Introduction: Sculpting a Stylized Pharaoh

In this instructable, I will show you how I skullpted a spooky stylized pharaoh using a few pounds of oil based clay.

Step 1: Materials

  • Oil based clay (I use Chavant NSP medium, but you can use a different type of clay if you'd like)
  • Various loop tools
  • Metal tools
  • Clay knife
  • Wooden tool
  • Rubber tool
  • Metal Kidney
  • Sponge
  • Aluminum armature wire (I use 1/8" and 1/16" wire)
  • Mini torch
  • Source to heat your clay

I use a slow cooker to heat up my clay but you can use other things such as toaster ovens or electric skillets. I do not recommend using a microwave to heat chavant. Be very careful with hot clay. It might not look hot, but it can and will burn you. Prod the clay with tools just to be safe.

Step 2: Making the Body and Headdress

Start out with a block of clay, this will be the shoulder and chest area.

Next, cut a thick wire and wrap a thin wire around it. This will give the clay something to grab on to. After you trim the thin wire to your liking, stick the wire into the center of the block.

Now you can start pressing warm clay around the wire. Make a large triangle on the back edge of the block. This will become the headdress.

Add more clay to the front and back sides of the block. You can use a metal kidney to trowel on warm clay and smooth it out.

Using the large loop tool, carve out some space on the sides of the block. Cut the left and right sides of the block at a slight inward angle and pinch the edges into a rounded shape.

At this point I decided to shift the corners of the headdress forwards, so I cut along the bottom and secured with warm clay.

Cut two rectangles and attach them to each side of the headdress. Cut the corners of the headdress at an angle to form a point. Add more clay to the corners if there isn't enough to form a nice point.

Add large amounts of clay to the back of the headdress and use a kidney to smooth the surface into a rounded shape. Make sure the edges of the headdress and body do not blend.

Step 3: Roughing Out the Head

Build up the head with more clay and rough in the cheekbones. This part will only be the upper half of the skull, not the jaw, so don't add too much clay.

Take a circular loop tool, press it where you want the eyes to be, and turn it like a key.

Roll two small "worms" of clay and place them above the eye holes. Bend them however you'd like to make different expressions.

Roll out two thick worms of clay, similar to the shape of a pepper, and place them along the lower edge of the eye holes.Now you can start refining the shape of the brow and cheekbones using the flat side of a loop tool.

Place two more worms on the left and right side of the head to start building up the forehead. You can put some clay in the area between the two worms but don't lose the shape of the brow. After you establish the forehead, smooth out the left and right edges of the forehead and use your thumbs to press circular indents into the sides of the head

Take a bead of clay roughly the size of the corner of the cheekbone's corners and place it there. Smooth it with your fingers to make a ridge on each side of the head.

Place long strips of clay on the mouth area to build up more volume. Add a triangle shaped piece of clay and position it where you want the nose to be. Make more strips so that the mouth sticks out past the nose.

Lay the sculpture on its back and cut at the bottom of the mouth.

Step 4: Forming the Jaw

Roll out a large worm to start working on the jaw.

Bend each side of the worm to make a stretched U shape.

Bend the worm at the center, then fill in the area with clay. Trim the inner sides of the jaw so that it can fit onto the sculpture.

Press hot clay on the edges and inner sides of the jaw to glue it in place. Clean up the edges of the jaw if clay sticks out.

Step 5: Adding to the Headdress

Roll two long worms and bend it into an L shape. Place the worms along the edges of the headdress. Add another worm on the forehead to connect the two worms.

Add more clay onto the top of the headdress and smooth it with a metal kidney.

Draw where you would like the sides of the headdress and press clay into the area. Flatten them by pressing a knife or metal kidney into the sculpture from the front.

Place two more small L shaped worms on the top of the headdress. Smooth each side of the worm to create edges on the front of the headdress.

Step 6: Smoothing and Carving the Headdress

Use a metal kidney to smooth out the back of the headdress. Using a mini torch, heat up the back of the headdress and continue smoothing it with a metal kidney.

Be very careful with the mini torch, do not hold it over an area too long or else the clay will burn.

You can repeat this process but making this area completely smooth is not necessary.

Using a metal spatula tool or a small loop tool, carve out lines on the headdress. I carved out nine lines on each side of the headdress but your piece may be larger or smaller than mine. I also added two lines on the top of the headdress.

Make light marks with your tools to plan out where you want the lines to be.

Mark the bottom center part of the headdress with a circle. Draw lines along the back of the headdress to connect the circle with the carved sections on the front.

Carve along the lines on the back of the headdress using multiple small tools. Make the carved sections gradually smaller as they meet towards the circle.

Keep using loop tools to refine the edges. Carving hard edges will take some time but continue working until you are pleased.

Step 7: Refining the Face

Carve out a section inside of the eye holes using round loop tools.

I decided to change the nose since I was not pleased with the shape. I smoothed out the nose and pressed it downwards. After I fixed the nose, I used a very small round loop tool to carve the nose.

Roll two long worms of clay and trim them to fit inside the mouth. These will be the teeth. After you smooth the worms, start drawing the shape of the teeth. I pressed the sides of loop tools into the clay to make the shape of the teeth.

Using a rubber tool, draw along the edges of the teeth. Add beads of clay to the bottom of the teeth to give them different shapes.

At this point, I decided to carve out the space below the cheekbones using rounded loop tools.

Using a rubber tool, draw lines where you want the teeth to be. Laying the sculpture on a sponge will make carving out the bottom row of teeth easier. For the bottom row of teeth repeat the same process used for the top row.

Using a needle tool and a rubber tool, add details to the face such as cracks.

Step 8: Final Touches

If you would like to add eyes, roll a ball of clay and poke it with the pointed tip of a rubber tool.

For the snakes at the top of the headdress, roll two thin worms of clay and pinch the tip of the worm to make the snake's head.

Position the snakes on the top of the head and use a mini torch to heat the clay so they stick where you want them to be.

You can use a sponge to smooth out areas on your sculpture, but be careful and don't apply too much force on delicate areas.

Step 9: Completed Sculpture

Now you know how to make a pharaoh character in clay. I hope you enjoyed this instructable.

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