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In the first half of this craft segment, Cheri shows us a how to make a terra-cotta clay sun, inspired by Mexican art.
Tags:How to Make a Terra cotta Clay Sun Part 1,art projects,cheri lynn,clay sun,craft projects,crafts,jumbobaystudios,mexican art,terra cotta,terra cotta clay,terra cotta sun
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The inspiration for this clay project comes from Mexico. In Mexico, a lot of artist used the sun and moon for inspiration and they also use clay and typically, they use the red clay, the terra cotta clay because you’ll notice in this mask that the actual color of the clay becomes one of your colors in the overall design. So, what you’re going to need for this next project is some terra cotta clay, which you can get at the same place you’re going to get your grey clay. You’re going to need some clay tools, pencil and some paper to do some sketching and a cup of water.
So let's go ahead and what I’m going to do is come up with an idea for my clay sun and I think I’m going to start with a circle and then I’m going to maybe do some kind of stylized rays for the sun and I’ll alternate the sizes of them. So, I’m just going to go all the way around here with my little stylized sun rays here that almost look like petals of a sunflower. So the idea here is sort of a combination of the rays of the sun and a sunflower, like the artist here did combine the idea of a flower and the sun and then the moon is there and then this part also is sunlight. So, the artist is using circles and kind of rays and petals and combining the idea of sun, sunflowers, the moon. So, I’m kind of—definitely taking my inspiration from this artwork here and just kind of changing the shape of the petals a little bit. It almost came out evenly. Then, I’m going to ahead and do a moon and actually my moon is going to be a piece that’s going to lay on top of the circle so it's actually raised up and then probably I’ll use a pencil to draw the eye and make the eye actually in size, you know pushed in.
Let’s see, I’m going to do an eye over here. One thing you should remember about doing sketches is that you are not bound to this sketch. I mean you do not have to follow it exactly. You’re the artist and you can make changes when you start to work, oftentimes, artist make changes from their original ideas so don’t worry about the fact that you might want to make changes as you go. Probably what I’ll do is, do some drawing on this petal rays when I actually make it out of the clay and then I think I want to put a texture so I’ll be using either the clay needle or my pencil to make kind of a sunflower-like texture on my sun. So, I would repeat this until they all meet in the center. So that’s kind of the idea is that these will all meet in the center like that.
I think I’ve got pretty good idea of what I’m going to do so this is going to be—this is my sketch for my clay sun inspired from Mexico. So, let me get my red clay and my wire and cut through here. I’m just going to keep this open for a little but there is something that will be a helpful tip for you each you’re finished using your clay. If you just take a damp paper towel and put it on top of the clay before you close it up, you’ll save a lot of clay from getting all dried out and becoming unusable. So just take that as a helpful little hint.
Now, what I’m going to do is start to press my clay and I’m going to try and make a circle which shouldn’t be to difficult because that’s going to be the center part of our sun/flower/moon. And of course, you know, any design you want like you know, there’s as many different ways of making your sun, your clay sun is there are people who are making them so just remember there’s not one right way.
Okay, I’m working on trying to making this nice and round and smooth and then I think the next thing I’m going to work on are the petal rays. That’s going to be a small one and for the moon, get a little bit more clay and flatten it and shape it. So these are going to be your basic—are two different sizes. I’ve got almost all of these petals finished and I’m going to just do this last big one and then I’m going to start to score and slip and attach them and it's going to take a little bit of patience. Here we go. We’re going to start scoring. I’m putting some water there. I’m going to press them in and then what I’m going to do is go back between all these rays and kind of smooth in between them. So it just gives them kind of a finished look.
All right, now, I think the next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and make the crescent, the moon there and I’m going to kind of get all these together and just go ahead and start to shape it while I’m flattening it. Now, I'm just going to trim a little bit off the sides here. Okay, now, I’m going to go ahead and make the eye here. So I think, I’ve got a smaller piece of clay here, let’s shape an eyebrow. Let's flatten this and this is where the eyebrows is going to go or the eyelid and I think I’ll go ahead and make the lips and then I’ll go ahead and score and slip everything and make sure everything is stuck together. And then go ahead and push with a little bit of force here and then, we have to smooth these. Now, I’m going to smooth the outside part here so that this doesn’t look like a layered cake. We want it to look like it's one piece so that’s why I want to kind of smooth this, join it all together so it doesn’t look like there’s two layers. It's almost like you know covering the two layers o f the cake with icing so that you don’t see that there were two layers of cake there.
I’ve gone ahead and scored, slipped, smoothed and attached the eyes or the eye and the lips. And now, I’m going to go ahead and do some finishing off here with some water and make sure that everything is nice and smooth before I put the last finishing touches on it like the eyelash over here and a little line design on the petals. I really want to make sure that I’ve done a good job of smoothing because when I go ahead and draw with the pencil you’ll get a much better drawn line if the clay has been smoothed out. Now, I’m going to go ahead and do eyelashes, like that.
Okay, so now what we’re gong to do is make sure that we’ve gotten all the last little touched ups done and then your going to take your clays on and you’re going to put in a really safe place and you’re going to allow it to dry probably a day or so and then you’ll be able to paint it.
Our clay sun is dry and we’re going to go ahead and start to pick out some colors and get it painted. So, first thing we want to do is pick out a color scheme, maybe four or five colors that you think will look nice together. So, how about—let’s try black. Let's use some white there. So, I think these will be the colors that we’re going to start with and these are acrylic and they’re not too terribly expensive. You can get them at almost any art store or hobby store and let's see, I think what I’m going to do is start with the rays here, the petals and in think I want to do them just bright orange and wherever I can. I’m going to utilize the red of the clay as another one of my colors. And what I’m going to do is kind of stay on the outside edge of where the indentation is, and where pencil at one end. You don’t want to forget to paint your edges and there we’ve got the first color painted. So now, we have to decide what color we’re going to do next and I’m thinking maybe we’ll do a purple moon.
All right, I’ve finished up my moon with the purple and I think I’m going to do the—I think just changed my mind that I’m going to add a little yellow on the edge of that moon because I think using that color is a compliment is going to make that moon stand out. You’d definitely have to have a steady hand for this. There we go.
So now, as long as I’ve got the yellow, maybe I’ll go ahead and use it down here on the eye. Paint pens are really good for doing small little areas or if you like a paintbrush, just go ahead and use the paintbrush. There’s our eye, and as long as we have this orange out, I think we’ll go ahead and do the lips bright orange. Now, I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to get out the paint pens and see if we can use some of this kind of red orange again in another place on the sun. So I’m thinking maybe we’ll do—we’ll make up a little design here.
So there we have it except for this last color. I’m thinking maybe we’ll go with a darker shade of purple. That may work. And of curse if you come up with any other ideas, you can always go back after everything is dry with your paint pens and add a little designs or patterns or extra outlines or whatever you like. Anyway, here is our clay sun in the style that they use in Mexico.