Introduction: How to Make a Cute Polymer Clay Whale Shark.
This is a little craft which is super fun to do.
I chose a whale shark because they are super cool, and one of my favorite animals.
They also are endangered due to the impacts of fisheries, and vessel strikes.
BE SAFE AROUND KNIFES KIDS
(and ovens, those hurt)
Starting off you will want.....
» An oven
» polymer clay in blue, white, black, yellow, and green, (tan is helpful too)
» a paperclip or other small wire thingy
» pliers with wire cutter
» a good surface to work clay, I chose a cutting board.
» a knife that is at least someone what kinda sharp
» a timer
» a coating matte or gloss, I used gloss.
Step 1: Step 1: Making the Shark
you should start off by combining some blue, white and black clay to make a sort of navy blue/grey ball, mix thoroughly, you don't want a tie-dye shark. Don't make it too large, roughly 1-2 cm across. Add clay to desired color and set aside.
Next form a smaller ball from mostly white with a bit of blue for the underbelly, again, keep it small for good baking and so the paperclip can support it (spoilers).
Take a little more than half of your navy/grey ball, and all of your blueish-white and form into two similarly shaped triangles, rounding off the edges slightly, (as shown). you can choose to add a slight curve to give a more natural look. Make the large side a bit square, for the whale sharks distinctive head.
Put the two sides together, with the white underbelly underneath, making sure to use your finger to smooth the edges together.
At this stage your whale-lump should look something like this.
Step 2: Step 2: Adding Details to Your Shark
What makes a Whale-shark, a Whale-shark?
Some of the key features, most whale sharks have or had are.....
» Fins, both on top, sides, and one on the back
» Spots, Whale sharks have cool white spots all over them
» Eyes and mouth, most sea creatures got 'em
So you may be wondering..
"random person on the internet,
how Do I put on Fins, Spots and Eyes?"
Well I'm about to tell you, don't worry.
-But wait, after this your shark will be baked so preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit or 135 degrees Celsius. OK proceed.
To make fins for your beautiful whale shark take the other part of you navy/grey ball and cut into 4-5 pieces, depending on if you want 4 or 5 fins and the amount of clay you have. One fin should be decidedly larger than the rest.
Take this extra large piece and form a sort of arrow without the line and make a little cut on one side, then attach it to the body at the very back, facing up and down.
take the other three or four pieces and add or take off little bits of clay until two are about the same size.These will be your side fins, and should be attached to the side.
From here, for the top ,or dorsal, fin the instructions split.
One Fin- If you only have one fin remaining, just slap it right on top
Two fins- If you have two fins remaining, make one slightly smaller than the other, and put the larger one in front on the top of the shark
Attaching fins to your shark can be tricky, because of their size, so you should first gently press the fin on, next take a small knife or scraping tool and scrape some of the clay, from the fin begin attached, onto the body to make it smooth. (See the third image)
Worst case scenario, whip out the super glue and go to town.
*This step will have varying results depending on you knowledge of whale anatomy, when in doubt, Google it.*
To put some spots on your shark simply cut up a small amount of white clay and then cut it even smaller. The tiny balls for this should be crazy small and, even with specks the size of .7 pencil lead, the dots were larger than I would have liked.
After you have cut up crazy small orbs, gently poke them, without warping them too badly, to get them to stick to your finger. Then poke them onto the shark. *Usually the dots go in lines down the body*. If you're wondering if there are dots on the fins, there are, I checked. Also there are no dots on the underbelly.
After polka doting out your shark, it's time to move on to the eyes and mouth.
*Again, just Google "whale shark" *
Eyes and Mouth
Now that your shark has fins and some dots to boot, (S)he will need some eyes and a mouth. Most sharks have two eyes but feel free to experiment. Also the average shark has one mouth.
Remember how the head is kinda square shaped? Put eye(s) facing forward right near the corners of the shark on the front side. below them place the mouth(s).
great, on to your sharks little home.
Step 3: Step 3: Your Sharks Happy Seafloor Home.
To give your shark a fine living space, grab that lump of either tan or white+yellow clay and smash it into a sort of seafloor position. Then take your green and make a few bits of seaweed blowing in the current by rolling it out and cutting off the tip, then repeating.
When this is finished take your pliers and paper clip, cut most of the paperclip off and bend the paperclip into a sort of leg with a foot. Stick this paperclip through the island in a suitable place then....
DON'T do what I did but rather make a hole in the bottom of the shark with the paperclip and put both objects on a baking sheet.
Step 4: Step 4: Baking and Finishing
Now with your oven at 275 degrees F, or 135 degrees C
bake your shark and island for around 14 min.
(This is where you set a timer so as not to forget)
Next with your beautiful baby out of the oven, let cool for like 2-5 min and go outside to apply the coating
Make sure to stay far away from buildings, animals, cars, trucks, and neighbors when spraying.
I didn't do this.
After spraying let dry for a while (read can)
Your Whale Shark is complete!
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