Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers you can make from clay, and also one of the easiest, since you can make a realistic rose with a single color of clay. Optionally, you can add a calyx - the green outer whorl that covers the base of the rose where it joins the stem.
The seven petaled rose pattern is suitable for roses from about 1/2 inch to about 2 inches. For a smaller rose, try making a bud using just the first four petals; for a larger rose, add three or four additional petals around the outside.
Step 1. Divide the Clay After conditioning and mixing your clay as usual, make a ball, depending on the size you want the finished rose to be. Divide the ball into seven pieces. The pieces should be about the same size, but they don't need to be exactly divided. Each piece will become one petal of your rose.
Step 2. Make a Rose Petal Roll the smallest of the seven pieces between your palms to smooth it, then press it to make a flat petal in a rounded triangle shape (roughly the shape of a guitar pick). The point (which will become the base of the rose) should be thicker than the opposite edge, which will be the top of the petal; this top edge will be about 1/16th of an inch thick.
Step 3. Fold the Petal into a Bud Hold the petal with the thick point down and use the other hand to gently fold the sides in on themselves, forming a rosebud. The edges should overlap a little (see photo on the right).
Step 4. Wrap the Second Petal around the Bud Use the next clay piece to form another petal a little bigger than the first, with the top edge slightly thinner. Hold the bud by the bottom in one hand and use the other to wrap the petal around it. The petal's top edge should protrude a little above the top of the bud.
Step 5: Form and Attach the Third and Forth Petals Form a third petal, again a little bigger than the second. Wrap it around the first two petals, offsetting it so the three petals form a spiral when you look at the rose from above. Gently roll just the edge of the petal outward, using the tip of your finger. Then form and attach the fourth petal in the same way.Each petal should be a little thinner at the edge than the one before, and each one should stick up a little above the previous petals.
6: Make the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Petals Form and attach the
outer three petals. The edges should be paper-thin; gently roll the top
of the edge back after attaching each petal. For a wider, more "blown"
flower, curl the whole petal back; for a more budlike look, curl just the
very edge. When all the petals are attached, squeeze the base of
the rose gently to meld the petals together. Hold the rose gently
and use a knife or needle to cut off most of the base, making a flat bottom
for the rose.