Thursday, June 30, 2011

Making a Cat with Clay

Cats have attitude and it’s fun to add their personality when you make a cat with clay. Yesterday, we shared photos of cats made by kids in the ARTmania summer classes at ARTichokes. Follow these easy instructions to create a cat as unique as your own.
A crazy cat for sure!
Clay (stoneware, terracotta or a non-hardening modeling clay will work)
*Slip (slurry made from old, dry clay and water to use as paste with stoneware or terracotta)

1.       Make the body of the cat by rolling a piece of clay the size of a lemon into a log. Set it so that it looks like the body of the cat that is sitting up on its front legs with its back legs tucked underneath it.
2.       Make the cat’s head by rolling another marble-sized ball of clay.  Attach it to the body.*
Start with the body and the head.
3.       You can add ears of any shape to your cat by rolling two small pea-sized balls of clay. Flatten them and squeeze one end to a point before pressing on to either size of the head of your cat. Cats have all types of ears so use your imagination.  Remember – cats come in lots of shapes and sizes so make your cat the way you like. 
4.       Make eyes by rolling two more balls of clay and pressing them onto the cat’s head. The size of the eyes depends on whether you want your cat to have wide, curious eyes or slanted, squinty eyes if you cat is staring at a mouse. Clay is forgiving so don’t worry if you want to change the look of your cat’s eye. You can redo at any time. 
Add ears and eyes that you like.
5.       Carve a mouth below the eyes using the point of a pencil.  You can even draw on whiskers or make tiny holes so you can insert wires or filament for whiskers.
6.       For the legs, roll coils for front legs. The length depends on the height of your cat but usually, the pieces will need to be about one and a half to two inches long. Attach them and use the pencil point to make paws.*
Give your cat paws and a mouth.
7.       You can make back legs using the same method or you can assume the cat’s back legs are tucked underneath him.*
8.       And the most important part of a cat – be sure to add a tail. Roll a thin coil, long or short and place it on your cat. It can curl around the cat, rest on the ground or even stand straight up. Use your imagination to make a cat just the way you like.
A long, curled tail finish off your cat.
*If you are working with stoneware or terracotta, you will need to use the slip as glue to attach these pieces to your cat. Using the pencil, make scratch marks on both surfaces you will be joining. Apply the slip to the piece of clay you are adding and press the piece into place.

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