Nov 12, 2012

Nativity - Joseph Tutorial


Well, new plan. I was going to do all three of the final tutorials in one post but I really didn't think that one through - it was too big. So, we'll break it down by day. Today is Joseph. He's made the same way as the wisemen and the shepherds but with different colors.

 Here's the step-by-step:



You will need:
Sculpey Leaf Green
Sculpey beige
Sculpey Hazelnut
Sculpey Chocolate
Sculpey Black
Premo! Bronze
(I usually use Sculpey but was out of Sculpey Copper so I used what I had)
Tinfoil
a sharp tool or tooth pick


Step 1:  Start by shaping your tinfoil.  You will need a larger, solid piece for the body and a small round ball for the head


Step 2:  Take a piece of green clay and condition it well.  Note: Conditioning, if you are new to clay, is just like kneading it.  You want it soft and flexible so mush, squish and play with it until it is easy to work with. Flatten out the piece of clay and wrap it around the tinfoil.  Be sure to seal up the seam and smooth out the clay.


Step 3:  Once the clay is wrapped and the seam is smoothed out, flatten the bottom so you can make sure that your piece can stand 



Step 4:  take two small amounts of green clay and after conditioning them, shape them into arms.  


Step 5:  Next, attach them to the body.  I do this by gently pressing them at the shoulders into the body.


Step 6:  Next, take a piece of beige clay, condition it and wrap it around the small tinfoil ball you made for the head.  Attach the head to the body, press firmly to hold it in place but be careful not to misshape your head


Step 7:  Take some beige clay and make two small balls for the hands. 


Step 8:  Attach the hands to the end of the arms


Step 9:  Before you put your beige clay away, make a tiny ball and attach it for the nose


Step 10:  Using the Chocolate colored Sculpey, break off a small amount and condition it.  Then shape it into  hair and attach to the top of Joseph's head.


Note:  Joseph and Mary are the only pieces that I add hair to.  But, I don't cover their full heads.  You can see from the photo above that I only do a small part and the rest of the head is bald.  His head piece will cover the rest of his head so I only use the small amount of clay that will show in the front. 


Step 11:  Next, take your bronze clay, condition it and flatten it out like shown


Step 12:  attach the bronze piece to the head and let it drape to make the head cover


Step 13:  Take a piece of Hazelnut clay and condition it.  


Step 14:  Break off a small amount of the conditioned clay, roll it out into a long rope.  Then, carefully wrap it around Joseph's waist and press it very carefully into place.


Step 15:  Next, and this step is optional, give the belt some detail so it looks like rope.  To do this just take a sharp tool, like a paper piercer or a toothpick, and press diagonal lines into the belt.


Step 16:  To finish off the belt, add a small round piece of clay to where the two pieces of clay overlap.  This will make it look like a little knot in the rope.


Step 17:  Next, we need to repeat the belt steps but this time we are making the rope for the head cover.  Break off a small piece of Hazelnut clay, condition and roll into a small rope.


Step 18:  Wrap the rope around the head and secure in place by lightly pressing the two pieces together.


Step 19:  After the clay rope is in place, add texture just like you did with the belt.


Step 20:  And the final steps, add two little black eyes and draw on your mouth.  And, he is done.

Bake him in a preheated, 275 degree, oven for about 18 minutes.


Note:  Ever wonder what happens if the clay isn't conditioned properly - yup, it cracks.  It will crack while baking so you won't know until after you've done all the work.  It's a bummer really.  (Pun intended - and I have to laugh at where this one cracked.  Hehehe!)

Tomorrow will be Mary, she's my favorite to make - see you then!
  

3 comments:

Connie said...

Amy, Just wanted to say that I found my way to your blog via Pinterest, and I am hooked! Glad to be one of your 6,000 followers!! My 8 year old daughter can't get enough of crafting, and we made your sock snowmen and they are adorable. We are keeping them hidden because we are making many more as gifts. Was thrilled to see some of this type at a local craft show this weekend for $15 each! Ha!

Susan F. said...

I enjoy viewing each step of the nativity set. I love the intricate details that you use. The rope trailing down the back of the headpiece looks so neat!

crafterofall said...

Have you ever tried to repair the cracks in finished caly? It is actually pretty easy. Just take some clay of the same color and spread it over the crack. then bake it again. I alway bake my clay at about 235-245 degrees fahrenheit for abot 30 min. the lower temperature still finished the clay and also prevents it from burning. once it is rebaked, there will be very little evidence of the repair. I have been working with clay for a couple of years now and have done this several times.
By the way, i am loving the nativity tutorials. i have 5 pieces done and my family is super excited about have a nativity to display this year. looking foward to the last 2 tutorials to complete the set!