3 French Hens


I thought it would  make it easier to do my project “3 French Hens” that is in the ornament issue of the Pixelated Palette by giving you some step by step videos.  Before each video I am giving you a quick view of what will be in the video.

Getting Started:

Getting Started – Cut round toothpick in half and insert halfway into 2.5” Styrofoam ball; place 1” Styrofoam ball on other end of toothpick.  Cut ½” of QuikWood, knead and then roll into 3” coil.  Flatten with palm of hand, then wrap around neck (area between two balls).  Using extender blend top and bottom of coil into balls.  Allow to cure.  Cut a sliver of QuikWood, knead, roll into a ball and flatten, lay on top of head and blend into place.

Adding Beak, Comb, and Wattle – Cut ¼” of QuikWood, knead and divide in half, divide one of the halves again.  To create the beak use one of the quarters and roll into a ball.  Lay on finger and use two other fingers to shape into a four sided pyramid shape.  Lay base on face making sure it is in desired position.   Blend edges onto face.  Use fingers for any additional reshaping.  If you want the mouth open wait about ten minutes so the clay becomes a little stiffer and easier to work with.  Using an exacto knife start at point of beak and cut back to corner of mouth on each side, then use blade to open mouth.  Reshape mouth if needed.   Using half of clay roll into slight cone about 1” long, flatten slightly and then attach to top of head.  Using sculpting tool or knife divide comb into three; making first section slightly larger.  Shape sections with fingers.  On remaining quarter pull off two small pieces for eyes.  Shape clay into cone about ½” long and place under beak.  Using tool or knife pull up on bottom slightly to create separation.  The comb will now look like and upside down heart.  Roll two small pieces of clay into balls and position on head.


Wings and Tail –  Cut 1” of QuikWood and divide into 3.  Divide each of those sections into 3. Trace wing pattern onto a piece of parchment paper.  Roll piece of QuikWood into cone shape about 1 ½” long and place onto pattern for wing.  Repeat for all sections of wings.  Then make sure sections are connected and blend tip op wings together using extender.  Position wings on body and press into place.  If needed use a little Super Glue Gel to help hold in place.  Roll three cones for tail about 1 ½” long.  Lay on parchment paper, bend ends slightly of top and bottom feather.  Allow tail feathers to cure.  Note:  I will show you how to add the wings to the hen with legs later.

Adding  Tail:   Decide where you want your tail and using a pencil or tool place a few starting holes in the Styrofoam. Cut and blend ¼’ of Quikwood and roll it into a fat cone about 1” long.  Place it at the back of your hen and blend edges into Styrofoam.  Insert top tail feather into top of clay and blend.  Add additional feathers one at a time blending after each addition.  If you are having trouble blending between feathers use an old brush with extender.

Attaching dowel and Hook – On the nesting hens insert the dowel into the bottom of the hen. Use longer dowel for hen on cone.  Cut, and knead ¼” QuikWood.  Divide in two.  Roll one piece into 1” coil and wrap around dowel.  Blend into Styrofoam and then down dowel.  Cut piece of wire about 2.5” long, fold over and twist to form loop.  Insert loop into top of hen.  Before adding QuikWood slip a wire through hook to make sure that it is handing straight, if not reposition.  Using half of the Quikwood that is left over make a 1” coil and blend into place.  With your extra Quikwood, pull off small pieces, flatten and blend over bare areas of Styrofoam.

Wreath and Bow- Cut ¼” QuikWood for wreath, blend and roll into 3” coil. Lay on piece of parchment and shape  into a circle, flatten slightly with palm of hand.  Using tip of tool or pencil cover wreath with small indents.  Allow to cure.  Mix up 1/8” of QuikWood.  When working with smaller detail you will find it is easier to work with the QuikWood if you let it sit for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Cut into five and roll into small coils.  With extender on your fingers flatten.  Use two pieces to put ribbon tails on wreath attaching at top center and bottom edge of wreath.  If you have a piece big enough fold from outside into center to create loops.  Wrap another piece around center, trim and attach to top of wreath.  Use tool or pencil if needed to open loops.  I created another wreath this size for the cone and another one a little larger for the side of the tin.  For the larger wreath roll the coil to 4”.


Finishing Nesting Hens- Cut off tip of cone with scissors and make sure dowel will go through.  Also make sure dowel will go through bottom of tin.  For hen on cone push dowel through 1.5” Styrofoam ball and  for hen on tin push dowel through 2” Styrofoam ball.  Position each hen with ball on dowel into container and determine where the dowel should come out of the contain; mark with pencil.  Remember to allow for enough space under hen to add crinkled paper.  Mix ½” of Quikwood, pull a small piece off and create small coil.  Pull hen out of cone and wrap QuikWood coil right above mark on dowel, insert back into cone.  Use rest of clay to make coil and press inside can around hole, insert  hen back in can and press ball securely into clay.  Allow both to cure.  Cut and blend 1 ¼” of QuikWood.  Using a forth of it make a coil 2” long.  Wrap around  bottom of tin and blend seam together.  Trim ends of dowels to desired length.  Make ½” ball of QuikWood and press on bottom of each dowel.  Use Super Glue Gel to attach wreaths.  Use remaining Quikwood to put dots on cone.  Mix up additional if needed.


Finishing Hen with Legs

Legs-Cut and blend ¼” QuikWood.  Divid in two and roll into 2 ¼” cone.  Place on parchment paper, flatten slightly using palm of hand.  Flatten top a little more and place hole in top with pencil or tool.  Allow to cure.  Cut sliver of QuikWood and divid into four.  For toes roll into ½” cone and attach to side of leg blending with extender.  Repeat for remaining toe and foot.

Attaching Legs – Cut two wires 3” long, fold in half and slip through top of each leg. Mark were you want to  attach legs, if need use pencil or tool to make a start in the Styrofoam.  Insert wires allowing 3/8” sticking out.   Mix ¼” QuikWood and divid in two.  Make a 1” coil and wrap around top of leg.  Blend QuikWood into body.  Repeat on second leg, if needed use small brush and extender to blend between legs.

Adding Wing and Wreath – Cut and mix a little less than ¾” of QuikWood.  Divide into 2, and then then divide each piece into three.  Create wings as you did for nesting hens.  On this hen you will position wings forward with longest part of wing on top.  The wings will be holding the wreath.  Position wings on hen making sure they will be touching wreath.  Secure wings by pressing in place.  Attach wreath using super Glue Gel.  Wrap tips of wings around wreath.