A Venus flytrap seems like an exotic plant. But the Venus flytrap is actually native to North America. This plant can be found in boggy areas of the Southeastern United States. Venus Flytrap plants have a mouth that consists of two hinged leaves that grow at the top of a stalk. The leaves form a mouth surrounded by tiny hairs. When a bug such as a fly lands on the leaves, the sensation causes them to close around the bug. Once the bug is digested, the flytrap opens to await a new bug. Making a model of a flytrap for science projects or artwork is simple.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Polymer clay
- Clay sculpting scraping tool
- Baking tray
- Cooking thermometer
- Terra cotta pot
- Floral foam
- Utility knife
- Floral moss
Look for photos of a flytrap to serve as your model. Good sources for pictures of Venus flytraps include botany books or online botany websites such as the Botanical Society of America.
Select a polymer clay for sculpting your Venus flytrap. Polymer clay is a man-made oil-based clay that is easier to work with because it will not dry out.
Form the pieces of your flytrap individually from the clay. The flytrap has a flat, bladelike stem and a V shaped "mouth." Each leaf that composes the V shaped mouth is shaped like a capitol D. The curved side of each leaf is covered with a row of tiny hairs that point inwardly. Shape each piece of the flytrap individually.
Join the pieces of the flytrap using the add-on method of sculpting. In the add-on method of sculpting, you shape the individual pieces of the flytrap and place them onto the sculpture. Roughen the points of contact between each piece of the sculpture where they will touch one another by lightly scoring the clay at these points with a clay scraping tool. Then press the pieces of the flytrap sculpture together. Smooth the clay together along the seam so that it the actual seam vanishes using a clay scraping tool.
Bake your polymer flytrap in your oven. Read the instructions that came with the clay for baking times and temperatures. Different clays require different times and temperatures. For example, Fimo clay should be baked at 110 degrees Celsius, while Kato clay should be baked at 148 degrees C. Place your flytrap on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and monitor the temperature using a meat thermometer placed on the baking tray next to the flytrap.
Turn off the oven but do not remove the sculpture. If the sculpture cools too rapidly, it may crack. Allow the sculpture to cool inside the oven before removing it.
Select a terra cotta flower pot proportional to the size of the sculpture. Cut a block of floral foam so that the foam will fit into the container. Place the foam into the container and press the stem of the flytrap into the foam. Cover the foam with floral moss to hide it.
Tips and warnings
- Most clay firing times are dependent on the thickness of the sculpture. In general, bake the clay for 30 minutes per quarter inch of thickness of the sculpture.
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