- Sculpey or an equivalent polymer clay. White, red, bit of black. Colours for scarf, red/white, blue/green, whatever you have in your craft box.
- Tools – Rolling pin, lollipop sticks, pin tool (or toothpick), cutting blade, circular cookie cutter. You can get away without most tools, they are handy, and good to collect over the years but don’t worry too much if you don’t have exact what’s on the list.
- Finishing off, glaze, brush and ribbon.
Let’s get started.
To make the body, roll white clay between the lollipop sticks to ensure the depth is even. Cut out an oval using a cookie cutter.
To make the head make a ball about an inch in diameter. Place it on your work surface and using the palm of your hand gently make a sausage shape. Then place the sausage into the palm of your hand and cup your hand. Gently use the thumb of the opposite hand to push the clay into your cupped hand. This flattens the back and makes a nice curved shape on the front.
Create a ball of black clay about the size of a pea. Roll it gentle between your fingers to start to make a sausage shape, then flatten slightly. Basically it’s the same technique as the head, but on a smaller scale.
To make the ears, create a ball of white clay about the size of a pea. Gently squish the ball between your fingers to flatten it. Cut it in half to make each ear.
Make a ball of white clay approximately 3/4 inch diameter. Place on your work surface and roll with the palm of your hand. Apply more pressure to one end to make the cone shape. Then using your index and middle finger, gently roll the leg section up and down on your work surface to thin it out. Then put your thumb where the sole of the foot would be to create the indent. You can see in the clay leg to the right, I have put a little mark, this leg is too long, so I’m going to cut it down.
Exactly the same instructions as the leg, except the ball should be about 1/2 inch in diameter. Instead of pushing your thumb to make the sole, push your thumb down onto the work surface at the fat end of the cone. That will create the hand shape. I find that I need to trim both the hand and the arm at this stage. Round the edges at both ends with your fingers.
Now it’s time to put everything together.
Start with the head. Place it on the body towards the right hand side. Place an ear on each side of the head, and use a flat tool (bottom right) to gently merge the clay from the ear into the clay of the head and body (back and front). Then using a pin tool, make the circular holes for the ears. Lastly place the nose at the bottom of the head, leaving a little room for his mouth.
For the eyes I use a pin tool. You can create other types of eyes here, however I like the eyes in the centre near the top. For the mouth, use a cutting tool, to make a vertical slit from the nose to where you are going to place the mouth. Then using an oval cookie cutter, gently push the cutter into the bottom of the head to make the mouth. There’s a close up of the mouth below.
Next up, adding the scarf.
To make the scarf, get two balls of different coloured clay, make sure the balls are the same size. Roll them out into sausages using the palm of your hand. Place the two sausages next to one another. Hold one end of the two sausages with your left hand, and with your right hand gently twist the two sausages. When you’ve twisted about an inch, place on your work surface, and gently roll with the palm of your hand. Repeat this process until the scarf is the desired length. Be aware that the scarf gets quite long, so I always hold the scarf about an inch away from where I’m twisting.
Add the scarf around the next of the polar bear. Cut the desired length.
Next, add the leg at the bottom, then add his arm. You will notice I’ve added little indents to make paws. Use the edge of your cutting tool. Finally add a hole. The easiest way to make holes is using a straw that has the desired width. Alternatively use your pin tool.
Finally add the hat. Create a cone of red clay, flatten the bottom of the cone, then add to the bears head. Then roll a thin white sausage of clay for the fur of the hat and cover the join of the hat to the head. At this point I had some detail by indenting the fur of the hat. Bend the hat slightly (you may want to cut off some of the excess of the hat). Add the pompom for the hat, and indent.
Bake following the clay instructions, but check on the pieces until you get the timing right, as you don’t want to burn them. Wait for the clay to cool, then glaze.
And there you go, one polar bear ornament. You can experiment with different scarves, hats, or different shaped eyes/mouths.