How Can I Make an Ear Out of Clay?


Like many of the structures of the human body, the ear is a complex shape. However, you can form this complex shape from clay with relative ease using the right basic shapes and techniques. Once you master a simple ear shape, you can refine your technique to master the shape of individual ears for large figurines, sculptures and busts.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Clay rolling pin
  • Roll out your clay into a 1/3-inch thick sheet using a clay rolling pin.

  • Cut out a half circle measuring 2 inches in radius (meaning, the full circle would have had a 4-inch diameter).

  • Press one corner of the half circle with your fingertip. Round and curl it down to create a rounded top, like the top of an ear.

  • Round the opposite corner of the half circle. Then, pinch the rounded end between your thumb and forefinger to create a flat, round spot that protrudes slightly below the rest of the half-circle. This is the lobule or ear lobe (where earrings are placed).

  • Hold the clay in the palm of your secondary hand. Press your fingertip into the clay repeatedly, moving it around, to form a bowl shape on the inside of the half circle. Leave a ridge about 1/8-inch thick all the way around the curved edge, and leave the lobule untouched.

  • Roll your fingertip over the outside ridge to round it. Move all the way up and down the ridge.

  • Pinch the clay inside the bowl shape to form ridges inside for the shape of the inner ear. Look at your own ear in the mirror, or a photo of an ear, to observe the shape of these ridges and try to imitate them. They're a little different for everyone, but they all follow the same basic shape of a large ridge with a fork on the top and a second ridge attached to the outer rim of the ear.

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  • "The Figure in Clay: Contemporary Sculpting Techniques by Master Artists;" Lark Books; 2005
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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