Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nativity - Horse

Original design created by Amy Stevens 

(available for purchase on etsy-

Stands 3" tall, 1 1/4" wide, 2 7/8" long. 

You will need:
Sculpey polymer clay:
Black (042)
Hazelnut (1657)
2 black seed beads
ball headed straight pin or stylus
flat headed straight pin

1) First, combine 1/4" hazelnut ball to 3/4" black ball just enough to make it streaked like hair, then roll out each body part into the desired size.
Head - 1" hazelnut ball
Ears - Two 3/8" hazelnut balls
Body - 1 1/2" hazelnut ball
Legs - Four 13/16" hazelnut balls
Mane - 3/4" mixed ball
Tail - 1/4" mixed ball
Hoofs: Four 5/16" black balls

2) Legs: Roll four 13/16" hazelnut balls into approximately 1" long, slightly tapered logs. Use thumb or a flat surface to flatten the top. Angle the top on the outer edge and slightly flatten the bottoms. Bunch logs together, smaller ends up, angle front legs toward each other, and back legs toward each other. When in desired position, gently tap or press legs on a flat surface to flatten the bottom completely so it will stand steadily. Once togetherInsert 1/2 toothpick through the length of each leg, leaving 1/2 exposed for the body to be pressed onto. 

3) Hoofs: Roll four 5/16" black balls into approximately 3/4" long logs. Taper both ends and bend ends toward each other to create a horse shoe. Gently press onto each leg, then tap or press on a flat surface to flatten the bottom so it will stand steadily. 

4) Body: Roll 1 1/2" hazelnut ball into a rounded oval. Flatten the oval slightly, firmly press your thumb into the middle of thin side of oval to create bow in back, and two humps. Round one hump, slightly shorter, for rump. Create a steeper slope for the other hump for neck. Insert 1/2 toothpick where head will be located, leaving 1/3 of it exposed for the head to be pressed onto. 

5) Tail: Use 11/64" clay extruder attachment to push 1/4" mixed ball into a cylinder. Gently round one end of cylinder and taper the other. Use stylus, or ball end of pin, to create an indent for tail on body. Press tail firmly to body at a 90° angle, curve tail down away from rump then connect tail just before it ends to the rump. Curve end of tail upwards just slightly. 

6) Head: Roll 1" hazelnut ball into an oval. Flatten slightly to create face, on one end flatten and widen just a little more to create nose. Press onto toothpick and gently wiggle/pivot around the toothpick onto the body to create a bond between the two. Use stylus, or ball end of pin, to create an indent for oval nostrils on face. Smooth crease between body and head to create neck, add additional hazelnut clay if needed. 

7) Ears: Roll two 3/8" hazelnut balls into rounded teardrops. Flatten bottom end of teardrop and use stylus, or ball end of pin, to create a triangular indent for hallow of ear. Flatten edges along hallow for an even edge. Press firmly onto head, pinch top of each ear and curve inward slightly. 

8) Mane: Flatten 3/4" mixed ball into 1/8" thickness. Try to create a rounded oval shape. Cut off top of oval at 45° angle. Attach cut edge, cut side down, on top of head, down neck, and just to base of body. Curve mane around ear and down side of face. Gently fold/bubble mane out around side to create wave in mane. Press seam and lower edge of mane firmly onto head and body. 

9) Eyes: Use flat headed pin to gently mark where seed beads will go on face. Place one bead on straight pin. Press surface of bead into clay, but do not let the pin touch the clay. Carefully slide pin out of bead. Use the flat end of the pin to gently push bead farther into the clay. Press the point of the pin on the outside of the eye, once in the middle, and once just above to create eyelash indents. Repeat again for the second eye. 
10) Bake: Follow directions on Sculpey clay packaging. (275° F (130° C) 15 min per/ 1/4" (6mm))

(Word to the wise: Be sure to purchase a thermometer for your oven to make sure it is at the correct temperature. Let it heat up for at least 30 minutes or longer. To test your oven, take a plain piece of clay and form a disc 1/2" wide by 1/4" tall and bake in your oven. Always open windows and turn on ventilation. It's normal to smell slight fumes, but if you begin to smell a lot of fumes, or see smoke, your oven is toooo hot! Remove it from your oven, set your oven for 10° lower, and try again with a different disc of clay. Also, if you are using a lighter color of clay, it has a tendency to brown or burn, so before you bake it... cover the pan with tin foil, just like you would a turkey. :) Also, once your items are done baking, turn your oven off and crack the door with a wooden spoon, but allow your pieces to cool in the oven. This will also help prevent cracking because it will let the items cool off evenly and gradually.)
Most of all, have fun while expressing your creativity!

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