DISCOVER
×

How to Make a Simple Ocarina Out of Clay

Updated February 21, 2017

An ocarina is a flutelike instrument made of clay, bone or other natural materials. Ocarinas have a whistle-shaped opening that you blow into to create sound. You can change the tone of the sound by covering or uncovering holes over the instrument. Simple ocarinas are globe- or egg-shaped. However, more complex versions may be constructed to look like birds, vegetables or other novelty shapes.Make your own ocarina out of craft clay.

Bevel the tip of two Popsicle sticks by rubbing the tip over sandpaper until a bevelled edge appears. You will use this bevelled Popsicle stick as a shaping tool for your clay.

Roll one pound of clay into a smooth ball. One pound of clay will eventually make an orange-shaped ocarina.

Cut the ball in half using a frosting cake knife. Cradle one half of the clay ball in one hand and pinch it into a bowl shape with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand.

Pinch the other ball into a bowl shape. Work slowly and keep the walls of each bowl uniformly thick.

Match the two halves of your ball up. Rough up the edge of each bowl by scoring it with a needle. Paint the edge of the bowls with water and gently press the two halves of the bowls together. Slightly twist each half of the bowl to create a tighter bond. You should now have a hollow clay ball.

Smooth out the seam between the two halves of the clay with your fingers. Smooth out your fingerprints using the spatula tool.

Press the hollow sphere onto a table to create a flattened bottom.

Form a rectangular mouthpiece out of clay that is 1 inch wide, 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch thick.

Determine where the mouthpiece will attach to your hollow clay ball. The mouthpiece should align with the flat base of the ball. Use a needle to score the area where the mouthpiece will attach to the ball on both the end of the mouthpiece and the ball. Paint each surface with water and gently press them together.

Smooth away the seam between the mouthpiece and the ball with your fingers and the paddle.

Insert the Popsicle stick into the mouthpiece and the body of the instrument to create the windway. Work slowly and use gentle pressure. The windway should run squarely thorough the mouthpiece walls and into the body of the instrument. Leave the stick in the instrument.

Use a second bevelled Popsicle stick to cut a square window on the underside of the instrument that is just as wide as the Popsicle stick and only twice as long as the end of the stick. The side of the window that is closest to the mouthpiece should be just barely inside the interior wall of the body. Remove the clay that you cut from the window all the way down to the stick that you have inserted into the mouthpiece.

Make a square cut into the clay at a 45 degree angle leading from the edge of the window up into the mouthpiece until you touch the edge of the stick that is inside the mouthpiece. The slanted shaft into the mouthpiece will split the wind that you blow into the ocarina and make the sound.

Remove the stick from the windway. Use a drill bit to poke finger holes into the curved surface of the instrument.

Bake the clay in your oven according to the package directions. Different clays will have different baking temperatures and times.

Tip

If your unfired clay begins to crack, wet it with a sponge soaked in water.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Polymer clay
  • Frosting cake knife
  • Bowl of water
  • Sponge
  • Paintbrush
  • Spatula tool
  • Needle
  • Drill bit
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.