You can make an anatomy of a flower model to explain the different plant parts and processes to kids. The homemade flower model is a larger version of what a longitudinal section of a living flower would look like. A larger anatomical display makes it easier to point out or label individual parts for a demonstration. Flower anatomy models made of polymer clay can be dried and glazed in a home oven to last for years.
Print a flower anatomy diagram to reference during the construction of the model (see Resources). Diagrams showing the insides of flowers often can be found in science textbooks and online curricula.
Roll all the colours of polymer clay you are using into even sheets with a thickness of 6 mm (1/4 inch) or less.
Cut a 5 by 7.5 cm (2 by 3 inch) teardrop shape out of a darker colour of polymer clay with a plastic knife. Cut out two 2.5 by 7.5 cm (1 by 3 inch) teardrop shapes from the same colour as the first teardrop. Cut a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) wide and 5 cm (2 inch) long stem and two 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) wide and 2.5 cm (1 inch) long sepals from green clay or another dark colour.
Arrange the three teardrop-shaped petals side-by-side on a silicone or aluminium-covered baking tray. Put the largest petal in the middle and point all the narrow ends in the same direction. Place the stem and sepals at the narrow ends of the petals to create a symmetrical look.
Trim all the remaining smaller pieces of the flower anatomy from lighter colours of polymer clay. Cut the stamen, stigma, ovules and other parts so they are small enough to fit inside the base petals. Stack the cut pieces onto the base petals according to the diagram you are using as a reference.
Slide the sheet pan into a 121 degree Celsius (250 degree Fahrenheit) oven. Cover the polymer clay flower model with a piece of aluminium foil. Check the label on the polymer clay you are using to make sure the manufacturer does not recommend a higher or lower temperature.
Bake the clay flower model for one hour before turning off the oven. Wait for an hour or more for the clay to cool slowly inside the oven.
Preserve the flower anatomy model if you want to keep it beyond a single use. Spray a coat of high-gloss clear acrylic sealant on the flower model and allow it to air-dry. Bake the dry gloss onto the clay at 93.3 degrees Celsius (200 degrees Fahrenheit) for ten minutes and allow it to cool completely.
Hang an oven thermometer on the centre rack so you are sure what temperature it really is inside the oven when baking and glazing the polymer clay.
Things you need
- Rolling pin
- Polymer clay
- Plastic knife
- Silicone baking mat or aluminium foil
- Baking tray
- Acrylic glaze (optional)