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Polymer Clay Sculptures

This art box explores various hand building techniques using polymer clay. Students will create a coil pot, a slab bowl, and 2 weaving sculptures. A standard kitchen oven is required for baking the clay.

This lengthy art box includes 6 video lessons about making polymer clay sculptures using coil and slab handbuilding techniques.

Polymer clay is a man-made material, consisting of plastic and other ingredients. Unlike ceramic clay, it’s low maintenance and quick to clean up, it doesn’t give off dust particles, it stays moist until being baked, and it’s easy to work with at home since you can cure it in an oven at 275 degrees F!

In part 1, students learn how to effectively condition polymer clay so that it’s workable and ready for the art session. The clay is then formed into coils (noodles) and from there can be made into different designs and patterns including spirals, double spirals, twisted coils, braids, and arches. Once students have a feel for how to work with the clay, they move onto lesson 2.

Part 2 is about creating an intricate, pencil holder. Using coil techniques as well as proper gluing and securing methods, students construct a pencil holder with the coils designs of their choice. Building this sculpture can take multiple sessions, as the process can be lengthy. And luckily for us, polymer clay does not dry out!

Once coils are reviewed and mastered, the next series of lessons are about creating slabs. Slabs are a common handbuilding technique in which clay is flattened into pancakes and draped over molds that hold a shape. Students create a bowl using the slab technique and add in coil details from the previous lessons.

In the final set of lessons, students learn how to weave with coils and slabs, and create bowls of their choice using these building methods.

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