Polymer clay is a man-made sculpting material based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Sold in art stores, it is used by artists, teachers and hobbyists. The medium is popular because it can be baked in an oven instead of a kiln. Polymer clay may be moulded, used to transfer images and used in multimedia creations involving materials like paper, metal and wood. Polymer may also be pressed through pasta machines, a garlic press and a cookie extruder or specially made extruders for polymer clay. Artists can also use polymer clay to create jewellery, vessels and sculptures, such as the horse described in the steps below.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Polymer clay (light brown, dark brown and red)
- Dark brown yarn
- 2 small black beads
Create the horse's legs by rolling four pieces of light brown polymer clay into log shapes. Taper each leg at the end. Create hooves by rolling four smaller pieces of dark brown clay into round shapes and pressing them onto the thicker ends of the legs.
To create the body, roll another piece of light brown clay into a ball and then slightly flatten it. Set the body on top of the tapered ends of the legs. Insert a toothpick halfway toward the front of the body at an angle that points to the front.
Create the horse's head by rolling a piece of light brown polymer clay into a rounded triangle. Secure the head to the toothpick extending from the body. Use a bead to create two small indentations for the eyes.
Create ears by rolling two small pieces of light brown clay into triangles. Place these on top of the head.
Create a tail by rolling a piece of dark brown clay into a log. Curl each end of the log and attach it to the rear of the body.
Using dark brown clay, create a small flat piece to represent the mane. Press this between the ears and down toward the eyes.
Create a bridle by rolling red polymer clay into strings. Secure the strings around the nose and behind the head.
Bake the polymer clay per the manufacturer's directions. This is normally at 250° for 15 minutes.
Use glue to attach yarn to the dark brown base mane, starting at the top of the head. Unravel the yarn for a curly effect. Glue two small black beads to the head for eyes.
Tips and warnings
- Condition and soften polymer clay by kneading it.
- Under-baked clay is fragile and will crumble like a pie crust.
- Purchase phthalate-free products, especially if children will use them.
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