So you want to make a model brain for a science project or to scare your acquaintances. The brain is the organ that controls physical movements as well as the intellect. Use a brain mold to create a model brain, using household supplies to create the mold.
Choose a photographic image of the brain to serve as a guide. Pick an image that doesn’t have too much detail, but only the essential features to create the major brain areas.
Mold the clay into an oval shape, smearing your hands with flour so that the clay won’t stick to your hands or slip away. Mold the clay several times until the material begins to solidify.
Cut the oval shape in half with a knife. This is to mark the division between the two hemispheres of the brain. The surface of the clay will be the “cortex”. Start marking delicate lines along both hemispheres: Those will be the brain wrinkles.
Put a piece of clay that fits in the space between the “hemispheres.” This piece will work as the corpus collosum. Stick the corpus collosum to the brain using toothpicks. Put a toothpick inside the corpus collosum and make both toothpick ends attach to each hemisphere. Don’t let the corpus stick to the sides of the hemispheres because it will spoil the clay. With a knife, gently outline the separation of the hemispheres and the piece of clay in order to avoid the hassle of the clay sticking.
Form a small oval-shaped piece of clay. This will be the cerebellum and must be considerably smaller than the human brain. Attach it to the bottom part of both hemispheres with toothpicks.
Roll another piece of clay into a large, thin shape. This will be the brainstem, which controls the air flow to the brain. Attach it to the cerebellum by using toothpicks. The end of one toothpick should be inside the brainstem and the other one attached to the cerebellum. Let the clay dry overnight.
Paint the two hemispheres of the brain with a paint brush. Instead of using a monotonous gray, use different colors to distinguish the different parts of the brain. Paint the cerebellum and brainstem as well. Once you finish, put your clay-made brain in a pottery oven for a day to accelerate the process of solidification.
Things You'll Need
- Sculptor's clay
- Ceramic paints
- Paint brush
- Sharp pencil
- Pottery oven
Put colorful labels in the brain parts.
Clay is a delicate material and must be molded before it solidifies.
A man’s brain is bigger than a woman’s brain. If you are asked to do a comparative project, take this fact into consideration.
Be careful when you use toothpicks. If you press too hard, you might spoil the clay.
- Put colorful labels in the brain parts.
- Clay is a delicate material and must be molded before it solidifies.
- A man’s brain is bigger than a woman’s brain. If you are asked to do a comparative project, take this fact into consideration.
- Be careful when you use toothpicks. If you press too hard, you might spoil the clay.
Manuel Páucar (Lima, 1978), is the author of "Chronicles of the Exile," a popular column in the Hispanic market. In his 18 years as a writer, he's published four books and received several awards, including a special recognition from the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Páucar attended the Andes Chef School in 1999, and studied theater arts at CTL Institute in 1998.