Feb 19, 2012

Nativity Tutorial - Wiseman 2

Ok, quick question:  Those of you that sign up for email updates, did you get a post with a little video in it today?   For some reason, I got an update with that post in it, but it wasn't current.  That was from a post way back in December.  Just wondering if that happens a lot?  Do you get an email from Then She Made every day or just on days that have new posts?  Hmmm.  Trying to figure out why that one went out.

Anyway, here is the next little nativity piece.  Another Wiseman.  Just a reminder, all of the bodies, for all the pieces, are pretty much made the same way, so, if you are following along, some of the steps on the tutorial are repeats from our first tutorial. And, if you are just starting to follow this project, 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

Also, just like last time, I've included a completed figure in most of the pictures, that way it will give you a better idea of what each step is accomplishing.

Supplies Needed:
Tin Foil
Wax Paper
Clay (Blue Pearl, Pearl, Beige, Gold, Chocolate Brown, Black & Red Pearl)
Sharp tool (tooth pick with work)

Step 1:  (Not shown)  cover your work surface with wax paper.

Step 2:  Tear off a piece of foil and shape it so you have a small round ball, which will be the head, and a longer, thicker piece that will become the body.  Both pieces should look like those shown above.  Roughly the body should be about 2.5 to 3 inches tall. Set them aside for a moment.

Step 3:  Take a piece of blue clay and condition it so it is soft and workable.  Then, flatten it out like shown above.

Step 4: Place the tinfoil shape of the body on the flattened clay. Then, wrap the clay around the form as shown. Smooth out the seam line with your finger. (If you need more info on this step, refer to Step 7 on the Wiseman 1 tutorial)

Step 5: Once the seam is smoothed out, flatten bottom of body so that it has a flat surface.  Make sure it is good and flay so the piece will stand on it's own.

Step 6: Next, shape two small pieces of clay into what looks like little boomerangs.  Then attach them to the body for the arms. Once this is done, go wash your hands.  (They are probably blue right now)

Step7:  Now roll two small circles for hands, and cover your tinfoil ball in clay for the head.  Attach these items to your figure.  Plus, add a little ball for the nose.  (these steps are shown in photos in tutorial 1 if needed)

Step 8:  Next, condition a piece of Pearl clay and shape into a ball. Flatten the clay ball and smooth it out as much as possible. You will want to keep the thickness consistent.

Step 9:  After it is flattened, carefully lift it up and place it on the head of your figure. You want to center it on the head.  Now, look it over before you go any further.  If it seems to big, or too long, remove it and trim it down.

I felt like mine was a little too big and so I removed it and trimmed off a piece.  The, I placed it back on the head and continued.  It looked a lot better once I made it slightly smaller.  There really isn't a way to measure this, it's all done by sight and personal preference.  Go with what looks good to you.

Step 10:  Once you get it in place on the head, carefully fold the clay so it looks like folds in the fabric.  Tuck under the sides slightly and put a small fold in the back.  See photos above.  Also, be careful not to flatten the top of the clay.  It will look better if the clay is not flat to the head.

Step 11:  Set  the little guy aside for a bit and take a small piece of chocolate colored clay, condition it and then shape it into a trapezoid shape like shown above.

Step 12:  Then, using your sharp tool or tooth pick, carefully draw, or make some indents, in the clay to make it look like a little box with a lid.  See photo.  Next use a tiny bit of  gold clay and add in the details of the clasp and the handle.

Step 13:  You can also use your sharp tool to add in some fine details if you'd like.

Step 14:  Attach your gift box in between the hands of the little guy.  Be sure to press firmly so it stays in place but be careful to not press so hard that it flattens it.

Step 15: Next, using gold clay, roll a small ball and then roll ball into rope that is about 3 inches long.

Step 16: Carefully press up the center of the clay rope into a triangle like shown above.

Step 17:  Then, place the crown, centering the triangle part in the center of the forehead of your little guy and wrapping the ends around the back of the head. Hook them together and remove any excess clay.  Then smooth out the seam with your finger until it looks like a circle or completed crown. (see second figure in photo above.)

Step 18:  Next, take a small amount of red clay and roll it into a ball.  Add it to the center of the crown to look like a jewel.

Step 19:  Then, using your sharp tool or toothpick, press some small holes all the way around the jewel.  Once complete, add in two small black clay eyes and draw on your mouth.

Step 20:  Bake figure in preheated 275 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes.  And your done.

Piece 2 of your nativity set is now complete!

So, what do you think?  Is it getting easier to work with clay?  Are you feeling more comfortable with it?  I think clay seems intimidating at first but once you start playing with it, you realize there are so many possibilities and it's not nearly as scary.   Email me at thenshemade (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any questions.