Polymer Clay Ideas Part 4: How to Make Bigfoot
Let’s talk Bigfoot
No subject in American folklore is more popular than the legend of Bigfoot. Even though we live in the Information Age of digital wonders, somehow people still take Bigfoot seriously. My father believed in Bigfoot back in the 1970s and 80s. I’m not sure if he ever stopped believing since I never got the chance to ask him, but back in the 70s and early 80s, Bigfoot seemed more believable. We had much more forests back then and information wasn’t a click away with a simple Google search. I think Google is the modern-day version of sorcery. You seek knowledge, and most of the time Google has it.
In a day where everyone (including myself) has a cell phone with a high-quality camera and video recorder, one would think that if Bigfoot were really out there, someone would have indisputable proof by now. We still don’t. Not even one single roadkill. Think about it, just about every single species of animal was killed by an automobile at one time or another. With an inquisitive creature such as Bigfoot, I think he’d find himself under a semi-trailer truck every now and then. Not to mention he’s supposedly seven to nine feet tall, rather conspicuous I think. The evidence, or lack of evidence, isn’t looking good for Bigfoot. If you really want to see him, I suggest you create your own! Keep the spirit of Bigfoot real through polymer clay sculpture!
Our Bigfoot skeleton is ready to go
Okay, like with all our other polymer clay projects, we start out with a craft wire skeleton wrapped in tinfoil. I covered this process several times in several other tutorials so I’ll keep it light. At the end of the tutorial, I posted a before and after photo of both our skeleton and exactly what he looks like after sculpture and baking is complete. I also size Bigfoot up to my Yeti that I recently made so stay tuned and if you must skip ahead, make sure you come back to where you left off. You don’t want to miss any of this.
The first thing I did was to completely cover the skeleton with two different colors of polymer clay. It looks sloppy, doesn’t it? That’s okay, it’ll come together I promise. Also, take note of the feet because it’s an important point. I made the feet thick enough for the figure to stand up on its own. No further details such as toes at this time, we’ll get to that later.
The layering process begins
Once I have the figure completely covered in polymer clay, it’s already time to start the layering process. This part is easy. I made a well-defined chest and abdomen muscles. This is a different approach than our Yeti. It would stand to reason that Bigfoot would need less hair than a Yeti since the latter is from the frozen Himalayas.
Now we’re onto the tedious process of adding hair. There are a few different ways you can approach this. Technically, one could bulk on the clay and trim hair-like detail or, one could layer the hair on. I choose the layering method because I’m more comfortable with it. To start, I begin rolling out some spaghetti strand pieces of clay. Then I cut several pieces of strands and begin layering them.
I start at the top of the shoulders and work my way downwards.
Continuing on until I’m just about home. Yes, this is a long process that takes some patience. Believe me, it’ll be worth it. I then take a sculpting tool with a thin, elongated edge and begin detailing the hair more. This should really make it pop.
Polymer clay feet and hands
After most of the hair is properly placed and detailed, it’s time to start working on the feet and hands. As you can see below, I have two feet ready to go. I get them ready including most of the detailing, then I carefully place them on the figurine. Up until now, the feet stubs looked more like boots. I originally did this so the figure could stand. Nonetheless, I’m now using a water bottle to lean the figure up against. This is a precaution, I don’t want the figure to fall down and ruin any of my finer detailing.
The feet are now on our Bigfoot and I further detail them by adding some strands of hair to overhang them.
I follow the same process with the hands. This was easier than the monotony of added hair all over the body. He’s beginning to look like Bigfoot, isn’t he? We still have a way to go with the face and head.
We now have most of the face layered. I decided to try something different with the eyes. I usually use white eyeballs with an iris and pupil. This time I wanted to try pure red for the eyes. Why not? Here’s the rundown on what layers I added besides the eyes – lips, eyelids, a nose, a tongue, some teeth, and I added some more polymer clay to build up the chin some more. The chin is going to get covered by hair, but I still need a base. Next, I’ll smooth out the creases from the layers to make them look more natural.
Baking polymer clay
After placing the face and head on the skeleton, it’s time for the oven. This guy went in for forty-five minutes at 275°F. Check the product label of your particular brand of polymer clay for exact baking instructions, different brands may vary. Children must always be supervised by an adult when working with the oven. I place Bigfoot between two ceramic coffee mugs on a cookie sheet with tinfoil. After baking is complete, reuse the tinfoil for your next craft wire skeleton. There’s no need to grease or lubricate the tinfoil, the figure shouldn’t stick. Allow polymer clay creations a few hours to cool down after they come out of the oven. This gives it time to properly cure. Use oven mitts to take the cookie sheet out of the oven because it’s hot.
Baking is complete, let’s take a look at how our Bigfoot came out. Not bad if I do say so myself.
Bigfoot versus the Yeti
Let’s size our two monsters up against each other. Now we have a Bigfoot to join our Yeti on the mantle. Pretty cool!
Here’s the before and after. This is the exact skeleton used for our Bigfoot.
This concludes yet another tutorial, specifically my polymer clay cryptid monster series. I have some more polymer clay ideas for more American-inspired cryptids including the Jersey Devil, Mothman, and the chupacabra. However, my next upcoming tutorial continuing this series is ultimately based on my interpretation of the Beast of Bray Road. What I find most interesting about this subject is that the legend sometimes portrays the monster as a werewolf while others a creature like Bigfoot. Perhaps I’ll create a hybrid somewhere in the middle of the two to come up with the Beast of Bray Road. That’s what’s wonderful about polymer clay sculpture, the possibilities are limitless.