Things You'll Need
- Polymer clay, in chosen color
- Baking sheet
- Acrylic black paint
- Small paintbrush
Whether the image is of a majestic running creature or a noble steed standing at ease, the horse inspires artists throughout the world to try to embody some of the animal's beauty in an art form. Clay has been used for thousands of years not only to create practical items, but to sculpt masterpieces as well. The easily mold-able natural putty can be shaped to take on the lines and contours of one of the most recognizable and admired creatures on earth -- the horse -- and can be done right in the comfort of your own home.
Roll out a large egg shape from the clay. This will be the body of the horse, with the larger end becoming the hindquarters.
Create four logs from the clay, the same length as the body. These will become the legs.
Roll out a thicker log, half the diameter of the body and 1/4 of the length. Shape it so it narrows at one end. This creates the neck.
Roll out a small egg shape from the clay, about half the length of the neck, and 3/4 the diameter. Also slightly narrow it on one end. This will form the head.
Roll out a sheet of clay that is the same length as the neck. Roll it to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut a jagged line from the end, to create a sheet the same width as the neck. Remove this piece and set it aside. It will become the mane.
Cut a large triangle from rest of the thinned rolled clay, from point to bottom 3/4 the height of the horse and the same width as it from side to side. This constitutes the tail.
Set the head on the small portion of the neck. Pinch it together. Place the large portion of the neck on the front part of the large oval, or body, and pinch it in place.
Place the four legs on the underside of the body, two at one end and two at the other, in the four corners of the oval. Add the tail to the upper backside and add the mane to the upper side of the neck of the horse, Press them in place.
Pinch two small pyramid shapes, both the same size and shape, from the remaining clay. Press them on the top of the head, near the neck side. These become the ears.
Bake the clay at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, or according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove and let cool completely.
Apply black paint to the points where you wish to indicate the eyes of the horse. Also apply it at the base of the feet to create hooves. Allow it to dry completely.
Real clay can be used in lieu of polymer, but only if there is a kiln available.
A variety of colors can be used to create all different shades of horses, from tan to brown to black to white.
Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.