How to Make the Liberty Bell out of Modeling Clay

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Modeling clay is a great tool to use for a variety of different projects - even making your own Liberty Bell. Make the Liberty Bell out of modeling clay with help from a ceramic artist and instructor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Making Pottery
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Beth Fleischer, and today I'm going to show you how to make a Liberty Bell out of clay. So you're going to need to get some clay, you're going to need a rolling pin, a needle tool or something sharp to cut your clay with, and some slip. And slip is just your clay mixed with a little bit of water to make kind of like a paste. So, you're going to grab a piece of your clay, and we're just going to flatten it out. This is to make your base. And actually it's going to end up being the top of your Liberty Bell. So you just want to flatten that out with your rolling pin. You don't want to go too thin, maybe a quarter of an inch is good, or even a little bit thicker is OK. And then we're going to cut a circle out of it so I'm just going to use a cookie cutter. You can use a cup or anything round. Push that in. And there we have the base. The next thing we're going to do is make some coils. So for your coils, grab another part of your clay and just start to roll it out on your table and as you're rolling back and forth you want to pull your hands wider, and that will make your coils longer. And you just want to make, you're going to make a lot of them so you just want to make quite a few snakes here. OK. Once you have enough of these made, you're going to start to attach them to your base. So you're going to start like that and just circle around and lay them on top of each other. And when one ends just go ahead and add your next one. And once you have all your coils on and it's about the height that you want, you're going to start to smooth the coils into each other. So you're going to just take your thumb and smooth one coil down in the one below it and you're going to continue that all the way around and then down to the next level and you're going to go around your entire bell until it's completely smooth. And then you can go ahead and do the inside as well. You don't actually need to do the inside if you're not concerned how the inside looks. But you do want to do all around the outside to give you a nice smooth finish. Once you've smoothed all your coils into each other, you want to do some final smoothing to get your surface nice and clean. So you're going to go ahead and use a rib. You can also use a small piece of cardboard anything that's sort of flat that's going to help you get a really smooth surface and get rid of your fingerprints. And you can just start to go over your piece with that. And that's going to smooth that out. OK. So now your bell is completely smooth, it's been flared out. You're going to turn it over so it looks like the Liberty Bell. And we're going to add the crack. So you're going to need something sharp. You can either use a needle tool that's pretty sharp. I'm going to use this one. It's not quite as sharp. If you have a pencil, you could use that, anything with a point. And you're just going to draw a line from the bottom and it goes up about two thirds of the way. And it's kind of a jagged line like this. It needs a little wider at the bottom. And when you're finished and your clay dries you can rub a little bit of black paint in there to make the line really stand out. The last thing you want to do is take another little piece of a coil and just attach it to the top, just want to scratch it a little bit, add a little bit of your slip, it just makes it stick. Bend it a little bit like that, and stick a little lug on of the top of your bell. And there you have your Liberty Bell. I'm Beth, thanks for watching.

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