Clay Cardinal

Cage measures 2.5” long with a 2” base.

Cage measures 2.5” long with a 2” base.

 

Fashioning a pretty clay cardinal bird for a small ornament or a large centerpiece takes only a few steps.  Looking at the finished piece, you might think it will require a lot of molding but it doesn’t.  The shape of the bird is achieved as a result of the cuts made. The cardinal can add color and interest to centerpieces or gift packages year round.  Follow the instructions below and see how easy making this bird can be. Also take a look at how to make a Cage for the cardinal.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Setting numbers vary on clay conditioning machines.  On my Sculpey machine the thickest setting is 1 and the thinnest is 9.

Directions

step 1 - Condition and roll out a piece of red clay. Roll it in your hands to form a ball then flatten it to the thickness you would like for your bird.  With a craft knife, make a straight cut across the top of the clay and a curved one under it.

step 1 - Condition and roll out a piece of red clay. Roll it in your hands to form a ball then flatten it to the thickness you would like for your bird.  With a craft knife, make a straight cut across the top of the clay and a curved one under it.

step 2 - Use the craft knife to cut two slits in the clay as shown.  The bottom left slit should be deeper than the top slit. 

step 2 - Use the craft knife to cut two slits in the clay as shown.  The bottom left slit should be deeper than the top slit. 

step 3 - Use the flat edge of the sculpting tool to lift the clay up from the slit to create the bird’s head.

step 3 - Use the flat edge of the sculpting tool to lift the clay up from the slit to create the bird’s head.

step 4 - Cut from the inside edge of the bottom slit in a curve shape with the craft knife to form the body.

step 4 - Cut from the inside edge of the bottom slit in a curve shape with the craft knife to form the body.

step 5 - Pinch the top of the tail with your fingers to stretch and curve it.

step 5 - Pinch the top of the tail with your fingers to stretch and curve it.

step 6 - Cut two or three slits in the bottom edge of the tail with the craft knife.

step 6 - Cut two or three slits in the bottom edge of the tail with the craft knife.

step 7 - Use the sharp edge of the sculpting tool to create lines representing the wing.

step 7 - Use the sharp edge of the sculpting tool to create lines representing the wing.

step 8 - Roll a small piece of yellow clay between your fingers and flatten.  Place it over the birds beak covering the red clay.

step 8 - Roll a small piece of yellow clay between your fingers and flatten.  Place it over the birds beak covering the red clay.

step 9 - Roll black clay between your fingers and flatten to add black around the beak.  Also add black accents to the tail.  Apply a skinny rolled piece of clay to the body following the curve of the tail.  Cutting the black pieces to size with a knife will create a blunt end.  Instead, pull on the end until it breaks off which will create a fine tip.  Add black claws if desired using skinny rolled pieces of black clay.

step 9 - Roll black clay between your fingers and flatten to add black around the beak.  Also add black accents to the tail.  Apply a skinny rolled piece of clay to the body following the curve of the tail.  Cutting the black pieces to size with a knife will create a blunt end.  Instead, pull on the end until it breaks off which will create a fine tip.  Add black claws if desired using skinny rolled pieces of black clay.

step 10 - Smooth out the rounded ridge made from the original cut which shaped the body.  Turn the bird over and add the yellow and black accents to the other side.


Supplies

At Amazon

  • red clay
  • black clay
  • yelow clay
  • clay shaping tool
  • acrylic roller
  • clay conditioning machine

Miscellaneous

  • craft knife
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • cookie cutter

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