For many at-home crafters, working with clay is just not an option as mineral clay often requires an expensive, specialty oven, several clay-making materials, and much more. Due to the difficulties that mineral clay presents, crafters quite often omit this skill and move onto other, more practical activities. However, both beginner and professional crafters can easily enhance their crafting skill and variety by utilizing polymer clay. Polymer clay is basically a hardenable modelling clay that contains no clay minerals, but like mineral clay, polymer clay features a gel-like consistency that allows users to mold it into whatever shapes they like. Furthermore, polymer clay remains completely workable until it is heated up to between 265 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that crafters can harden their clay with the convenience of their own oven. Before starting to create a wide variety of crafts and sculptures using polymer clay, crafters should practice and master the different techniques to make both large and small sculptures. With this short guide on how to make a smiling frog, crafters can learn the beginning techniques they will have to master before moving on to more advanced projects.
How to Make a Smiling Frog
One of the easiest and most practical beginner projects that crafters can utilize to begin working with polymer clay is to make a smiling frog. This frog project requires little skill and it introduces crafters to molding and drying polymer clay, while at the same time this project requires very little clay and time. For this project, crafters will need blue, red, green, and white clay, but to save money from buying all of these different types, crafters can use a white clay and then paint on the details later.
To start, take a hefty chunk of green clay and begin molding it into the shape of a football. This chunk of clay is going to be the head of the frog, and based on the chunk of clay that you use will determine how big you want your project to be. For starters, it is advisable to use about the size of a fist. With the football-shaped clay, flatten it out so that it is just short of an inch and then curl up the ends so that the clay now resembles cheeks.
Using a small piece of red clay, roll the clay thinly enough so that it resembles a small worm. Take a drop of water and moisten the bottom of the red clay and then softly press it into place near the bottom of the green clay. This red clay is going to be the frog’s mouth, and therefore you can shape it however they would like (a smile is recommended).
Roll two pieces of white clay into little balls; these will be the frog’s eyes. With the two balls of white clay, flatten both of them out or else the frog will have bugged-out, creepily shaped eyes. Once again, use water on the clay to act as glue when attaching the eyes to the face. Using the same technique as the eyes, take blue clay and make the eyeballs, centering them in the middle of the white eyes.
Based on the manufacturer’s instructions, cook the clay in the oven at the desired temperature and time, and when removing the frog from the oven, always take normal precautions such as using oven mitts.
Let the frog cool for a couple of minutes and voila, you have just created your very own sculpture using polymer clay.
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