Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday - Making an owl with clay

The cool nights are starting to inspire thoughts of fall and the change of seasons. Our first project for fall is a hoot owl with eyes big enough to see in the dark.

Clay (stoneware, terracotta or a non-hardening modeling clay will work)
*Slip (slurry made from old, dry clay and water to use a paste with stoneware or terracotta)
2 pieces of 6 gauge wire, two inches long
Small wooden skewer or toothpick with pointed ends

1. Make a ball the size of a ping pong ball and press it into a pinch pot.  Stuff it with
waded up newspaper and close the pinch pot to form a hollow ball.  

2. Form a beak and attach.*

3. To make eyes, make an indention in the clay with the round end of a magic marker.  Rotate the pen in the socket to make a space big enough for a marble to be added after your owl is fired. Using the sharp end of your toothpick or skewer, make little lines all around the eye. 

4. Create wings for your owl by forming marble-sized balls of clay into the shape of a feather shape.  Attach.*

5. For your owl’s feet make two walnut-sized balls of clay and flatten them. Using the sharpened end of your pencil, press the point into the clay to make feet. You will need to make holes in your owl’s body and in the feet to attach legs after the firing.  Be sure that the wire line up between the feet and the owl before it dries.

6. When your piece is fired, add marbles to make great big owlish eyes.

*If you are working with stoneware or terracotta, you will need to use the slip as glue to attach the smaller clay pieces like the beak and wings to your owl. 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.

We shared this idea on Skip to My Lou. Check out all the fun project ideas there.

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