Polar Bear Gourds

Materials

  • Pumpkin Hollow Gourds Pumpkin Gourds: 2-3/4”, 2-1/2”, 2”
  • Polyform Sculpey White Oven-Bake Clay
  • White craft wire, 26-gauge

Tools

  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Caribbean Blue, Charcoal, Fleshtone, Ivory, Lavender, Lime Sorbet, Oyster White, Rain Grey, Sunkissed Coral, Trail Tan, White
  • Loew-Cornell American Painter Paintbrushes: Series 4400 Angular Shader 1/4”; Series 4300 Shader #4, 8; Series 4000 Round #1, 3; Series 4350 Liner 10/0; Series 410 Deerfoot Stippler 1/4”, 3/8”; Series 275 Oval Mop 1/2”; Series 272 Small Dome Round
  • Polyform Sculpey: Essential 11 Piece Tool Kit, Satin Glaze
  • White glitter
  • Electric drill with small bit
  • Oven-proof glass baking dish with sand, baking sheet, oven
  • Adhesives: white tacky glue, hot glue gun and sticks

Basic Supplies

toothpicks, stylus, ruler, scissors, paper towels, old toothbrush, sandpaper, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

STEP 1

  • Soak gourds in warm water for 10-15 minutes; remove dirt and let dry. Sand surfaces. Drill hole large enough for toothpick in top center of each gourd.

STEP 2

  • Condition clay in hands until soft and pliable. Roll three balls (heads) from clay measuring 1-1/2”, 1-1/4”, and 1”. Press toothpick halfway into bottom of each head then insert into hole in gourd. Position gourds in sand in oven-proof dish. Cut three 3” lengths from wire. Form loop and insert ends into top of heads.

STEP 3

  • For faces, roll three balls for muzzles measuring 3/4”, 1/2”, and 1/4”; form into cone shapes. Flatten base and press onto faces. Roll tiny noses and press on muzzles. Indent eyes on each head using end of paintbrush handle. Indent eyebrows using clay needle tool. For eyes, roll six tiny clay balls and set inside oven-proof dish. For ears, roll two 1/2” balls for each polar bear; slightly flatten bottom of balls and press onto sides of each head. Use metal ball tool to indent front of each ear.

STEP 4

  • For feet, form two clay balls each measuring 1-3/4”, 1-1/2”, and 1”. Use fingers to form “marshmallow” shapes. Use blunt point tool to indent ankles. Hold foot area between thumb and forefinger; gently press to extend foot. Press onto gourds in desired location so legs conform to gourd contour. Remove and set aside.

STEP 5

  • For scarves, roll clay balls measuring 1-1/4”, 1”, and 3/4”; form into logs. Flatten slightly with roller. Use clay needle tool to score fringe at either end of scarves. Wrap scarves around base of heads; cross over ends behind heads.

STEP 6

  • For arms, roll two clay balls each measuring 1”, 3/4” and 1/2”. Roll balls into logs. Use clay roller to slightly flatten shoulder area of arms. Use fingers to shape paws. Use needle tool to indent three lines into paws on each arm. Press onto bodies. (Note: Do not let arms touch scarves.)

STEP 7

  • For snowballs, roll 1/2” balls for each polar bear. Use needle tool to poke hole halfway through each ball.

STEP 8

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake clay items in oven-proof glass dish on baking sheet in oven. Let cool completely.

STEP 9

  • On covered work surface, stipple Ivory over all fur areas using appropriate-size deerfoot stippler. Let dry. Lightly stipple Oyster White. Float shading around base of ears, muzzles, and noses with thinned Trail Tan using angular shader. Mop to soften as needed. Load dome round brush with (2:1) mixture of Fleshtone + Sunkissed Coral; dab excess on paper towel and drybrush cheeks and inside ears. Basecoat nose and eyes Charcoal + touch of Oyster White using #1 round. Drybrush nose Rain Grey using #4 shader. Adhere eyes into indentations using tacky glue. Let dry. Highlight dot and add comma stroke to eyes in White using liner. Paint eyelashes and indentations on paws with thinned Charcoal and liner. Let dry.

STEP 10

  • Paint pads on feet (2:1) mixture of Fleshtone + Sunkissed Coral using appropriate-size round. Float shading along bottom of each pad Sunkissed Coral using angular shader. Mop to soften. Drybrush over feet Oyster White using #8 shader. Let dry.

STEP 11

  • Basecoat scarves Lime Sorbet, (1:1) mixture of Lavender + White, or (1:1) mixture Caribbean Blue + touch of White using #4 shader. Let dry. Paint stripes Caribbean Blue, Lavender, Lime Sorbet, or combination of colors using #1 round for thick stripes and liner for thin stripes. Let dry. Add White snowflakes using liner; dot centers and each point White using stylus. Let dry. Outline scarf fringe with thinned Charcoal using liner. Let dry.

STEP 12

  • Load old toothbrush with slightly thinned White; spatter all clay parts. Apply white glue on gourds; while still wet, sprinkle with glitter. Let dry.

STEP 13

  • Adhere legs onto bottom of bodies and snowballs between paws using hot glue. Let dry. Brush coat of Satin Glaze on all surfaces. Let dry.
by Linda Hollander
Polar Bear Gourds
Polar Bear Gourds