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by Sandy Laipply

Terra Cotta was used extensively in China. This project is in honor of the Terra Cotta soldiers of the tomb of the emperor of the Qin Dynasty 221-206 B.C. Chinese Terra Cotta vases have been discovered from as early as 3000 B.C.


You will need:

  • 5” x 7” Wooden frame
  • 1.75 lb. box Terra Cotta clay
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Faux finish glaze
  • Matte varnish
  • Sealer
  • Chinese character stamp
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Plastic knife
  • Scissors
  • Rolling pin



1. Carefully remove glass from wood frame and set aside. Mask the inside and outer edges of frame with tape, if desired. Paint a thin coat of glue over remaining surface. Allow to dry. Remove tape.
2. Knead clay till soft and smooth then roll out to about 1¼4 " thick with rolling pin. Using a plastic knife, cut strips of flattened clay the width of frame. Lay pieces on the front until the entire frame is covered. Blend seams together with fingers.
3. Use scissors to cut rubber stamps apart into individual Chinese characters. Push different stamps into the clay making sure they leave an impression. Character patterns can be place in rows or in a random fashion. Option: Draw Chinese characters on clay with pencil.
4. Place clay covered frame on an oven proof glass surface then bake in a 275ºF oven for 15 minutes per 1¼4 " of thickness, with good ventilation. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. Avoid over baking. Thicker pieces may require additional baking time. Let cool.



5. Paint the surface of the frame with a coat of sealer. Let dry.
6. Mix equal parts brown paint and clear glaze. Brush this mixture over entire frame making sure to get into all crevices. Immediately wipe with a paper towel, removing as much color as desired. Let dry.
7. To finish, apply 2 coats of matte varnish, allowing to dry between coats.

Push stamps into a clay to
make an impression.
Polyform Original Sculpey® Polymer Clay; Darice® Wood Frame; Delta Ceramcoat® Acrylic Paint,All Purpose Sealer, Faux Finish Glaze, Matte Interior Varnish, Rubber Stampede® Stamp; Beacon™ Gem-Tac™ Glue; Fiskars® Scissors

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