How to Make Clay Horses

Written by samantha lowe
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How to Make Clay Horses
Horse figures can be sculpted at home and whole herds can be created. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Whether the image is of a majestic running creature or a noble steed standing at ease, the horse inspires artists throughout the world to try to embody some of the animal's beauty in an art form. Clay has been used for thousands of years not only to create practical items, but to sculpt masterpieces as well. The easily mouldable natural putty can be shaped to take on the lines and contours of one of the most recognisable and admired creatures on earth -- the horse -- and can be done right in the comfort of your own home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Polymer clay, in chosen colour
  • Oven
  • Tinfoil
  • Baking tray
  • Acrylic black paint
  • Small paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Roll out a large egg shape from the clay. This will be the body of the horse, with the larger end becoming the hindquarters.

  2. 2

    Create four logs from the clay, the same length as the body. These will become the legs.

  3. 3

    Roll out a thicker log, half the diameter of the body and 1/4 of the length. Shape it so it narrows at one end. This creates the neck.

  4. 4

    Roll out a small egg shape from the clay, about half the length of the neck, and 3/4 the diameter. Also slightly narrow it on one end. This will form the head.

  5. 5

    Roll out a sheet of clay that is the same length as the neck. Roll it to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut a jagged line from the end, to create a sheet the same width as the neck. Remove this piece and set it aside. It will become the mane.

  6. 6

    Cut a large triangle from rest of the thinned rolled clay, from point to bottom 3/4 the height of the horse and the same width as it from side to side. This constitutes the tail.

  7. 7

    Set the head on the small portion of the neck. Pinch it together. Place the large portion of the neck on the front part of the large oval, or body, and pinch it in place.

  8. 8

    Place the four legs on the underside of the body, two at one end and two at the other, in the four corners of the oval. Add the tail to the upper backside and add the mane to the upper side of the neck of the horse, Press them in place.

  9. 9

    Pinch two small pyramid shapes, both the same size and shape, from the remaining clay. Press them on the top of the head, near the neck side. These become the ears.

  10. 10

    Bake the clay at 135 degrees Celsius, or according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove and let cool completely.

  11. 11

    Apply black paint to the points where you wish to indicate the eyes of the horse. Also apply it at the base of the feet to create hooves. Allow it to dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Real clay can be used in lieu of polymer, but only if there is a kiln available.
  • A variety of colours can be used to create all different shades of horses, from tan to brown to black to white.

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