The 3 Wise Men, Part Three – the Air Dry Clay

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These guys are going to be done by Christmas, I promise – but it’s been a slow process.

(My couch-eating 60-pound puppy isn’t really helping much, either… It’s hard to work in the studio when you have a toddler in the house. 😄)

The next time I do something like this it will go a lot faster, I’m sure. If you’d like to see more figure sculptures, be sure to let me know in the comments below.

After I get them finished I’ll put together a blog post with screen shots and step-by-step instructions, to make it easier to follow. It might not be done in time for this Christmas, but it will give you plenty of time to get yours done for next year.

BTW – when you make yours, will you dress them in the Three Kings style, with bright colors and lots of bling, or do you prefer the plain and simple Zoroastrian priest idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, so please leave a comment and let us know.

Links to things mentioned in the video:

You can find the easy patterns for the sculptures and masks behind me in the video here.

Take care, take your Vitamin D – and go make something! 😃

13 thoughts on “The 3 Wise Men, Part Three – the Air Dry Clay”

  1. What a great almost-done project. I had to go back and watch all three over again because my dog is asleep now and is leaving me alone. (Watch out, Eileen!)

    You have many tips and how-to’s that are really great. I have tried a few projects using the wire-frame approach, and at times I have difficulty keeping the wires where they belong. I noticed you put magic sculpt over the wires. That is a great idea. My question may be a silly one, but the magic sculpt is gray and the super sculpty is flesh-colored. And the robes are white. Are these going to be painted? and do you use different clay for the different colors so you don’t have to paint them? Awesome project.

    I like the traditional wisemen. Bling may be fun, but I like the “old” style.

    Love seeing the human figures. Thank you.

  2. They are looking great Jonni! You crack me up though saying next time you will not research and will just sculpt a figure! You should know yourself better by now! You research everything and that is just your style, you make it work each and every time!
    Nice tip about the smoothing with the mid section of the tool. Very good to know. I have no ideas about the hot glue in the oven. I’m surprised that it is working at all. Perhaps because they aren’t in the oven for too long and not at super high heat. I know we never used glue guns for theater props because the stage lights would melt the glue, ruin the prop. Have you ever thought of using bits of clay instead of hot glue to hold the tin foil on? I’ll have to try that out sometime, it may not be as stable as the hot glue but it might work.
    You don’t have to finish these guys by Christmas because technically they did not arrive until January 6 which is Epiphany in the Catholic Church anyway. My mom never took the decorations down until after January 6 because we had to wait until the wisemen came. I have followed suit.
    I would love you to do more figures. It would be fun to see one done wholly out of paper mache clay, maybe a woman with her dog?( in keeping with your puppy training!)

    • Thanks Eileen – I didn’t know that about the wise men and Epiphany. When I grew up our Christmas decorations were Santa and a Christmas tree – no religious stuff at all. I’m just now trying to catch up on the traditions. I know some people like to bake their polymer clay longer than the directions suggest, and if they did that I’m sure the hot glue and foil idea would not work. Someone on YouTube suggested using aluminum tape, which is made to withstand the temps required by polymer clay. I just now ordered some, and we’ll see how it goes. The tape might have the added benefit of smoothing out the top surface of crumpled foil, but maybe the air dry clay won’t stick to it – we’ll have to wait and see.

      I have a really hard time getting fine details with the paper mache clay. I used to be able to do it, but my fingers don’t cooperate well enough any more. I might need to do some more practice before I start on that lady with her dog. 🙂

  3. Hi Jonni have been following you for many years and especially enjoy seeing your figure creations. Just wondering which of your clay recipes would be best to use for pressing into molds then removing to glue onto shaped surfaces for drying. Keep those creative juices flowing. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  4. It may be easier to work on one layer at a time. Form the body, apply paper mache, or clay, dry, add next layer of clothing, clay, dry. It is so much easier than forming the entire figure and then adding the paper mache.

    I made some Santa’s and Wise men years ago and wish I had figured out I could work on one layer at a time. Wet paper mache attaches easily to dry paper mache.


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