Sep 29, 2012

Nativity - Donkey Tutorial

We are down to the last four figures in our Nativity set.  I'm blown away at how fast this time has passed.  We've done all the Wisemen, all the Shepherds, the two sheep and a camel.  And, today, it's finally the donkey's turn.

What you will need:
Clay colors:  Hazelnut (or a brown), black, tan, and pearl
Wax paper to cover your work surface
Tin foil
a sharp tool like a toothpick or metal piercing tool

Step 1:  Roll up two ovals of tinfoil.  One needs to be slightly bigger as it will be used for the body and the other slightly smaller as it will be used for the head.  Then, condition and form your brown clay over both pieces of tinfoil.

Step 2:  When you do the head piece, leave a little extra clay on one end.  This will become the connecting piece, or neck, when you hook the head to the body.  

Step 3:  Connect the head to the body and smooth out the clay and shape as needed.

Step 4:  Break off two small pieces of clay and shape them into donkey ears and attache them to the head.  Remember donkey ears are bigger than horses ears.    

Step 5:  Next, condition two balls of black clay and shape them into legs.  I made mine to look like small squares to start and then shaped them as needed.

Step 6:  Attach the legs to the body

Step 7:  Next, shape out two spots for the eyes, and add two small little black balls.  Also, using a tooth pick or sharp piercing tool, draw two lines on the nose for the nostrils.

Step 8:  Using black clay, break off very small amounts and roll them into small ropes, then attach them to the head, in between the ears.  This will make the donkey's mane.  Be sure to add it to the back and also a little to the front of the head.

Step 9:  Break off a small piece of pearl clay and shape into a small rectangle.  Then slightly curve it.

Step 10:  Add the blanket to the back of the donkey

Step 11:  Take a small piece of tan clay and roll it out into a long rope like shown

Step 12:  Next, add the tan rope to the nose, wrapping it over the top and securing it under the chin.  Then use the remainder of the rope to wrap from under the chin, around the back of the neck and then secure back under the chin. 

Step 13:  And finally, using your sharp tool and draw in a line on legs in both the front and the back.  This helps to show that there are two legs instead of just one block of clay.

Step 14:  (not shown)  Bake your donkey in a preheated oven at 275 degree for 15 to 18 minutes.

And that's it - you now have a cute donkey to add to your set.