Introduction: Make a Clay Ocarina

Ever since "Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time" came out, everyone associates ocarinas with Zelda and there fore, anyone interested in ocarinas is considered a die-hard Zelda fanatic!! There is alot more to Ocarinas than Zelda you know. With this Instructable, you can learn how to make wonderful masterpieces THAT SING!! And you will learn a little about the history of the Ocarina but that is besides the point...

Step 1: The Clay

Well, obviously you need clay to make a clay ocarina. It is possible to make it out of wood but that will come some other time when i have the time, money and patience... Ocarinas have been around since the stone age. Aztecs used them for ritual purposes.

Step 2: The Mold

I made a simple, carrot shaped mold and with this, you just wrap the clay around and seal it up. The mold can be made by taking a large chunk of clay and rolling it out on a slant to make it a sort of "Carrot" shape.

Step 3: Wrapping the Mold

Take a hunk of that Clay and flatten it out about and inch longer than your "Carrot" mold. It must be at least 1cm thick too. You have to make it wide enough to wrap around the mold and have a bit extra.

Step 4: Making the Mouthpiece

While the main chamber of the ocarina is firming up around the mold, We are going to make the mouthpiece. Roll out a piece of clay how ever long you want to make the mouthpiece. Take a "slot stick" (i just use a Popsicle stick with the end cut off) and force it through the mouthpiece like in the picture. Shape it however you want. Ocarinas arent just made of clay. They can be made of wood, metal, plastic, or just about anything that can be molded and will hold its shape.

Step 5: Getting the Mold Out of the Ocarina

Cut the mold in half lengthwise and pull the mold out of the ocarina body.

Step 6: Optional Step

Look closely and notice the grooves put in the edge of the body halves. These help to grip the wet "slip" clay and make a proper seal.

Step 7: "Slipping" the Body

Slip is a muddy clay mixture. To make it, just put a bunch of small clay pieces in a bowl and fill it up with water just over the clay. Let it sit for a day or so. Put the slip on the grooved edges of the body and then smush the two halves together!! In medival times, ocarinas were made of wood and shaped like a stone. They were called Pendant ocarinas. We are making a Sweet Potato Ocarina.

Step 8: Marking the Voicing

Place the mouth piece up to the bottom of the ocarina. Trace around the bottom and about 1/3 a ways up the ocarina. This is the outline for the voicing or voice box. The voicing is what makes the noise.

Step 9: Cutting and Perfecting the Voicing

Put the popsicle stick into the mouthpiece and put the mouthpiece into the hole with the popsicle stick in it. push the popsicle stick into the clay in front of it and cut on a slant towards the popsicle stick. This slant makes noise when air is blown onto it.

Step 10: Making the Holes

There is a chart on making the holes at green vurdigo Green vurdigo has instructions on making ocarinas without a mold if you don't have a mold.

Step 11: Sanding

After it is dried out (may take a few days depending on the size of it...) you can sand it with a low grit sanding pad and then if you really want to make it look good, you can burnish it by taking a metal spoon and rubbing the back of it on the clay in little circles. It makes it really shiny and it is quite interesting. Believe it or not, Ocarinas are on Wikipedia. There are multi-chambered ocarinas that make a polyphonic noise. it is kind of like bagpipes. The bass and tenor drones work at the same time as the chanter. the bass and tenor sound chambers on the ocarina work the same time as the one with the finger holes.

Step 12: Finishing Touches

After your done your optional burnishing, you can engrave it with something, keep it on a shelf as is, get it fired, glaze it and then get it fired, JUST BE CREATIVE!!!


JasonDaAsian made it! (author)2016-11-29

The green vurdigo domain is parked right now. I can't access it? Any other websites or ways around it?

Archer2500 made it! (author)2013-08-26

Wait, is sculpey non toxic?

trustingGuide made it! (author)trustingGuide2015-09-16

OuO I have sculpey clay (and made an amazing ocarina out of it!) and it is non-toxic, making it perfect for this!

J-Five made it! (author)J-Five2013-11-27

I believe its non toxic, but you should check the package first.

