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Discussion Starter #1
I've been working and collecting things for an Egyptian theme and have wanted to make some canopic jars. The ones I've seen online are either very small or very expensive if larger. So I've been thinking about how to go about making my own.

I think I have found a glass vase (Jardin Glass Vase, 7-1/2 inches high) to use as a base for them at DOLLAR TREE. I think the vase is similar enough in shape for the bottom portion. Here's a pic of a vase they have in stock right now, followed by a link to a page of photos of real ancient jars.

http://www.dollartree.com/assets/product_images/styles/large/982289.jpg

Canopic jar Stock Photo Images. 18 Canopic jar royalty free pictures and photos available to download from over 100 stock photography brands.


I thought building it around the vase using some type of clay would be the best for this project. Easy to shape and mold and easy to engrave with facial details and hieroglypics. I don't think I would be able to bake the finished jars so as not to crack or shatter the glass vase.

Has anyone done a project like this before? I'd love some suggestions on what kind of clay to use that would air dry if that is the way to go. Thanks.
 

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Never did a project like this before but just wanted to say I picked up two of those type of jars at the Halloween sale over the weekend for $16.50 a piece, they look slightly smaller than those though.
 

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I actually settled on a smaller vase from DOLLAR TREE when I went to buy it. The label says Taper Jar Vase Item #43544, Sku 983622. It's 5-3/4 inches high and about 4 inches in diameter. By going smaller I figured I'd save on clay and the vase mouth wasn't quite as flaired as the Jardin style.

BTW DT shows the Taper Jar on their website but the one I bought doesn't look like the picture on the site really. Mine has a longer, straighter neck (the canopic jar topper should fit better with this neck) and the body of the vase looks more like the Jardin in shape. Nice quality thickness too. Anyway the great thing about DOLLAR TREE is that everything is $1.

If I don't hear from any "clay" people, I'll probaby stop by Michaels next week and see what they recommend. I'll have to look for a coupon to use there when I buy my clay and save some money on that too.
 

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Hi! i'm not a "clay person" but i'm a craft person fo sho...Marblex or Stonex might be what you need. You don't have to fire them for them to harden. You might also consider faster plaster or celluclay, they have a different texture but they are very easy to work with and very economical if you want to make several of these. good luck!
 

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Hi! i'm not a "clay person" but i'm a craft person fo sho...Marblex or Stonex might be what you need. You don't have to fire them for them to harden. You might also consider faster plaster or celluclay, they have a different texture but they are very easy to work with and very economical if you want to make several of these. good luck!

Thanks! I'll check those products out. Glad to know there are non-heat options out there.
 

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You could also do a paper mache over them too and skip the clay and baking. Get tan or white and tea stain them. I think that could make them look really old and it may be less expensive than clay. When I looked at the picture I thought it would be neat to have a window left open so you can see inside the jar. You could get a pulsing heart or slimy liver to view inside. Maybe fill it with water and put a glow stick inside to illuminate what is in it.
 

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You could also do a paper mache over them too and skip the clay and baking. Get tan or white and tea stain them. I think that could make them look really old and it may be less expensive than clay. When I looked at the picture I thought it would be neat to have a window left open so you can see inside the jar. You could get a pulsing heart or slimy liver to view inside. Maybe fill it with water and put a glow stick inside to illuminate what is in it.

Thanks for the suggestions. I did consider paper mache from the cost standpoint and workability. I would have to paint on the hieroglyphs. I think from the pics of canopic jars I've seen, both clay and paper mache would work because some were chiseled or sculpted and others look like painted clay with hand written hieroglyphs. My favorite style of tomb design is the carved one so I think I'll try the clay route with mine.

BTW by using a glass vase as the basic form around which you build your jar you definitely would be able to put water inside. From a prop standpoint your ideas about seeing the content of internal organs would be very eye-catchy for the Trick or Treater.
 

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I used plastic protein shake containers and used bread dough clay. I did a basic form with tin foil on the lid and then covered that. For the container itself I decoupaged tissue paper on and then painted it.
There are pics floating around the forum somewhere under I think egyptian theme.
 

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Thanks for the pic Winklesun. Nice job. Did you have any problems with the bread dough cracking? Any issues with bugs wanting to eat it? Also thanks Slaz for the pic. Those look really nice.

I went to Michaels today and the person there suggested something to me that was an air-dry clay except when I read the instructions it said it should dry at the same rate and with the interior being next to glass I don't think that will happen and want to avoid cracking like someone in another clay post had happen to them. I also looked at Celluclay which someone here suggested and that sounds like a possibility as it can mold to any surface and they say can be carveable for fine detailing. Didn't buy anything yet however.

I'm going to use Fimo clay for some amulet molds I bought off of Etsy last year. I think those will be much easier to do, but the canopic jars will probably get noticed more so I want take my time and hopefully have them turn out really nicely.
 

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That other pic that was posted is a good one. Wish I would have had that for a reference when I did my jars!

I did have one that cracked a little but it hadn't been thick enough I think. The others are fine.
As for bugs... they were sealed well and then outside in the pyramid and it was probably too cold. ( If they are sealed well they should be okay anyways.)

DAAS airdry clay is maybe what they suggested at michaels? I've used it before for other projects and it works quite well. I've also used Celluclay but it won't give a smooth finish without a lot of fiddling around. It is more a glorified paper mache. I prefer DAAS.

What about making it and then putting it on the top of the container after it is dry?
You wouldn't have the problem then of the glass preventing it from drying properly.
 

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Honestly, if it was me--
I'd get artist's gesso, the stuff painters use to prime canvas and masonite for painting. Next, get an acrylic paint the exact shade you want, a bone/ivory/sandstone/ sorta shade.

Don't mix the gesso and the paint. It takes practice to get the ratio right without ruining the gesso, so no need to bother with it for this.

First a thin layer of gesso, and let it dry.
Then a thicker layer. Once it's dry, lightly sand it smooth. The brush marks will go away, and bingo, a clay surface.

You could add some texture by lightly dragging a tiny brush horizontally all the way around it, all the way up, to create a slight potter's wheel effect if you want. I don't think that would work for this, but it's a handy trick to keep in mind if you use gesso for clay objects in the future.

Once this is dry, either give it a third coat (and carefully add the carved symbols in the damp gesso with a toothpick, rubber stamps, or what have you) and sand it again (watch out for the carved symbols) or go ahead with paint.

Paint it...

...and paint it again.


Don't put any sealants or finishers on it. Leave it rough.

Sculpt the lids from polymer or air-dry clay and paint them with the same acrylic paint.

Bingo. Canopic jars from glass vases.
 
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