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Friday, December 15, 2017

Walnut Mouse

Walnut Mouse by Patricia Roberts-Thompson 

Materials:

Makin's Clay®  - White, Black, Red 
Makin's Professional® - Ultimate Clay Machine®
Seed beads, size 8
Small black pearls 3mm (or you can use seed beads or small balls of black clay) 
Half a walnut shell
20 gauge wire to make hanging loops
Round cutters, 1/4" and smaller, oval cutter 
Clay roller, clay blade, dotting tool, ball tools, tacky glue

Instructions: 

Step 1:  Prepare some white and some red clay, rolled on the Ultimate Clay Machine®.   I began on setting #1 and ended on #3. Cut in strips, then, assemble into a striped veneer, alternating the red and white. You can use the striped veneer or take it one further step by cutting strips of the stripped veneer and assembling them into a checkerboard pattern.  When it is assembled into your veneer, place a piece of patty paper or parchment paper, and burnish all the strips to bond the veneer.  I thinned the sheet out to a number 5 setting on the clay machine.  Set the blanket veneer aside in a baggie until ready to use.



Fig1: Mix white clay with a little black to get a gray color that you like. To a small portion, add more white and a little bit of red, to get a pinkish color. I rolled some of the gray clay on the #3 setting, and the pink clay on the #4 setting.  Make a ball (approx ½”) of gray clay and form it into a teardrop shape, pinch a section for a neck.  Make an indentation with a small dotting tool where the eyes go, and the nose.  Add a small amount of white glue, then, press the seed beads or small pearls in place. You could also make small balls of black clay and use them instead.  For the ears, you will need two small cutters, larger one for the gray, smaller one for the pink clay.  Assemble as shown in Fig 1. Make a hole for the placement of the ears and add a bit of glue to the hole. Pinch the bottom of the ears and place in the holes that you made.  Fill a half walnut shell with fresh scrap clay, and use a 1” oval cutter (or cut freehand with your clay blade) and cut a section of the blanket veneer to apply to the walnut shell.  Make an indentation with a ball tool, for the head to be attached.  Attach the head, using a bit of white glue.


Fig 2:  Roll a bit of gray clay into a tapered snake, then use a ball tool, or dotting tool to make a hole for the tail. Add a bit of glue to the hole and place the tail where you like. If you can’t get it to roll nicely, add a bit of water to the clay until it is soft enough.  A light spray of water on the blanket will help the tail stay in place also. To make the feet, I rolled two equal size balls of gray clay into kind of a boot shape. I rolled a thin snake of pink clay and used it on the bottom of the foot. A dotting tool was used to press in toes.  Make an indentation in the blanket to accommodate the feet. Add glue before placing the feet.

Fig 3: For the front legs, I rolled two snakes of clay, formed them into a long curved teardrop, and used the back of my blade to press the fingers. As usual, I pressed some holes for the hands to go, adding a bit of glue first. I made 2 wire loops with 20 gauge wire, and put some glue on it before placing. Try to get them close to the center of the walnut. Let everything dry for 24 hours, then add a string hanger and hang it on your tree.


Try making some other animals, like cats and dogs using the same method – Have fun!!




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