Do not use unbaked clay on unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Good work surfaces include wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof metal surface at 275°F (130°C) for 30 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Wash hands after use. Baking should be completed by an adult.
Begin by preheating oven to 275°F (130 °C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Cut a piece of mat board to the size you want your finished piece to be. This piece will be the base of your project so make sure it fits into your tray. Remember- measure twice-cut once.
Using the Clay Conditioning Machine on a medium setting, roll out sheets of Chocolate clay. The number of sheets you will need will depend on how big your base is from Step 1. To make one large sheet of clay that will fit on your base- lay the sheets of Chocolate next to each other on a baking sheet. Smooth the seams well with your fingers. You can also use an Acrylic Roller to smooth out any bumps. Weak seams will end up being weak spots on the finished piece. Now, take the mat board from Step 1 and place it on top of your sheet of clay. Use the Super Slicer blade to cut along the edge of the mat-board all the way around. Set the clay that was trimmed away from the mat-board to the side; this will be used later in the project. Gently lift the mat-board away and bake your sheet of clay for 15 minutes.
Condition 1 block each of all of the remaining colors listed above. You can open more packages and condition as needed. Use 1 bar Translucent and add small pea size bits of all of the other colors to the Translucent. Roll the Translucent clay in your hands and then roll it through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the thickest setting. Pick up the sheet of clay and begin tearing, twisting, and pulling it apart; keep going until you have a the clay has nice ribbons of color running through it. Run it through the Clay Conditioning Machine on the thicket setting. If you find that the ribbons of color are too intense you can make them more subtle by folding the sheet of clay in half and rolling it through again. Once you have your sheet of clay the way you like it start cutting your tiles out; be strategic in how you place the cutter so you can get the most out of your sheet of clay. Repeat this process until you have enough tiles to fill up your base sheet and a few extra that you will need later. NOTE: When adding the small bits of color the Translucent clay make some batches with more Tranquility, Spring Lilac, or Gentle Plum; this way you will have a nice assortment of tiles and the finished piece doesn’t end up looking monotone. 5) When making the tiles, the end result will be determined by how much Translucent you use. More Translucent will create depth and a more “glass-like” look. Less Translucent will result in something more akin to slate.
To create your “grout” mixture- Condition 2 blocks of Translucent while adding small bits of Beige and Tan, then sprinkle in some of the brown embossing powder. Condition the clay mixture until it has an even color and the embossing powder is mixed in evenly. Look at your mixture, if you think it might need more Tan, or Beige, or embossing powder add more and condition it in until you have the look you want. There is no exact formula to this; you just want it to look right to you.
Use the Clay Conditioning Machine to roll out the “grout” mixture on a medium setting. Pick up one of your tiles and rub a tiny bit of Bake N’ Bond along one edge. Position the edge of the tile so it is standing on its edge with the Bake n’ Bond on the sheet of “grout.” Trim around the edges. When you get to the angles, position your blade so when you cut it follows the angle on the edge of the tile. You want the grout line to be an extension of that angle. Bake the tiles for 10 minutes and let cool. Note: The width of the grout line is determined by the thickness of the sheet you roll out of the mix. For a narrower grout line roll a thinner sheet and for a thicker grout line roll a thicker sheet.
Pick up a tile that already has one edge with the grout line rub a tiny bit of Bake N’ Bond along the long edge that touches the edge you already have the grout on. Repeat Step 4 by standing the tile on its edge and trimming around the edges. Just like in Step 4 you need to make sure you follow the angles. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool. NOTE: If you prefer to combine Steps 5 & 6 and bake the tiles only once instead of baking after Step 5 and then again after Step 5 you can. You just need to be careful since maintaining the sharp angles will help the tiles fit together well. All of the tiles need to have the grout edges in the same position.
Using a ruler and pen make two intersecting lines to mark the center of the base sheet. Pick up one of your tiles, coat the bottom with a thin layer of Bake N’ Bond and position it so all the points of the tile line up with the lines in the center. Bake this tile onto the base sheet for 10 minutes and let cool. NOTE: Baking the first centered tile turns it into an “anchor”. The tiles coated with the Bake N’ Bond tend to slide around a little bit. Having an “anchor” tile will prevent the tiles you add from pushing that first tile off center.
When adding the remaining tiles you need to make sure you do the following: Coat the back of each tile with Bake N’ Bond and position the tiles with the grout lines all going in the same direction. Position the tiles as close together as you can to avoid any gaps between the edge of a tile and the grout line placed up against it.
As you work your way to the edges you will notice that some of the tiles hang over the edge while some areas need to be filled by a small piece of tile. When you have gotten all of the tiles in place with several of them hanging over the edge bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool enough to be able to handle without burning yourself. While the piece is still warm turn it over and use your Super Slicer blade to trim the overhanging tiles away from the edge. Save the small pieces of tile you cut away since they will be used in the next step.
Note: Clay that has been baked but is still warm is much easier to cut, waiting until a piece has completely cooled can make any trimming that needs to be done difficult.
There are areas on the board that need a small piece of tile to fill it in. Those pieces that you trimmed away on Step 8 can be used here. When you put these pieces into place make sure they are positioned so that the grout edges fall into the correct place. After using the pieces left from trimming in Step 8 you may still have some spots that need to be filled. This is where the extra tiles you made come into play. Use these tiles to fill in any remaining open areas.
Bake the piece for 10 minutes and let cool enough to be able to handle it safely. Just like you did in Step 8 turn the piece over and trim away any tiles that are hanging over the edge so they are even with the base sheet. Let cool the rest of the way. Optional: If you see any gaps between the grout and tiles you can take some of the remaining mixture you made for the grout and use it as a spackle to fill in those small gaps. If you choose to do this you will need to bake the piece for another 10 minutes.
Get the Chocolate clay that you had set aside after Step 1. Create a border to go around the edge of the board by extruding a “ribbon” of clay using the die that looks like a small rectangle. Before adding the border paint a thin layer of Bake N’ Bond all of the way around the edge. This will help form a secure bond between the strip of clay and the edge of the tiled piece. Once you have the border on make sure the corners are trimmed neatly and bake for 15 minutes.
Adhere the mosaic tile board to your tray and enjoy!