Big Ceramic Store Blog

How To Sculpt An Elephant - Part 5

If you've been following along on the elephant sculpting journey, you have got to be excited... today's the day! We are going to finish up our elephant and get it ready for the kiln! We just need to add a tail, eyes, ears, tusks and a few wrinkles.

Let's start with the tail...

  • Roll a thin coil of clay and attach a teardrop shaped ball on the end
  • flatten the teardrop and etch some lines in it
  • attach the tail to the rump of the elephant

That was easy right? Well I have to be honest... the ears and eyes are not quite that simple but I'm sure you can do it!

Get your pictures out and let's get those ears made. Remember... you are not trying to exactly duplicate the picture, you want this to be your own style.

  • roll out a thin piece of clay and cut out two ears in the shape you choose


  • Smooth the edges with a damp sponge (I love the Xiem Pro-sponges)
  • roll out a super thin coil of clay and get a paint brush and cup of water ready


  • dampen the ear with your brush then lay pieces of the coil down to mimic veins


  • once you have them in place use a wet paint brush to secure them to the ear piece
  • after they dry a little use your damp finger to smooth away the sharp lines so they look like they belong


  • attach them to the head


Time for the tusks...

  • Roll out a thin coil of clay
  • round the ends and cut it in half to make two tusks


  • using a hole tool or drill make holes for the tusks on the side of the mouth
  • dampen the tusks and slide them into the holes


  • secure with some thick slip and clay pieces and wipe off the excess

Time for the eyes... they have to be the most challenging part of the elephant, and may take a few attempts to get them how you want.

  • Using a stylus, make a mark on the side of the face to show where the eyes will be
  • push the stylus into the head on a forward angle to make the eye socket


  • add a tiny ball of clay to the socket area then push it down and smooth it out


  • shred some pieces of clay off a piece of leather hard clay with a shredding tool


  • dampen a few shreds and place them around the eye


  • use a damp sponge, brush or your finger, and smooth them down for a finished look

Final step... add some wrinkles with a rake tool and brush away the dust. That's all there is to it!

Set the elephant on a shelf to dry then fire and glaze however you'd like!



One thought on “How To Sculpt An Elephant - Part 5”

  • Clay Blog Review: February 2017 - Pottery Making Info |

    […] Big Ceramic Store: How To Sculpt An Elephant – Part 5 […]


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