Playing with clay is both creative and recreational, and can be an ideal bonding activity with your children. You don't have to be a skilled potter to be able to build a few clay animals that your children fancy. You can build the body of a kangaroo using basic shapes and techniques. Polymer clay is user-friendly and ideal for children and beginners. The material comes in a variety of colours, so you can skip the painting phase.
Sketch a kangaroo in standing position on a piece of paper. The form you produce doesn't have to be an exact representation of a real marsupial, so you can create a cartoon-like kangaroo. The easiest way to make a kangaroo is to put some basic shapes together, each representing a body part. Choose the colour and the size for your clay figure.
Knead the clay between your fingers and press it until its texture becomes soft and smooth.
Shape a large lump of clay into an oval that is slightly pointed at one end. This is the torso and the lower body of the kangaroo.
Build a round shape, which is your kangaroo's head.
Shape three little cones out of clay, two for the ears, and one for the muzzle.
Create a clay slab and cut a rectangular shape, which is the pouch, using the needle tool.
Create a long, cylindrical shape. Place it on a hard surface such as a table or a board. Rub it back and forth, gently pushing it against the board. You should obtain a snakelike figure, which is the kangaroo's tail.
Take two even bits of clay to shape the kangaroo's large back legs, and two shorter bits for the front legs.
Place the body of the marsupial perpendicularly on the board, with the pointed end towards the ceiling. Place the head on this end. Press the ears and the muzzle against the head. Attach the pouch and the tail. Join the back legs with the base of the body and attach the front legs to the torso.
Use a toothpick to carve the eyes, mouth and the thumbs of the kangaroo.
Fire the figurine to the temperature indicated on the polymer clay you use. Typically, the firing temperature is between 121 and 148 degrees C and the firing time is 15 to 20 minutes.
Use liquid polymer clay to join the pieces together or insert toothpick ends between the pieces of the kangaroo. Instead of polymer clay, choose a different type of clay: organic clay, paper clay or air-dry clay. Air-dry clay is more user-friendly because it does not require firing.
Tips and warnings
- Use liquid polymer clay to join the pieces together or insert toothpick ends between the pieces of the kangaroo.
- Instead of polymer clay, choose a different type of clay: organic clay, paper clay or air-dry clay. Air-dry clay is more user-friendly because it does not require firing.