Making models from clay can be a relaxing, fun hobby or even a nice business. Clay models, or sculptures made of clay, make great gifts as well. Clay takes paint well and can be molded or sculpted. Here's how you can take advantage of this versatile artistic medium to create beautiful clay flowers to display in your home or office.
Decide what type of clay you would like to use. There are different clays for different uses. If you are going to harden the clay in a kiln, you'll want to use firing clay. Oil-based clay is easy to work with and can be reused, but it does not harden, even over long periods of time. Polymer clay often is used by hobbyists in a home setting because it can be hardened at low oven temperatures. You can purchase these clay products in hobby or ceramic stores.
Break off a piece of the clay to start. Roll the clay between your palms until it becomes a tubular shape about 6 inches long. Place the clay on wax paper and flatten it slightly with your thumbs. Add more clay to the rolled clay. Use your thumbs to attach the extra clay along the sides of the rolled clay. Pinch this extra clay into the shape of leaves or thorns, depending upon the type of flower you're making.
Roll out a circular piece of clay onto wax paper and fold the edges up, using your thumbs to form the petals. Use a small sculpting tool to etch a center design into the clay flower. This could be a sunflower design or something similar. If you prefer, roll very thin strips of clay and press them into the center of the flower to form filaments (the center part of a flower).
Attach your flower stem to your flower by pressing the tip of the stem against the base of the flower. Place your clay flower in a kiln or oven for the hardening process, then paint your clay flower with acrylic paint and finish with a coat of clear lacquer. You can use any leftover clay to form a cylinder; hollow it out to make a pot for your flower.