Swirl Clay Art Using Medello Design Stencil and American Clay

Hi Friends!

This is one of my FAVORITE pieces I have made using American Clay as wall art.  

American Clay with Medello Design Swirl

As my love for American Clay continues I try to explore different uses for the product.  I've even gone so far as to coat a lamp out if it. (the center on that lamp used to be a white PVC pipe which is probably why I got it for 10 bucks at a thrift store!)

Today I would like to showcase an art piece I created with the clay and in good 'ol blog fashion try to explain how to........ Do It Yourself.  :-)

First buy yourself a blank art canvas. I bought four canvases 24"x30" which would make the final piece a whoppin 4'x5'!  Michaels craft store carries a lot of sizes. (I've even done this technique on a tiny 8"x11" canvas)

Since American Clay needs something to stick onto I applied a sanded primer to the canvas and allowed it to dry.

Next I covered the entire four canvases with a layer of clay. I would highly recommend doing 2 layers of clay but as you read through my blog you will see I am quite impatient, not a great quality of mine! I compressed the clay extra to make sure it was a solid surface for my stencil.  The canvas needs to be 100% dry before you move onto the next step. (It was starting to dry in this picture.)

Then I applied my stencil.  These very large stencils can be found at Modello Designs - a fabulous design store full of amazing ideas. The stencils they offer come like a sticker you peel off and only use once.  For those extra crafty people try making your own stencil out of a thin plastic sheet.

Medello design on clay

Next I slather on my alternating color of reddish clay over the stencil, carefully troweling in the direction of the design.  I only did one layer of clay (debated doing two. but you know my impatience thing) and slowly peeled off the stencil (while it was still damp - that wasn't because of impatience, it was because working with it damp seemed easier.) When you peel off the stencil pull it completely flat against working area - do not pull UP! 

Medello design using American clay

I'm a sucker for the "old world" look so I felt it necessary to "age" my art.  I watered up some earth pigments and used my round stippler brush to age the clay.


custom clay art piece terra cotta swirls

All finished!  - just how I wanted it.  Next I will be finding the perfect place for this on a wall.  (Can you imagine it above a jetted bathtub on a terra cotta colored clay wall - maybe this is of things to come??)

UPDATE:  I ended up putting this in my NEW HOME :-)

tuscan clay art piece for home decor

If you would like to commission me to do a custom clay art piece for your home please CONTACT ME.  I do understand that the whole DIY thing isn't for everyone and I would be happy to do what I do best for you!


  1. That turned out so amazing. I want to see a closer picture of the clay on that lamp~ I didn't even know you could do that! Do a post on the lamp!

  2. Very cool. I have a nail hole in our upstairs bathroom between the kid's bedrooms and filled it in with putty. Now I can't find ANY of the paint from that room to cover the putty!! UGH! So I have been dreaming of doing it in American Clay:). Can you email me the cost per square foot again? Maybe Trent and I would feel brave enough to take this on this winter. . .

  3. Hi, I found your blog at My Romatic Home. I love your clay wall art, beautiful! I would like to invite you to post this over at my new link party, Masterpiece Monday, at my blog, Boogieboard Cottage. The link is already up. I hope you can join the party!

    Happy New Year,

  4. Hi, Thank you for linking to Masterpiece Monday! I hope you can join in every week.
    Take care, Mary

  5. You are right, this is TOTALLY my style!!! I LOVE this - I am now off to look at your blog to see if you have some other samples - love it! Your DD is a cutie as well :)

  6. This is amazing!! It looks like a fun project to tackle. I love what a dramatic piece it is and no one else in the neighborhood will have one on their wall!

  7. I really like the color tones that you used. This clay is new to me. Thank you for the post.

  8. I think this would make an awesome headboard for a bed...

  9. Selina, beautiful job! This Clay is new to me and I am so glad to have found out about it. I am just wondering if wall texture (joint compound, etc.) and faux painting deliver the same concept or is it entirely different? I would love to find out more. My email is rkfreitas@yahoo.com. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful work.

  10. waoooooo.....its very smart..

  11. Beautiful but... really $300? Ouch! Couldn't one download a design, print it out and transfer onto milar and use an exacto knife to cut it out to save $$? I love the way you used clay in this project - I miss doing projects like this, no time anymore!


  12. Reply to Michelle: Ya, 300.00 is totally ouch! Funny story about how I got it, I had a client who wanted me to use that stencil on her fireplace hood and decided later she wanted to me to paint a fresco instead! (see post on winning clay contest) So I ended up just getting the stencil for free! If you were really creative I think you could figure out a way to use a thick plastic and exacto knife like you said and make your own for 20 bucks!

  13. Thanks for all the information - your project turned out amazing! I have large empty walls and this would be just perfect!

    Party and Entertaining Inspiration

  14. Beautiful work and model!!!
    You are very talented.

    Visiting via the Weekend Wrap Up.

  15. What a beautiful idea. I'm your newest follower. It would be great if you could stop by my blog Monday and add your project to The More The Merrier Link Party.


  16. That is so beautiful. I love it. Seriously. Love it.

  17. Uh...this is just pure AWESOMENESS! I love it...along with your map + canvas tutorial.

    I'm your newest follower and would love for you to stop by my little piece of blog heaven...


  18. I want to make this sooo bad. Can you tell me the size of the stencil you used? Thanks!

    1. Hi Edie!

      The actual stencil size is 48" x 48". You can get them at Modello Designs (I think I included a link above)

      So glad you like the project!



Thank you for your comments! I read them ALL and appreciate them. If you are asking a question be sure and leave your email, it will help me be able to contact you if you need a response. :-)

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