Just for Kids!
Making Polymer Clay Bears, Bunnies and Bugs!
Kids now have a polymer clay video to call their own. MindStorm
Productions presents the first video designed expressly for
kids who want to have fun with polymer clay, and it kicks
off their new series "Junior Artisans of Polymer Clay."
"Sculpting Cartoon Critters" features Kris Richards
sharing her wealth of experience as well as her infectious
enthusiasm for polymer clay characters. Kris is a well-known
polymer artist and teacher and the author of the popular book
New Ways With Polymer Clay. She has the ideal personality
for explaining to youngsters how to make simple but creative
animals from clay, how to have fun using "wiggly eyes,"
and how to enjoy being creative.
Kris begins by reviewing the small number of tools and supplies
needed - for instance, clay is cut with a metal ruler, not
with a more dangerous tissue blade. Other tools are common
household items adapted for use with clay. In demonstrating
how to make a needle tool, Kris emphasizes the importance
of consulting with a "grown-up," a caution she repeats
at appropriate times during the video.
Kris now presents the basics of working with polymer clay.
After explaining that all the animal projects will be made
from balls of clay, she demonstrates how to roll various amounts
of clay between two hands, how to fix "boo-boos,"
and how to manipulate balls of clay into ears and tails.
The first and most basic project is a bright red bear. Kris
carefully demonstrates all the steps in making this sitting
critter, including the muzzle on the face, pads on the feet,
and personality all around. As Kris says, "wiggly eyes
make bears look goofy." In what will be a recurring theme
of the video, Kris encourages her young viewers to take what
she's teaching and make the projects their own: "You
can decide. It's your sculpture, you can change it any way
Subsequent projects build on the basics: a bunny, a cat,
and a dog in various colors and with assorted new features.
Throughout, Kris's engaging style appeals directly to kids,
with comments like "bug eyes are the best-they're so
funny." Where else does an instructor have completed
characters wave good-bye to the viewers as they march off
to be hardened in the oven?
When Kris moves to the second major critter type, she introduces
a new basic body shape with a caterpillar. Once again composed
of basic balls of clay, this cartoon character has expressive
eyes and eyelids. Kris shows how different materials affect
the look of the antennae, and encourages her viewers to experiment
and have fun. Her fondness for smaller critters is evident
as she moves on to more caterpillars, snakes, beetles and
spiders. Assorted materials are used with varying effects
to make pipe cleaner and wire legs, telephone wire and dressmaker
pin antennae, and various surface decorations. Fascinating
facts about these creatures are sprinkled here and there -"Did
you know there are more kinds of beetles in the world than
any other kind of bug?"
In making a snake, Kris explains how to blend two colors
in varying proportions to get a range of colors from dark
to light. She also shows how to mix two colors of clay easily
and thoroughly. These techniques are then used to create a
striped snake by twisting, rolling and marbleizing colors.
Guest appearances by a turtle with a bow tie, an ant, and
beetles not yet seen anywhere in Nature give kids even more
encouragement to be as creative as they want.
The video ends with the most complex project, a detailed
bee sitting on a flower and leaf. By this time, kids should
be adept enough to create their own Cartoon Critters with
unique antennae, legs, wings, and color combinations. After
Kris's farewell "And now we're going to bug out of here,"
keep the tape playing for very funny outtakes complete with
"silly moments" from the taping of the video. Kids
are sure to enjoy this lighthearted ending to a creative video
which is packed with fun and information.