This bear is so easy to create. The UltraLight™ clay looks just like a woodcarving with this technique. And the best part is – the finished bear is moveable! How fun is that?!
Do not use unbaked clay on unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Good work surfaces include wax paper, clay mat. For best results, clean your hands first.
Bake on a piece of stiff, white paper placed on an oven-proof glass or metal surface at 275°F (130°C) for 45 minutes. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer.
DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Baking should be completed by an adult.
Wash hands after use.
Begin by preheating oven to 275°F (130°C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay.
Start with a piece of UltraLight™ clay about the size of a small hard-boiled egg. Gently squeeze it gently to form it into a narrow, elongated egg-shape.
Gently squeeze to separate the clay into a head and a body. The head will be about a third of the shape and the body will be the other two-thirds, squeeze to make a neck that separates the two parts.
Pull the front of the head part into a snout – just pull it out! All the features can be refined during carving, so don’t worry about how perfect it is right now. Use a light touch – UltraLight mushes easily!
Make the ears by pinching a little blob on each side of the top of the head. Make the blobs thinner by flattening with your fingers a little bit.
Roll some black clay to form two tiny balls for the eyes and a ball about the size of sunflower seed. Form the ball into an oval shape for the nose. Press the eyes and nose into the bears face.
Use a needle tool (or any pointed tool) to make the mouth. Press a tiny line straight down from bottom of the nose. Press a small curved line out from each side of this center line, like little smiles on each side. This makes the mouth and shape of cheeks as well as defining the chin.
Let’s make the arms and legs. Shape UltraLight™ clay into four pieces about the same size and shape as baby carrots. Form the two arms into mitten-like shapes at one end of each by simply creating a wedge between what will be the thumb and what will be the other fingers. Shape the legs to end in feet by bending one end of each up slightly.
Ok, now we’re going to use a sharp knife, so be safe by using common sense. Always stroke away from your body. Since the carving works much better with new, sharp blades, change the blade whenever the clay seems to be ‘fighting’ the knife.
Gently stroke the blade over the surface of the clay to shave off thin, small slices. Carve all over each piece first, then go back and shape and form each piece to your liking. Don’t fight the clay, just hold the blade in a relaxed way and let the momentum of your strokes do the work.
Adding paint really transforms this piece into the look of carved wood. Mix some brown acrylic paint with water to make a color wash. It should be watery enough so that the color will just tint the clay, but not overwhelm it. Brush the paint wash all over every piece of the bear. With a sponge or paper towel, you can blot off any excess. Let it all dry.
Let’s assemble the pieces. Use wire cutters to snip about 6 inches of 28-gauge wire. Thread the wire through one of the holes in the body. Slip on the proper limbs. (Legs on the bottom, arms on the top, obviously!). Use your pliers to wrap the wire around itself to form a small tangle in one end of the wire. Pull the wire tight so the tangle is firmly against the end of a limb. Hold that with your finger so it won’t move.
Use the pliers to wrap another tangle firmly against the other limb. Make sure everything is pulled tight so that the limbs are pressed against the body. Snip off any excess wire. Repeat for the other set of limbs.
You’re done! Move those limbs around, trying out all the different poses your sculpture can make! It’s beary fun!