How to Make Clay Dragon Sculptures

    by Carl Hose

    About the Author

    Carl Hose has been writing since high school. His work appears in the zombie anthology "Cold Storage," which he co-edited. His work also appears in "Champagne Shivers," "DeathGrip: It Came from the Cinema," "DeathGrip: Exit Laughing," the horror anthology "Loving the Undead," the erotic ghost anthology "Beyond Desire" and issues of "Lighthouse Digest." Hose's nonfiction appears in "Blue Review" and "Writer's Journal."


    Clay is fun and easy to work with. Clay sculptures make wonderful decorative pieces. You can also create your dragon sculptures to earn extra cash. Dragons have always been popular sculpture pieces and can be particularly easy to make once you understand a few basic techniques. Learn how to make clay dragon sculptures to enjoy for yourself, or to sell at flea markets and fairs as a sideline business.

    Things You'll Need

    • Polymer clay
    • Tooth picks
    • Sculpting knife
    • Tiny crystal eyes
    • Clear coat lacquer
    • Acrylic paint

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    Form the polymer clay, available at hobby shops, into a ball about the size of a grapefruit. Form the dragon's body with the ball of clay. You can work with a reference photo as your guide. Pinch the clay along the top to create the plates running along your dragon's back. They should be formed in the shape of triangles.

    Break four pieces of clay about three or four inches in length. Roll these pieces and fix them to your dragon's body where the legs would go. Use your fingers to blend the legs to the dragon's body until it appears as if all of it is once piece. Use a toothpick and your hands to shape and define the foot and claws on the bottom of each foot.

    Roll out a piece of clay about six to eight inches in length. This will be the neck. You want to make it thick enough to support the weight of your dragon's head. Use your toothpick to draw single lines along the front of the neck to achieve the dragon's layered reptilian skin.

    Form the dragon's tail by rolling a piece of clay approximately seven inches long. Pinch the top of the cane to create triangle shaped plates to match the ones created on the dragon's back. Curve the tail slightly. Attach the tail to the body of the dragon and blend by pressing around the base where the tail meets the body.

    Take a ball of clay a little smaller than a golf ball. Hand mold it to the shape of your dragon's head and pinch the clay up to form the ears. For easily formed ears, form them into triangles that sit on top of the head. Use a toothpick to form the eyes. Cut the mouth out with a small knife and use the toothpick to shape the top and lower pointed teeth. Use tiny colored crystals, found at hobby stores, for the eyes. Gently press the crystals into the clay.

    Roll out two pieces of model clay, each large enough to cut a seven inch or eight inch wing. You can draw the shape of the wings with a toothpick first to act as a guide when you cut them out.

    Use toothpicks to attach the neck to the body and the head to the neck. You might also want to run a toothpick through the tail into the body and each of the legs into the body. This adds stability during the baking process. Bake your clay dragon at around 300 degrees in a standard oven for about half an hour to harden.

    Use acrylic paint to color your dragon in whatever way you choose, then paint with a clear coat of lacquer. This will give you a clay dragon sculpture you can display proudly.


    Photo Credits