1. Roll 1/4 block (half of the half block) into a circle and then into a teardrop shape by applying pressure when rolling one end down against the work tile. Press the teardrop slightly down against the tile to flatten the bottom.
2. Cut 1/8 block of the Cognac clay into four sections. Roll each into a ball and then a teardrop as in Step 1. This teardrop shape should be longer (1” inch long). Make the paw marks by cutting a piece from a drinking straw and a coffee straw. For the large portion of the paw pad slightly squeeze the drinking straw end to make it into an oval shape. Press to make an indentation in the lower half of each paw. Press three small pad marks over the top of the larger pad mark using the coffee stirrer. Gently press the pointed ends of two limbs under the flatten body and then the other two at the top pointed end of the body.
3. Remove a large pinch of clay from a 1/8 section of the remaining Cognac clay. Set aside for later. Roll the clay into a ball and then into a slight teardrop. The end shouldn’t be too pointy. Break a toothpick in half and insert half-way down into the body of the animal/bear. Press the head on with the pointed end facing forward (this is the nose).
4. Use the other half of the toothpick or the quilting pin to draw a smile line or poke a hole for the mouth. Also mark two holes for the eyes. Roll the remaining Cognac clay between two stacks of 8 playing cards. Punch out 8 pieces. Roll four into a ball and repeat for the other ear. Position the ears and press them down into the head using the round end of the quilting pin. This will shape and secure the clay. Roll a tiny ball of black clay into an oval and lightly press over the end of the nose.
5. Roll a large pinch of the remaining Cognac clay into a ball and then a teardrop for the tail. Press the tip of this onto the bottom of the body in back. For the heart, make two balls of Red clay using 4 pieces per ball each. Roll these balls into teardrops and press the narrow ends together to form the heart. Slightly flatten near the top and smooth the seam together to make a solid heart. Lightly press this onto one of the animal’s paws. Bake the bear according to manufacturer’s instructions in the oven on the tile.
Variations: using the same ideas to create different types of ears (long, flattened teardrops for puppy and bunny ears), pointed balls for other types of dogs and cats, or even using limps straight up and down with no paw showing for a different type of pose. Use colors like silver, Brown, White and Black to make different colored animal figurines. Use small dots in a few places for spots. Using the basic amounts of clay and balls and teardrop shapes, there is no limit to the number different animals you can create!