Clay Head Sculpture Workshop

Clay Heads © Jennifer Louise Martin

by Jennifer Louise Martin


To create a clay self-portrait head which expresses an emotion you have been feeling

Materials required

  • Air Drying Clay / Salt dough or Playdough
  • Clay sculpture tools or sharp pencil
  • Pot of water
  • Plasticine (optional)
  • Eyes cut out from a magazine (optional)
  • Plastic plate


  • Take a large lump of clay (half a packet) and roll into a ball using a tiny bit of water
  • Create a small head shape and a shoulders by pinching at the base of the ball
  • Keep it upright so the ball is standing on the shouders/bust shape and pinch the neck more tightly so that the head feels stable and solid. This is to ensure it does not break when it dries.
  • Once happy with the face shape, use thumbs to make two holes for the eye sockets.
  • Add a nose using a small piece of extra clay and mould into a nose shape
  • Use pencil of round clay tool and indent 2 nostrils
  • Mould again using water to attach nose well to the face
  • Make a hole using finger or clay tool for the mouth
  • Make 2 thin sausage shapes to add the lips
  • For the eyes either use the magazine eyes or plasticine to create pupil, lashes and eyelid. You could also just use a pencil to draw them on but make sure you have added to flattened small balls for the eyes in the sockets created earlier.
  • Add ears if choose to and then hair.
  • You can manoeuvre the lips and face into any direction you want to create an emotional expression
  • You can also add hair using coloured plasticine or play dough.
  • Leave to dry for 2 or 3 days into a solid clay sculpture.

We would love to see what you come up with! Tag us in your creations @burghhouse1704 and @jenniferlouisemartin.

Visit Jennifer’s website for further inspiration.

Text and images © Jennifer Louise Martin

Burgh House
New End Square
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