01 Nov 2012Mont Marte Blog

Make your own garden gnome in air drying clay

Let's create a cute little garden gnomeStep 1: Making the Armature Remove the packing and the Canvas from the frame. Now drill a hole at an angle of approximately 60 degrees all the way through the frame. Now take a large Paint Brush and using the pliers, pull off the ferrule and bristles. Squeeze some PVA glue on to the thick end of the handle and then push it into the hole in the frame. Let the glue dry before moving to the next step. Children should have adult supervision when using this equipment. Step 2: Creating the Foundation and Column Place the finished armature on the Palette and first fill the inside with Air Dry Clay. Then pack the clay around and over the edges to a thickness of approximately 20mm. Dip your hand in some water and smooth out the clay. Now create a tube about 25cm long and 4cm in diameter and press this over the paint brush and smooth it onto the clay base. Step 3: Make a ball about the size of a fist and attach it about half way up the clay column and smooth it in. This will be Mr Gnome’s belly. Next create a tube 10cm long, bend the end and stick it between the belly and the base, this will be the leg. Create a foot shape for the column now and attach that at the base. Step 4: Roll up 2 balls and place them on his rear for a bottom and smooth all of these elements in. Then roll a tube 20cm long by about 2cm thick, break this in the middle and attach them to each side of his body from the middle of the column to the top of the thigh, blend these ends in to the rest of the sculpture. They will be the arms of the Gnome. Don’t get too bogged down in details, just rough in the form first.

Step 5: Blocking in the Head Create an oblong shape about 15cm in diameter make it a little thinner at one end. Wrap it around the tube about ¾ of the way up the column with the thin side up and smooth it in. That will be the face and beard. Create another oblong slab and wrap it around the top of the column to make a cone shape. Smooth it, this will be our Gnome’s hat. Step 6: Detailing the Face Cut a channel with the Ribbon Tool where the beard meets the rest of the face. Remove some clay to suggest eye sockets with the Ribbon Tool as well. Now create two balls for his cheeks, one ball for his nose, two small balls for his nostrils, a ball for the bridge of the nose and finally two balls for the eyes. Smooth these in to the face with a flat edged Tool. Step 7: Cut an eyelid in each eye. Create two semi circular shapes for the ears and attach them on either side of the head. For the moustache roll a tube about 20cm long by 2cm thick and attach it under the nose and up to the ears. Create a series of cuts in this to suggest hair, do this on the beard as well. Create another little semi circular shape for the bottom lip. Step 8: Cut out the section under the shirt and smooth it, to mark the place where the shirt meets the pants. To suggest the bottom of the pants, make two rolls about 5mm in diameter, wrap them around his legs at the top of the gum boots and blend them into the pants. The last part of the modelling is to cut a square channel between the pocket and the sleeve. Step 9: The painting part of the project is self explanatory. Use a soft Flat Taklon Brush and Silver Series Acrylic Paint to paint the Gnome however you like. If the gnome is to be left outside give it 3 coats. Until next time...

Material List

  • Double Thick Canvas Premium 12.7 x 17.8cm (5 x 7in)
  • Pottery Tool Kit Signature 10pc
  • PVA Craft Glue Fine Tip 250gm
  • Air Hardening Modelling Clay Premium 2kg - White

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