can be no air bubbles trapped within the mixture, as they will form cracks when drying. 

  • When the two clay colours are well mixed, form a ball and press it out. Then, roll it out between two 5 mm sticks using the rolling pin until it has a consistent thickness. If it is any thinner than this, your soap dish will be too fragile.
  • Use your template and a knife to cut out the shape with a further 2 cm around the edges for the sides (you could use a larger glass for this or make your own paper template).
  •  Place cling film on the outside of the glass template so the clay doesn't stick as it dries, then place it in front of you, upside down (with the bottom facing up). 

  • Place the circle of cut-out clay on the bottom of the glass, centring it well, and then fold the excess clay up the walls of the glass to create the sides of your soap dish.
  •  Smooth with your fingers to flatten any excess thickness so that the sides of the soap dish are even. If necessary, smooth with a damp sponge.
  • Leave to dry for several hours, until the clay is still fresh but can be handled without losing its shape.
  • It should take between 6 and 8 hours, but could be as much as 12 hours depending on the temperature and the humidity of the room. Be careful, do not place your soap dish near a radiator for it to dry more quickly! The clay could crack! 

  • Once the clay is ready to be handled, unmould it and you're ready to make the drainage holes in the base. 
  • Use a thin stick to gently mark the location of the holes, in a regular or random fashion, then pierce from the inside outwards, gently pushing the stick through the clay to form each hole.

 

  •  Replace the soap dish on the glass template and use your knife to clean any excess clay, then gently smooth with the sponge. 
  • Allow to dry completely: a few hours on the template to ensure it keeps its shape, then turn it over to let the inside dry for a day or two. The clay should no longer feel damp to the touch.


  •  When it's completely dry, gently sand the soap dish to remove any irregularities from the surface.

  • Dust off. Spread the first coat of waterproofing varnish on the inside of the soap dish using the small brush. 
  • Ensure that the drainage holes do not get clogged with the varnish, and clear them using the stick if necessary. 
  • Leave to dry for 10 hours then apply a second coat.
  •  Once the second coat has dried, do the same for the outside of your soap dish.

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