Archer2500 made it! (author)2013-08-25

Is it possible to make an ocarina out of sculpey?

trustingGuide made it! (author)trustingGuide2015-09-16

Yes it is! I actually made one out of sculpey (and as long as you follow this tutorial, you'll be fine!) and mine's just amazing, it actually works better than the one i bought at a con :D

leon0862 made it! (author)2011-06-01

im pissed the only clay i could find around town is freakin air dry and baking and they suck where can i find the good made clay >O<

trustingGuide made it! (author)trustingGuide2015-09-16

Actually, oven bake clay is amazing! i made mine based off this tutorial, and it works amazingly! i use Sculpey clay (oven bake) and it's beautiful! and there's a lot of colors you can get with sculpey so you can make your ocarina any color you want.

MadisonP2 made it! (author)2015-09-12

DO NOT BURNISH IT IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON GLAZING. Glazes need texture to be able to stick to the piece, but burnishing smooths the surface, so do one or the other, but not both

THORDOOR220 made it! (author)2015-09-09

I want to make this in my art class, but I'm wondering how you make it into a proper key with 10 holes, I have a 6 hole so I'm looking for something a bit more advanced. Also, how does one create the mold? Thanks in advance and sorry I'm a few years late

lordhazzard made it! (author)2008-01-04

it is also possible to make a pinch pot ocarina, its a lot easier, and your can really play with the design, you can also just take a completely solid block of clay, mold it into your shape, cut it in half and remove the inside. I've been making ocarinas for a while now, so if you need any help, just email or message me!

sgettys made it! (author)sgettys2015-08-22

I've been planning out an art project which combined ceramics, sound, sight etc. and I love this instrument! I have been investigating how to make my own and am curious how one tunes it and how the mouth piece must be shaped to properly produce the sound. It seems tuning is in part based on sauce of the cavity in the instrument and in part where the holes are places and which ones you cover. Am I corrrect? I think I may buy some cheap toy versions and deconstruct them to look inside and play around with clay to see how I can best make my own version that goes with my project. Any suggestions would be great!

super knex builder made it! (author)super knex builder2012-05-15

How big are the finger holes? Also, where did the edges go in steps 6-8? One last question, ccan this be made if oven-bake clay? Sorry about all the questions, just want to get it right with minimal expenses.

Zikkurat made it! (author)Zikkurat2012-03-25

I am in the middle of making an ocarina, and I am having trouble getting it to play high notes. Low notes come out nicely, but the higher you go, the more airy it sounds, until no sound comes out at all. On, it says to lower the mouthpiece so that it is closer to the lip of the voice box to get stronger high notes; but when I do that, the low notes become airy as well, or no notes come out at all.

CalebP1 made it! (author)2015-04-03

This doesnt really work. Im using the correct methods and items but after taking the mould from the clay, every thing just flops and doesn't work. Why?

MickeyM3 made it! (author)MickeyM32015-05-22

I think you didn't let the clay harden enough. I feel like this is a longer project, that takes maybe a week to do (for hardening/dry time).

mgandm5 made it! (author)2015-02-13

Yo, I just wanted to know if it was okay if I used a few of your ideas in an ocarina I want to make for an instructables contest. It is really a lot different, but a few things on your ible are really useful for me (popsicle stick, etc.). I utterly failed at this in 8th grade so congratulations to you. I will definitely direct my readers to you ible, because it is really helpful and genius. I hope this is no problem.

P.s. Think of it a receiving inspiration for a song, then mentioning the inspiration in the lyrics (citing).

Laughing_Jack made it! (author)2015-01-23

Thanks For The Instructions...I Got An A+ On Make A Interment In School. :)

mythra1 made it! (author)2015-01-20

What sizes are the holes?

Master97865 made it! (author)2013-07-18

I'm so confused, this isn't working. I'm trying to get it to make sound, but all I can hear is my breath through the hole.

mythra1 made it! (author)mythra12015-01-20

Your mouthpiece hole is probably to far from the whistle hole

SharonGrace made it! (author)2014-12-02

What kind of clay did you use?

J-Five made it! (author)2013-11-27


Even though at first I thought it was a liver.

