Polymer Clay Echidna Tutorial

Posted on May 17, 2013 in 2013 Friesen Project by Katie

The Friesen Project of 2013 Presents:

Polymer Clay Echidna Tutorial by KatersAcres for the Friesen Project of 2013

Break out the popcorn, Twinkies, Vegemite, and TimTams:

IT’S FRIESEN FRIDAY!

Today brings us an awesome little cutie pie for a garden, planter, doll house, or even a tree ornament!  I really didn’t think he was that cute in the book … but … then when I made it, I actually squealed! He’s so cute with all his spikes and little red parts … you’re going to LOVE him! So, let’s get started.

As with all the tutorials in the Friesen Project, please remember that these tutorials are done in an abbreviated format, with Christi Friesen’s expressed permission.  These tutorials are written and designed to be used in conjunction with the Beyond Sculptures Book 5: Down Under.

Polymer Clay Animal Tutorial – Featuring the Awesome Echidna

Polymer Clay Tip - Mica Powder Trick at KatersAcres Polymer Clay Website

Materials List for Your Polymer Clay Animal Tutorial

Let’s Get Started

How to Add An Inclusion to Your Blend

Polymer Clay Echidna Tutorial How to Add a Glitter InclusionIf you want to add a “grainy” detail to your polymer clay, simply add a glitter inclusion.  Here’s a brief step-by-step process of how to do that.

  • Make sure your blend has been conditioned.
  • Choose your glitter, I’m using an Ultra Fine Black High Temperature Glitter, embossing glitter works well too.
  • Spread the glitter evenly over your blend.
  • Fold the glitter into the blend
  • Run your clay through the pasta machine until fully combined.

Get Christi’s Awesome Tutorial

Detailed instructions for creating this cute Echidna can be found in Down Under by Christi Friesen on pages 42-45.

Make the Echidna Body

  • Echidna - Make the Body of Your Polymer Clay Animal by KatersAcresFirst thing is first: choose and condition your polymer clay.
  • NOTE: For my Echidna, I used a marbled tan color I blended from Ecru, gold, bronze, and raw sienna Premo polymer clays.
  • First separate four pieces from your blend, these will become your feet later (not shown in photos … sorry).
  • Roll remaining clay into a ball.
  • Form that ball into a teardrop shape
  • Make a pinching motion to make a “nose” for your Echidna
  • Use a small needle tool and add nostrils to your Echidna.
  • Now add a light brushing of your red metallic mica powder to the nose area.
  • Add your chosen beads for the “eyes” of your figurine.

Make Your Echidna’s Legs

  • Polymer Clay Echidna Tutorial - Add the Feet to Your Polymer Clay AnimalWith the four pieces of clay that you separated from your blend at the beginning (that I forgot to show you … sorry, again); roll them into balls and then into teardrops.
  • Place your newly formed, adorable little Echidna body on top of the legs.
  • Push down gently on the top of the Echidna to attach the legs.
  • Then roll the Echidna over and smooth the legs onto the body.

Add Toes to Your Echidna’s Legs

  • How to Make Your Echidna's ClawsPrepare a darker, rich brown color for your Echidna’s toes
  • Condition the clay and cut 8 uniform shapes using a 1/4″ Kemper cutter.
  • Cut each shape in half.
  • Roll each half into little balls, four tiny balls per foot.
  • Roll each little ball into a rice shape.
  • Attach to the bottom of the Echidna’s legs and smooth seams.

Give Your Echidna Some Fur

Polymer Clay Animal Tutorial - Echidna - Make the FurYour Echidna is starting to look really good … but not realistic, yet.  So now, it’s time to take your Echidna and give him some Echidna fur!

  • I like to start at the nose, where most of the attention will go when people look at him.
  • Take a needle tool and gently “brush” it across the Echidna.
  • Once you have one layer of “fur” made, make another layer by adding some needle tooled “dots” and dragging them forward.
  • Finish him off with a few more pokes, prods, and divots until you think it looks like “fur!”

Make Him Spike-Tastic!

Christi Friesen Polymer Clay Tutorial of an Echidna for the Friesen Project - Add the Spikes by KatersAcresThere’s no way that this Echidna can be finished without the addition of his awesome spikes.  Please note that my method is very different from the one Christi describes in her book, but either method will work.

  • First create a new color of clay.  
  • Note: I saved a bit from my beginning blend and added a little ecru to it to lighten it from the rest of the Echidna.
  • Take the same Kemper cutters and cut 12-15 shapes 1/4″ in size from your new blend.
  • Roll each little shape into a teardrop shape.
  • Then cut the same number of 26 or 28 gauge wire as the number of your spikes.
  • Add a little squeeze of TLS to the spikes.
  • Now gently add on your spikes to the little gauge wires that are sticking our of your little Echidna.

Beautify That Echidna Baby!

Echidna - Paint Mica Tips on the Spikes by KatersAcresAn Echidna is not an Echidna without that rosy red glow on the tip of his spikes…so beautify that Echidna!

  • Take a big old fluffy brush and dip it into the red mica powder.
  • Gently swipe that fluffy brush across the tips of your spikes.
  • Finish off your Echidna by taking the brush across his nose and adding just one last hint of red.

Finish Him Off

Spike the Echidna Inspired by Christi Friesen, Made by KatersAcresWhen you are all the way done with your Echidna, set your oven to 265 degrees and bake your Echidna for 45-60 minutes, longer for larger sizes.  If you want to add a coat of patina or glaze when you are done, be my guest.  But … I liked mine just the way he was.  By the way, his name is “Spike.”  I think it suits him.

Some Project Participants Work

Here’s some of the really cool Aborigine projects that a few of the participants in the Friesen project made this past week. Click on the pictures to go directly to the larger picture & pin on Pinterest.

Aborigine Art by Laurie Grassel

“Swamp Bunyip” by Vicki Cederquist

“Strange Bird” by Melody Crismon

The Friesen Project

The Friesen Project is done in conjunction with Christi Friesen. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read about the project here, and get answers to the most common FAQS here.

See you next Friesen Friday,
Until then, Happy Claying,