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Clay Sun Faces
Global Art

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Clay Sun Faces from Global Art - MEXICO

Young artists sculpt Metapec clay suns, creating their own facial expressions and designs using any self-drying craft clay.

Did you know? Mexico is known for its many clay pottery and art forms. Mexican artist Timoteo Gonzales is thought to be the first potter to make the unusual and delightful clay suns, so much a part of Mexico's tourist trade and folk art. These clay sculptures are called Metapec suns and are painted in bright, expressive designs featuring a variety of facial expressions.


self-drying craft clay, such as Das, Pronto, Sculpey, Fimo or Crayola Modeling Magic
rolling pin
kitchen knife
bright tempera paints and paintbrushes
clear spray hobby coating, optional


1. Work the clay by hand to soften it.
2. Place the clay on a work surface and roll it with a rolling pin to make a slab about the size of a cereal bowl.
3. Cut a circle in the slab the size of the desired sun sculpture. Keep the cut-away scraps of clay to add later for sun's rays and facial features.
4. Think of an expression to put on the sun's face. Sometimes it helps to make faces in a mirror noticing eyebrows, mouth shape and cheeks. Mold features into the sun's face. Holes can be cut for eyes, nose and mouth or added with more clay. Add designs and features to the face with the cut-away scraps. The rays of the sun can influence the expression of the face based on their design, such as straight, sharp, wiggle, thick or pointy.
5. Poke a small hole in the top of the sun for hanging it on a nail when dry.
6. When the sun's facial expression and rays are complete, allow the clay to dry until hard. Depending on the type of clay product selected, this is usually overnight.
7. When the clay is dry, paint the sun's features with bright tempera paints. Let the paint dry.
8. To make the sun sculpture shiny, an adult may spray with a clear hobby coating.
9. When dry, hang the sun face on the wall, on a fence or in a courtyard or patio area.

copyright © 2005 MaryAnn Kohl
This art activity is copyright protected.

Permission is granted to reprint one copy for personal use only.
Please contact or 800-480-4278 for permission to reprint
multiple copies or to disperse.

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