Polymer Clay: Tiger the Tennis Player

In celebration of Father’s Day, I made a polymer clay figurine of a tiger playing tennis for my dad. It took about 4 hours to design, make, and bake, and turned out better than I expected. See step-by-step pictures below.

Before meeting dad, Tiger the Tennis Player decided to crash some parties first! Here, he is visiting Hello Kitty land.

It turns out Hello Kitty and Stitch were getting married, and he even joined them for surfing afterwards.

And in a daring move, Tiger the Tennis Player decided to pose in front of a wolf. The wolf thought about eating him, but decided he wasn’t going to be very tasty.

Instructions:

Step 1. Pick the clay colors, and work the orange clay into two balls, one for the body and one for the head.

Step 2. Create the ears and eyes by first rolling small balls of colored clay, and then pressing them flat. To make sure eyes are the same size, roll a cylinder and cut in half before rolling each of the halves into the eyes (and same for the ears). The orange part of the ears should be thick to add dimension in the side profile.

Step 3. Add face details like fur marks, cheeks, and the white side fur. Add fur markings on body.

Step 4. Create tail by wrapping flat strips of black around the orange tail. Assemble head, body, and tail. You can see paws off to the left (make 4).

Step 5. Create tennis racket.

Step 6. Assemble tennis racket with tiger, and put hands and feet on. Make sure to press all the pieces together so they weld when baking (without squishing everything!).

Step 7. Bake at 275F for 30 minutes for Premo clay. (If you use sculpey, the temperature and times may be different.)

After baking, the clay has more of a porous, matte look.

Happy Father’s Day!

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