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So you would like to learn to create an art doll…
And a polymer clay bunny head with a tutorial looks so exciting…
Maybe, your lack of confidence as a creator is holding you back.
Perhaps this sounds familiar. Like a dance, you use distractions to avoid getting into the project. Instead, you circle inside the unsettling emotion.
As an artist, I can tell you that insecurity is part of creativity and the struggle is lifelong.
Self Doubt Brings Self Discovery
This place in us where we are vulnerable holds a wealth of ability and personal liberty. When you realize this dance is happenning take a deep breath and simply go for it. Self doubt will move back and your struggle becomes the first step towards your goal of finding and exploring your creativity.
Let’s make this and build your confidence…
Here is a sweet and simple two part tutorial series on making a little head: a great way to try out working with polymer clay and see if there is a spark.
The earlier Polymer Clay tutotrials prepared you for this:
1) What is Polymer Clay? (link) and
2) How to Condition Polymer Clay (link)
you will need to gather:
- Two 3/4” balls of conditioned polymer clay in a brand and color you like
- A wine cork
- A screw 1 ½” long inserted into the cork 1/2 an inch
- Bamboo skewer stick
- Knitting needle #5 (I use double pointed ones they fit in the hand best)
- Ball tools by Sculpey (link) Sculpey Style and Detail Tools
- Some make up colors from the dollar store (if you wish to color your head)
- An oven and cooking tray
- An oven thermometer to check your temperature if you are using a small oven
Let’s get started:
Tutorial part 1 : Making the face
Tutorial part 2 : colouring curing and adding the bunny hoodie
Printable notes for making the little bunny head:
part one: making the face
Start with your 3/4″ ball of clay. Make a head shape by sculpting a head and a neck shape. Press into the head using your thumbs making a slight hollow shape for your eyes.
- Take a small bit of clay and form a teardrop shape.
- Attach your teardrop for the nose with the drop down the centre of the face
- (adjust size as needed).
- Using an exacto blade mark where your mouth will go.
- Then cut open your head where you marked it.
- This cut should be a bit wider that the width of the nose.
- Pull the mouth open slightly and insert the knitting needle to smooth the outer edges of the lips.
- Using the medium ball tool, press the corners of the mouth into a smile and then soften with your fingers under the lips to form a chin.
Completing the Nose:
- Blend under the nose to smooth it onto the face.
- Press under the nose on each side with the medium ball tool to shape it.
- Using the pointed end of the knitting needle make small holes for the nostrils.
- Using your large ball tool, indent the eye sockets a little deeper.
- Mark and cut your eyes open using the exacto blade.
- Open the eyelid and being careful to aim under the upper line, use the knitting needle to make a space for a bead to insert for the eye.
- Using the bamboo stick (the pointy end) pick up a bead and drop it into the hole you made.
- Do both eyes.
- Gently push the beads into the clay far enough that they are under the upper cut line and gently press the lids down over the eye beads to create the eyelids and expression.
- Detail and play until you are satisfied.
- Try not to overwork your face.
- Cut open the back of the head and close it over the screw on the wine cork.
- Again detail and tidy up your face.
- Decide if the chin needs more definition.
- You can do this using a knitting needle on its side under the chin to stretch it a bit and help make it pop forward.
part two : colouring curing and the hoodie
To colour the clay I use inexpensive makeup and a small soft brush. I usually buy three shades of foundation powder dark, medium and light for the skin tone and shading. Start with the lightest tone and cover the face. Once you have the first layer you can blend in some shadow tones with a darker colour.
Blush tones can be added to the cheeks and lips to add softness to the face. I work in natural tones but you can find your own mix of colours and preferences.
To cure your clay read the package of polymer. It will give you the correct temperature and time for cooking. A small counter top convection oven works great. You will need an oven thermometer so you can be sure of the temperature as the small ovens do not have a reliable thermostats.
Lay your finished head on a tray or tile that is covered with a piece of paper. This is done to prevent the clay from touching the metal or shiny surface because as the clay heats up in the stove the surface below it will make a shiny spot where it touches.
Do not over heat the stove. If the temperature is too hot the clay will melt and become toxic. You do not want these vapours in your home. If this happens unplug the stove and using hot mitts take the stove outside to cool off. Do not open the stove. This way the harmful vapour is more contained.. Once the stove and your burned polymer has cooled it is no longer dangerous.
add the hoodie !
Take the second ball of clay and “fit” it on to the back of your cured face. Once you see it that it fits well, remove it off and begin to stretch the front edge into the hoodie. Pull and shape the ears. Reattach the hoodie to the face and add any extra bits like a collar or shoulders.
Colour and cure your head.
you did it!!!
I can say that the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a simple piece of artwork can be a tremendous teacher and guide for an artistic life, but also for personal growth and development. For me, these are inseparable.