Apr 20, 2012

Nativity Tutorial - Lamb

This month's nativity piece is quite possibly one of my favorites.  I just think it's super cute.  So, without further ado, here's what we are making this month...

What do "ewe" think?  I know, I'm so funny.  

First, like always, gather your supplies.  You will need:

Pearl Clay 
(*white would be ok too, I use Pearl because it matches other pieces in the set)
Dusty Rose Clay
Black Clay
Wax paper

Also, remember to always condition your clay before you start.  For more information on that and other tips,  refer to the first tutorial in the series:  Wiseman 1

Step 1: Start by forming two balls of tinfoil.  One will be larger for the body and a smaller one for the head.  If you've made the Wisemen from the previous tutorials, you may want to pull one out and use it to compare size.  You want your lamb to be smaller than your people.  Because, well, that's realistic.

Step 2:  Start with the larger ball of foil and center it into a flattened piece of clay.  Wrap it up and smooth out the seams.

Step 3:  Repeat step two only using the smaller piece of foil and wrap it up in clay. This smaller piece will become the lamb's head.  Then, attach the head to the body like shown.

Step 4:  Next, take out a small piece of black clay and condition it.  Then shape it into a small square like piece with a flat bottom and slightly rounded out top.  Then attach the feet to the body like shown.  Note:  at this point in the process make sure that your piece is sturdy and doesn't have a tendency to tip over.  If it does, make adjustments.  Flatten the bottom of the feet and what ever else is needed to stabilize it.  Don't move on in the tutorial until it can stand with out tipping.  

Step 5: Take two small pieces of clay and shape them into small triangles and attach them to the head for the ears.  To make them look more like ears and less like triangles, bend them slightly, almost in an "S" shape  and point the tips up.

Step 6:  Now here comes the fun part - or the part that takes the most time.  Break off a really small piece of clay and roll it out into a rope like shown.  Then, starting at one end of the rope, roll it together in a coil shape.  These coils will become the wool so you will need a bunch of these.  This is not hard but because they are small, it can be tricky.  It looks really cute though so stick with it.

Step 7:  Place the rolled coils on the back of the lamb.  Start up by the neck and work your way down.  You could cover your whole piece this way but I found it easier to just do the top of the back and the head.  

Don't forget to add some coils in between the ears.

Step 8:  You're almost done, now you just need to add the face.  Roll two tiny black balls for the eyes and shape a small heart out of pink clay for the nose.  

Step 9:  Place your lamb on a paper lined cookie sheet and bake your piece in a preheated 275 degree oven for 15-18 minutes.

That's it! You're now done with another piece - only 8 more to go!