Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making a Penguin From Clay

Christmas may be over but it’s still cold at my house. Penguins love the cold so now’s the perfect time for this project. You can make a penguin with clay by following these easy steps.
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)
Pencil with good point for drawing on the clay
Garlic press or strainer for making hair

1. Begin with a piece of clay the size of a ping pong ball and make a pinch pot. Try to make it a tall pinch pot instead of a wide one.
2. Turn the pinch pot upside down and smooth it to create a head at the top.
3. Make a nose and attach it to the head of your penguin* and then add eyes.
 4. Add wings by rolling smaller pieces of clay into coils with one pointed end. Flatten the coil so it looks like a feather and attach one to either side of your penguin.*
5. You can create a mask like penguins have by simply drawing on the clay.
6. Create little feet by making six little pointed coils.  Put three together and attach to the body. 
You can also pinch out a little tail in the back of your penguin.

For fun, you can put a bit of hair on your penguin’s head. If you use the non-hardening oogly clay, you can add all sorts of fun things like a hat, a scarf or whatever suits your mood for your penguin today.

*If you are working with stoneware or terracotta, you will need to use the slip as glue to attach the clay wings to your penguin. 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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