Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making a Snowman with Clay

We haven't had much snow yet around our place but snowmen are still one of our favorite holiday projects. They can be happy, sad, friendly or funny - however you want to make your snowman is just right. Making a snowman from clay is an entertaining and easy project for kids of all ages.

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)
Small sticks or electrical wire to make your snowman’s arms.

1. To make your snowman’s body, roll two balls of clay. The first can be the size of a
ping pong ball and the other should be half that size.
2. Using the first ball, make a pinch pot and turn it upside down.  Make another pinch pot with the smaller ball, but leave the mouth open so that you have an oogly mouth. 
3. Using small bits of clay, make a carrot for a nose and add two tiny balls for eyes.*  
4. Your snowman needs some earmuffs to keep warm so roll two small balls of clay, twice the size of your snowman’s eyes. Flatten and attach them to either side of your snowman’s head.*
5. Roll out a coil for the scarf and wrap it around the seam between the two snowballs. Then make a small pinch pot for the hat.  Turn it upside down and attach in to the top of your snowman’s head.* You can use a pencil to create fringe on your snowman’s scarf or try other textures on his hat.
4. You can put as many buttons down the front of your snowman as you like. Since mine is short, I just added one button to the large pinch pot.
5. You can add arms made of small sticks or twist short pieces of electrical wire together to make arms for your snowman. If you are using stoneware, poke holes for the arms so you can add the sticks or wire after firing the snowman.  

*If you are working with stoneware or terracotta, you will need to use the slip as glue to attach the clay pieces to the body of your snowman. 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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