Mar 21, 2012

Nativity Tutorial - Wiseman 3

Do you know how hard it was to do Wiseman #3?  I feel like I'm done with the Wisemen and I almost rearranged the schedule and made him wait for his debut until summer.  But, I was good, I pushed through, stayed focused and now all three Wisemen are together.  I must say, it feels good knowing we've completed 1/4 of our set.

So, are you ready for Wiseman #3?  Oh, hey, first, for those of you making these, how is it going?  Any areas you are having trouble with?  Anything that I need to focus on or explain better?  If so, let me know.  And, just as a reminder, if you are just starting to follow these tutorials or make these guys, our first tutorial has several tips and important info on using clay that you may find helpful.  Be sure to check it out here:  Nativity Tutorial - Wiseman 1

Let's begin:

We're making this guy today.  And, just like the other two Wisemen, the body, arms, head, and face are all the same.  So if you've done the other two already than you mostly likely know what to do here and can skip down in the tutorial.

Supplies Needed:
Wax paper (to cover your work surface)
Clay: gold, beige, black, brown, pearl (not shown) and deep red pearl or Alizarin Crimson*
Toothpick or metal stylus
* - I was out of deep red pearl so I used Alizarin Crimson, it's branded as Premo by Sculpey.

Step 1:  Shape your body and head out of tinfoil.  Just a tip, if you've made the other two Wisemen, pull them out for size comparison at this step.  That way you will make sure you are making them all about the same size.

Step 2:  Starting with the red clay, condition it and flatten it into a shape like shown above.  Then, place the tinfoil body shape in the center and wrap the clay around it.

When you are done, you should have something like what is shown above.  Remember to flatten out the bottom so that your piece can stand.  And, smooth out any seams, fingerprints and bumps.

Step 3:  Next, shape two small arms and attach them to the body.  The little arms will look like little kidney beans or small boomerangs.

Now go wash your hands.  Not sure if you can tell from this photo but red clay tends to bleed.  Your hands will be red.  Wash them and then wash them again.   I washed mine, thought I had all the red removed and then started using my beige clay - ooops!  The red was still there and now I have red-beige clay.   Ugh!

Step 4:  Using your beige clay, cover the ball you made from tinfoil for the head.  Then shape two small hands and a nose.  Attach all your beige pieces to the body.

Step 5:  Now take a very small amount of brown clay and roll it into a small ball, then flatten it into a disc shape.  Carefully attach this piece on top of the figures hands and press in place.

Step 6:  Next, roll tiny balls out of gold clay and flatten them to look like gold coins.  Stack them, or pile them, onto the brown disc.  Be sure to press them into place but be careful not to squish them.

Step 7:  Condition a portion of Pearl clay and flatten into a small circle like shown.  Then careful place it on the head of your piece.  For more information on this step, see:  Nativity Tutorial - Wiseman 2
Then, roll out a thin "snake" or rope, out of gold clay.

Step 8:  Carefully wrap the gold rope around the head.  You can wrap it once or twice.  I did two times because I liked how it looked that way but the choice is yours.

Step 9:  Using a shaping stylus or a toothpick, gently press in diagonal lines into the gold clay.  This will give it the appearance that it is a golden rope around his head.

Step 10:  Add two small black eyes and draw on a smile.

Step 11:  Bake your piece in a preheated 275 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes and then you are done.

And, just for fun, I wanted to show you a variation on the three Wiseman.  I made the Wisemen below in December of 2010.  

(Three Wisemen, 2010)

You can see that while they are similar, there are some differences from the Wisemen we've been making in the tutorials.

(Three Wisemen, 2012)

I think it's fun to show the differences.  Both are cute.  Use your creativity on these little guys.  Style them how ever you'd like, there really isn't a right or wrong way.

Hopefully you are enjoying the process.  And, if you feel so inclined, now that you have three figures made, send me a quick photo.  I think it would be fun to do a readers gallery of sorts and show off YOUR work.  Maybe we could have a blog post showing your creations.  What do you think?