Make a scarab pendant that you can wear on a necklace in the style of the Ancient Egyptians. The scarab beetle was modelled after the dung beetle and symbolised resurrection and self-actualisation and was used as an amulet to ward off evil. They were traditionally carved from stones such as lapis lazuli. Use colourful oven bake clay or polymer clay to make your own scarab amulet, and choose whatever colour you want it to be.
Work a 2-inch thick chunk of polymer clay in your hands to condition it, or soften it enough so that you can mould it easily by hand, and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball gently on two sides to make it slightly more oblong and press one side against a sheet of waxed paper to flatten one side.
Use the sharpened tip of a pencil to trace the lines on the surface of the top of the oval that make up the details of the scarab beetle. Look at a picture of a scarab amulet to help guide you in where to place the lines. Make a slightly downward pointed horizontal line across the width of the oval about a third of the way down from the top of the oval. Trace a straight vertical line down from the middle of the horizontal line to separate the two wings of the beetle. Make a semicircle along the middle of the top edge of the oval to define the head.
Roll a 2-inch thick piece of clay into a tube and cut it in half so that you have two equal pieces. Work one end of each tube to a point between your fingers and flatten the pieces to a little less than 1/4-inch thick. Press the nonpointed ends of the pieces to either side of the oval and blend the edges into the clay of the oval. These are the wings of the scarab amulet.
Trace the detail on the surface of the wings with the tip of the pencil. Lightly draw layers of feathers and use the image of the scarab pendant as a reference for how they should look.
Pierce a hole all the way through the clay on either side of the top edge of the scarab beetle with a tooth pick so you can tie the amulet to a necklace cord or attach it to rings for a necklace chain.
Bake the amulet on a baking tray in a conventional oven at 121 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Let the clay scarab amulet cool for 1 hour before handling it or wearing it.
Things you need
- Polymer clay
- Waxed paper
- Baking tray
- Conventional oven