Thursday, July 7, 2011

Making an oogly Duckling with Clay

Splashing around in the pool is fun and so is making a duckling splashing around in his own little pond. Here’s a clay project that brings the outdoor fun inside.
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)
Blue and green marbles, glitter, beads or sand

1.       Divide a ball of clay the size of a golf ball into two equal-sized pieces.  Set aside one part and divide the second part again into two equal-sized pieces.  
2.       Form the body of your duckling using one of the smaller pieces. Roll it into a ball and then form it into an oval. You will use the other piece for the head and wings of your duckling.

3.       Form the head of your duckling by pinching off a piece of clay the size of a marble from your extra clay. Roll it into a ball and attach it to one end of body.*
4.       Give your duckling a bill by flattening the clay at the front of the head. You can add eyes using extra clay or a pencil to draw features on your creation.
5.       Give your duckling tail feathers by pinching the clay at the other end of its body into a flat tail.
6.       Add wings by rolling a pea-sized ball of clay. Flatten it and taper the ends into a feather shape. Make one for each side and attach to the body of your duckling.*
7.       Make a pond for your duckling using the remaining large piece of clay. Flatten it into a pancake and then turn up the edges to form the pond.  Place your duckling in the pond. 
8.       If you have used stoneware clay and have access to a high firing a kiln (cone 5), you can melt a couple of blue or green marbles to make water. Blue beads, glitter or sand can also be used to fill in your duckling’s pond if you like.
9.       You can add whatever features you like to make your duckling special. I like to squeeze a small amount of clay through a garlic press and put a little curl on the top my duckling’s head.

*If you are working with stoneware or terracotta, you will need to use the slip as glue to attach each piece to your duckling. 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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