Tangski made it! (author)2013-07-23

ooops, saw the finger chart...since I make native flutes, I was wondering more about location of holes and tuning, or is it random to what ever shape? Since location and shape can mean it plays....or not, and some holes may mean nothing in the end for tuning purposes. Anyway, thank you for sharing this idea!

Tangski made it! (author)2013-07-23

Ok, very nice. I take it this is a drone instrument with one sound? As I missed the hole placement. Also, the angle (sound ramp that splits the air so you get a tone) of the sound phipple is around 45 degrees? The angle of that measurement would help when building the mouth piece:)
One can also racqu fire these as well...put them into burning/hot smoldering old style fire method that has neat results for a finish.


TheHeroOfTime made it! (author)2013-01-21

can it be made from cold porcelain?

super knex builder made it! (author)2013-01-12

So where did the slip things go in steps 6-8?

Dr. Who made it! (author)2011-07-16

can you make it any size? or that same size?

PsychedelicFish made it! (author)PsychedelicFish2012-07-07

The size you make your ocarina will affect what key it's in, so if you make a large ocarina, it will be in a lower key than a smaller ocarina. I would suggest making a smaller ocarina though, because with wind instruments the lower the note, the softer you have to blow, making it easier to play instruments in higher keys

ilpug made it! (author)2011-11-22

This is awesome. I would love to see this with some terra sig art on it!

pseventy-seven made it! (author)2011-11-14

Don't paint it, glaze it :P

Thanks for the tutorial. I'm going to try to make this in ceramics class and hope that the teacher doesn't think it's a bong.

Javioca made it! (author)2009-11-12

can it be made out of air dry clay

santis308 made it! (author)santis3082011-10-30

yep. I actually doubted that it could be done since air dry clay kinda sucks, but I was able to pull it off. I just had to be extremely careful, and also, keeping your hands moist might be a good idea.



bdoggy45 made it! (author)2011-08-16

is the carrot shaped mold already hardden

FFVIIBOY made it! (author)2010-04-03

Does yours make noise?

FunkNattidelic made it! (author)FunkNattidelic2010-04-03

It does if you cut the voicing correctly,
If you follow all of the steps you should have a working instrument. =P

FFVIIBOY made it! (author)FFVIIBOY2010-04-03

Cool, if it takes a few days to dry then i dont have the patience for this but ill make this eventually, im not very paitent. I never actually played ocarina of time but i hav phantom hourglass and i can play the original on this website but i cant save, yesterday i spent from 8 in the morning to 9 at night playin but somethin went rong with the computer and i lost ALL that stuff i did, i was so mad i almost fainted

mclason made it! (author)mclason2011-08-02

i don't think anyone cares about your phantom hourglass story. . .

FFVIIBOY made it! (author)FFVIIBOY2011-08-15

I dont even remember posting that Phantom Hourglass comment but yeah I used to always go on and on so things Im talking about make sense, but I dont really do that anymore, for example...

um7kay made it! (author)um7kay2010-09-16

get a life?

FFVIIBOY made it! (author)FFVIIBOY2010-09-16

why dont y- oh who am i kiddin your right

FFVIIBOY made it! (author)FFVIIBOY2010-05-10

i have ocarina of time now on my computer but im stuck on the boss of the forest dungeon

Brian Wall made it! (author)Brian Wall2010-05-10

im working on one now i couldnt get the voicing right

evan_jeffries made it! (author)2011-07-30

when you put grooves on clay to hold two pieces together its called scoring

builderkidj made it! (author)2011-07-13

can we make one like the zelda one?

chompy909 made it! (author)2011-06-25

Does it have to be that exact size or can it be what ever size you want?

kowen made it! (author)2011-06-20

Hey I was wondering if it is possible to do this with air dry clay? Or is it to brittle?

furrie made it! (author)2011-04-25

What size did you make the "carrot" ? or doesn't it realy matter?

JBowmanDIY made it! (author)2011-04-01

does the hole go all the way through into the ocarina?

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More by FunkNattidelic:Last Christmas, I gave you my Heart... A Surrealist twist  to a classic Christmas hit.Make A Clay Ocarina
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