Egg makes a great canvas for polymer clay. I learned this through a challenge in my polymer clay group guild where we were asked to make an artwork incorporating an egg to our sculpture. I made a Marie Antoinette inspired egg head for this challenge.
Since I am making some egg figurines for an upcoming pop culture convention, I would like to share my way of making this kind of sculpture. I documented myself making Pikachu and it's my hope that you'll get inspired into making your own egg figurines.
Step 1: Materials & Preparing the Egg
- Polymer Clay (oven baked modelling clay)
- Liquid clay - I used Fimo Dekogel
- Sand Paper - 260 grit up to 800 grit
- Baby Oil
- Drill bit
- Wire Cutter
- Knife / blade
- Acrylic roller
- Sculpting tools: paddle shaped tool, ball stylus, needle tool
To prep the egg, I washed it with soap and water and dried it with a paper towel. To hollow it out, I poked the top and bottom of the egg with a needle. I carefully chipped small pieces of shell around the holes with the needle until it's about 5 to 7 mm diameter. Then I blew one end of the hole until all the contents spilled out into a bowl. After which, I washed the egg again then dried it up with a towel.
Step 2: Covering the Egg With Clay
Once the egg is dried up, I smeared it with liquid clay then I wrapped it with a flattened sheet of yellow polymer clay about 4mm. I used the knife to cut the excess off and made sure that the clay is well adhered to the egg and there are no air bubbles. If you do find some air bubbles, just poke it with a needle then push the clay towards the hole to expel the air out.
I re-establish the top and bottom holes of the egg which is important when baking to prevent trapped air, then with a paddle tool, blended the seams of clay. Try to make the surface smooth by carefully rolling an acrylic roller on it.
To make the egg stand upright, press it on your working surface to make a flat bottom seen on the last photo.
Bake the egg upright in the oven based on the manufacturer's direction of your polymer clay brand. I baked mine 110 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Sanding & Limbs
Once the egg is completely cooled, I wet sanded it starting from 260 grit up until I reached 800 grit. This will make the surface smooth and less bumpy. I also rubbed the surface with a drop of baby oil after it's been dried to heal the scuff marks made by the sand paper. I let the oil soak the clay and work on it the next day.
With a pencil, mark out where the ears and limbs will be placed then make the holes with a drill bit based on the size of your wire armature.
I made the legs by making an oblong shape then with a needle tool, indented two lines to make the toes. The upper limbs are made similarly but smaller in size. Add some liquid clay around the holes and stick the armature on the limbs then insert the armatures in place.
Step 4: Face & Tail
I started with black clay first, making 2 flattened round shapes for the eyes, a very tiny round piece for the nose and 2 curved thin pieces of clay for the mouth. I sticked this on the egg with liquid clay.
Add in 2 round flat pieces of white clay for the highlights of the eyes and 2 curved flat pieces of brown clay for the iris.
The cheeks are 2 flattened round pieces of red clay.
The ears are 2 elongated shapes with tapered ends of yellow clay. I placed the wire armature in each ear then placed it on top of the head.
Pikachu also has 2 brown stripes on his back which are just 2 flat elongated pieces of clay with tapered ends.
His characteristic lightning-like tail is made by freehand drawing with a needle tool on a sheet of yellow clay. You can also use a stencil for this step using white paper. Then cut the tail with the knife and bake it flat in the oven. Bake the egg in as well.
Step 5: Finishing
After the tail and egg are baked, we can complete the other details without worrying about distorting the sculpted pieces.
For the tail, cover the other side with clay by cutting the outline of the baked piece and rounding out the edges. I did this step because the other side was too flat. Then cover the lower portion with brown clay. Attach the tail on his back by adding some brown clay on the stripes which will act as an anchor.
And lastly, for the tips of his ears, add some black clay and shape it into a point.
Bake the piece for the last time. I baked mine at 110 degrees celsius for 30 minutes.