The past few weeks, we’ve been reading Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy Lines by Nancy Drummond (Christian Focus 4 Kids, 2014). Check out the review here.
My boys have always been fond of salt dough. We recently decided to take the next step in sculpting by moving to polymer clay. The great thing about polymer is that it works much like salt dough – there’s no need to score and slip joints, and it’s hardened in the oven — there’s no need for a kiln. There are various brands of polymer clays available, but for this we used Sculpey. I found a post on making your own polymer clay, but I haven’t tried this myself.
I’ve been creating a variety of Homeschool Art related Pinterest boards to keep track of the inspiration for art projects. For this project, I referred to the Homeschool Art – Polymer Clay board. I found a great post on creating polymer clay busts at the Irvington Community Middle School Art blog. Their busts are much bigger than ours. It’s probable that creating larger busts would have resulted in finer details on the face. As it was, we created ours by rolling the polymer clay into a peg and a ball and attaching the ball (or head) to the peg (or body) and then to the sculpture base by cutting a firm piece of wire. We stood the wire up in the base and pushed the pieces together. Then the boys sculpted the faces using clay tools…..
We baked our creations in a glass pan at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes for each 1/4 inch of thickness. I measured the sculptures at the thickest point to make certain they’d be completely hardened.
For our first polymer clay sculptures, I feel these turned out well. The boys are excited about them, and we had a good time working on the art and discussing what we learned while reading Brother Andrew. (Don’t forget to scoot over and enter the giveaway for a copy of the book by Nancy Drummond!) I anticipate this being a project we repeat in the future.
We used this multi-colored pack of Sculpey: Sculpey III Polymer Clay Color Sampler, Multicolor and the Sculpt Pro Tool Set: Sculpt Pro 11 Piece Pottery and Sculpting Art Tool Set.
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.