Monday, August 16, 2010

Make This Piggy Bank with Air-Dry Clay

This tutorial will show you how to make a hollow shape by forming clay around a balloon.  This time will make the hollow sphere into a piggy bank.  

Any brand of air-dry clay that you can roll into a flat sheet is suitable for this project.   Some of the very soft marshmallow-like clays would not be a good choice because they're too sticky to roll into a sheet or to coil.   

This demo shows a terra cotta colored pig, but, of course, you can use any color clay you wish.   Use acrylic paints or other medium to tint your raw clay before shaping or paint the pig when cured.

Inflate a balloon to the desired size for the piglet knotting the end with adhesive tape.  Roll out a circle of clay large enough to cover balloon.   To get a uniform thickness to your clay when rolling, put 2 sticks on each side as a guide for roller.  Either paint stir sticks or large-size craft sticks would work, depending on desired thickness of clay (and size of balloon/pig).

Cover the balloon with the flat piece of clay adapting it to the shape of the balloon.  Pinch gussets along sides where needed (remove excess clay).   Lightly moisten seams to blend.

Add more clay if the balloon is not properly covered. Join all the pieces well and smooth the surface.  If you need to moisten to get clay to adhere to itself, be careful not to get clay TOO wet.
Form a thick coil of clay and cut 4 equal sizes for legs and feet.   Moisten ends and attach to body according to photo above.   Make sure your pig stands well on his own!
Shape the snout and ears with additional pieces of clay.   Moisten ends and attach to body,  blending edges for smooth transition into face.   Poke some nostrils into snout (careful don't poke balloon yet!).    Make a small coil for tail and attach to body.   Curl the tail !!  ;-)

To finish the piggy bank, make the money slot and burst the balloon.   This should probably be done after the clay is partially cured and firm to the touch.    Then add eyes, blush and other embellishments...such as child's name or some polka dots! 

If you have trouble with the tail or ears staying on, just adhere with white glue!

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