How to Make a Model of the Human Heart Out of Clay

Making a model of a heart from clay is a project that many art students run into sometime during their school career. Making a heart model is one fun way to learn the exact shape and size of the heart and to memorise the different functions of each part of the heart. Clay is a malleable substance that is ideal for forming into almost any shape. Making a clay heart will probably take some time to get right, so make sure to allot about one day to make each section of the heart.

Set up a stand for the clay so you can work on it without damaging or denting the clay while you work. Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the piece of wood. Stick the dowel rod through the hole to create a stand for the clay.

Look at a 3D diagram of the heart to help create the heart model from clay. The heart is made up of two main ventricles, with an aorta at the top of the heart, a pulmonary artery and vein at the top of the heart, and one posterior vena cava for the arteries and one for the veins at the bottom of the heart.

Decide if you want to make a closed heart or open heart to showcase the interior of the heart. Plan your design accordingly.

Construct each piece of the heart separately. This will help make a more realistic looking heart. Place each piece on the dowel rod as you work.

Add additional details with a small knife, toothpick or other tool to create realistic texture on the heart, such as the veins and arteries on the outside of the heart.

Place all pieces of the heart together when each separate piece is complete. Use a small amount of water on both pieces of clay to create a sticky surface so that the clay pieces will connect.

Keep the heart on the wood stand. Bake the clay heart in the oven according to package directions. Usually the clay bakes at a low temperature for several hours.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch dowel rod
  • Small piece of 1-inch thick wood
  • Drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Polymer clay
  • Knife, toothpick or other shaping tools
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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.