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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Shaping Owls From Clay

Today's blog initially started as a bit of fun with my niece, but then I realized that you might enjoy it as much as we did and I quickly went for the camera to record the steps. We started making some owls from pins I discovered on Pinterest, but ended making my own creation. In all, I show you how to make three different owls from clay.

For today's project I gathered Dala Air-Drying Clay and some pottery and fondant tools.

Owl 1 (from Pinterest)
For the first of the owls, I roll a little bit of clay into a small ball. I then flatten it ever so slightly so that it is more of an oval than a circle.

I find the closest thing at hand to make to dents for the eyes.

I then roll two tiny balls of clay for the eyes.

I cut a toothpick into small pieces.

These are inserted into the eye sockets.

The toothpicks help to keep the eyes attached to the body of the owl.

I then used one of my fondant tools to create 'feathered' texture on the owl. In the original posting they used an old toothbrush to achieve this.

I then pinch the nose of the owl, shaping it between my thumb and forefinger. In the original post they added a triangle for the nose.

Progress shot to show the nose.

I stray from the original post again and 'cut' some eyebrows above the eyes. You could also use a kitchen knife to achieve this if you did not have the fondant tools. The owl is then set aside to dry.

I give the clay 24 hours to dry and then paint the eyes White with Dala's Craft Paint.

I use a Black Sharpie marker to draw the pupils and the nose with.

I could add a lot more colour, but rather like the owls in their natural earth-tone and so I decide to leave them as is.

Owl 2 (from Pinterest)
For the second owl, I once again start with a small amount of clay rolled into a ball.

I then flatten the ball out between the palms of my hand. If this does not work for you, you can also use a rolling pin.

I then search around me and find what I am looking for in the lid of a marker. This lid allows me to make a feathered pattern across the body of the owl.

I then fold the sides of the circle in to almost meet in the middle.

The I fold the top in and shape the corners between my thumb and forefinger to shape the ears.

The lid from one of my fabric markers is excellent for stamping the eyes of the owl with.

I use a fondant tool to shape the beak and define the underside of the head. You could achieve equal success with a kitchen knife.

I return to the previous marker to add some more feathered detail to the wings. This is optional and was not added in the original posting.  This owl is then also set aside to dry.

I gave the clay 24 hours to dry before I painted the owls. This time I started with the colour of the eyes, painting it Duck Egg.

The White of the eyes were painted in.

I did not have any Black Craft Paint, but decided that the Fabric Paint would work just as well. I used this to paint the pupils of the eyes.

The beak was painted Burnt Orange.

The head and body were painted Custard.

The wings were painted Purple.

I think this could make a lovely inlay for a mosaic!

Owl 3 (my own creation)
This time I roll two small balls of clay, one slightly smaller than the other.

As I am going for a whimsical owl, I place the larger ball on top of the smaller one, resulting in the head appearing larger than the body. Use a cut toothpick to keep the head in the body. I also shape a small fat worm to begin the feet.

The 'worm' is then flattened.

And then I use a fondant tool to turn the worm into a kidney shape.

Add some toothpicks.

Place the body on the feet. I took the head off to show you that it too was attached with a small toothpick.

I then use my fingers and a fondant tool to shape a small piece of clay into an almost triangular shape for the beak.

I use a toothpick to attach the beak to the head.

Two more toothpicks are put in place for the eyebrows. The eyebrows are simply two tiny worm-shaped pieces of clay.

I once again find something at hand to make indents for the eyes.

The eyes are two small balls of clay, attached to the head with toothpicks.

The wings are shaped from two ovals that are flattened out and attached with toothpicks.

I then use a blunt toothpick to shape pupils in the eyes. The pupils are simply two small indents.

I use the lid from one of my markers to create feather texture on the owl's body.

I use a fondant tool to add texture to the wings.

I use yet another fondant tool to add texture to the rest of the owl's body and head. This owl is then also set aside to dry.

Here is my collection of owls drying in the air.

After the owls had dried for 24 hours, I started by painting the feet and beak of this one Custard.

The eyes were painted White.

The colours of the eyes were painted Duck Egg.

The pupils and eyebrows were painted Black.

The wings were painted Warm Red.

The head and body were painted Purple.

Don't you think this owl would look cute as a cupcake topper when formed out of fondant as well?

My collection of owls were scarcely finished when my four year old niece arrived and, after checking with me first, claimed them all for herself! Success!

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