Monday, 10 October 2011

The Halloween Market Floor

As the market stall has a side part where the floor is totally visible, I decided I wanted to go have a go at making my own clay tiles! Now I am venturing into hubby's domain here and I must say, he's only helpful when it comes to criticism LOL  He will happily tell me where I am going wrong or how awful it looks, but he's not so forthcoming with advice on how 'get' the look!!! Men ;0)

Anyway, out came the clay (Terracotta colour Air Drying Clay) and I started to roll it out (like pastry) with a small rolling pin... only to find it stuck to the rolling pin and broke up in patches!! After half an hour or so of re-rolling again and again, and some not very lady-like words(!) hubby finally 'suggested' that I add some water to the clay!

Now this worked :0)
With wet hands, I could smooth and coax the clay into the bumpy and sloping floor I wanted and then I 'borrowed' one of hubby's shaping tools and marked out my 'cobbles'... which was met with fits of laughter from hubby! :0(

Ok, it's not as good as his cobbles, but he's had years of practice and I didn't think they were that bad?!
Anyway, my poor cobbles were so upset by his uncharitable laughter that they disappeared right back into the clay and I started again... this time with help of a Bromley Crafts flagstone template that I found buried in his workbox!

The templates are designed to be used with brick compound and not with clay. So I pressed the template hard into the clay and then gently peeled it back up. This gave me a feint line of the flagstones which I could use as a guide for most of the flagstones. Some didn't show through, but it was easy from here to judge how the missing flagstones should look in size and shape. I used the shaping tool again to mark out the lines and ok, I agree, they do look better like this! 

I had intended to leave it dry overnight, but I was bored after an hour, so I dug out my Jacobean Woodstain that I had used on the woodwork and applied a coat to the clay, leaving some thicker areas in between the flagstones in patches. I was really pleased with look and this time I did leave it alone to dry properly.

The photo below, shows it the next day, when it has totally dried out :0)
I have left the side that is hidden behind the stall itself as plain stained wood. I may add wooden floor planks here in the future.

and this it with the market stall in situ. I think it looks ok for a first (or second) attempt at doing my own flooring... look out hubby... lock up your clay, I know how to do it now ;0) LOL

Julia xxx

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  1. Well, I have to agree with hubby on your first attempt at cobble stones! LOL LOL Soooo pleased they met a timely end!! :O))) Your second attempt was much better and more realistic err a lot straighter! :o)))

    You took a huge gamble with applying the stain before the clay was dry! I never do anything to my clay until it's completely dry! Patience’s, Julia, patience’s! :o)) So glad that it survived though. :o)))

    Looking forward to seeing the rest.:o))
    Michelle xxx

  2. LOL Michelle.. and I thought you were my friend! I had fun making those wobbly cobbles ;0))) LOL I be grudgingly agree they look better now though :)
    Patience! Ooo, I have none, my head runs much faster than drying times LOL I have stained paper mache before it was dry and it gave a good effect, hence the gamble on the clay, I will try to be more patient in future though :0)
    I am going to do some more work on the vine tonight, so I will try and pop and upto date on FB later :)
    Julia xx

  3. I'm glad you managed to sort it all out eventually and yes, I agree - the second attempt is more convincing! At least you gave it a go - I wouldn't! Patience isn't one of my virtues either.

  4. Hi Irene,
    I'm glad I'm not the only with no patience LOL I have been glueing leaves on the vine for it this afternoon and have had to leave it a while for the glue to dry and it's soooo hard :0)
    Julia xx


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