Title: Tree of Life
Objective: To make a clay candleholder in the style of the Mexican culture.
aluminum foil, plastic wrap or wax paper
toothpicks or wire
acrylic or tempera paint
acrylic gloss varnish
small containers or pans (for water and paint)
1. Tape a piece of aluminum foil, plastic wrap or wax paper (about 12’’x12’’) to the work surface.
2. To make the candleholder base roll a lump of clay into a ball with a 3” diameter. Flatten the bottom portion to enable the base to stand.
3. To make the trunk roll a lump of clay into a cylindrical shape about 5” long and 1” thick.
4. Wet one end of the trunk and the top of the base. Set the trunk onto the base. Press the pieces together. Smooth the joined areas with moistened fingers. If the trunk bends, use the toothpicks or pieces of wire pushed into the structure, to keep it straight.
5. To make the branches roll the clay into two cylindrical shapes 5” long and 3/4” thick. Flatten each end. Bend the branches to form two half circles. Moisten the four flattened ends. Join them to the trunk on opposite sides, one end of each near the top of the trunk, the other end of each near the base.
6. Roll a lump of clay into a 1” ball. Poke a finger into the ball to form a hollow large enough to hold the candle. Moisten the candleholder and set it on top of the trunk.
7. Form small pieces of clay into objects such as shapes, plants, animals, or people, to decorate the tree. Moisten and attach.
8. Designs may be carved into the tree using the sculpting tools.
9. Allow to dry completely for several days.
10. Paint with bright colors. If tempera paints are used apply acrylic gloss varnish to the dry surface to seal and protect the paint.