The brain is a very complex organ, but with a little guidance, you can create a rough model out of clay. Creating the basic shape of the brain is easy. For a more accurate and scientific project, try creating a detailed brain map or brain model.
Method 1 of 3: Part One: A Simple Brain
Step 1. Take two clay balls
For a brain 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, each clay ball you pick should be about 2 inches (5 cm) across.
- This brain has only one color. Choose pale pink or gray for best results.
- Know that you can easily adjust the size of the brain you create. Each clay ball you pick up during this step is only about half what your brain will need. If in doubt, take more rather than less. It is much easier to reduce the clay later than to increase it.
Step 2. Roll each circle into a long string
Place a clay ball at the base of your finger. Rub your hands back and forth on the clay. This process will make the clay will eventually form a rope. Continue until you have a rope 4 inches (10 cm) long and 1/8 inch (31 mm) wide. Repeat with the other circles.
- Once the rope has formed in your hand, you may find it easier to place it on a firm, flat surface and continue rolling it thin.
- You need to know that you will need to change the thickness and length depending on how big you want to make the brain. The length of each rope should be equal to the diameter you want. Increase or decrease the width by 1/16 inch (16 mm) for every 2 inches (5 cm) you increase in length.
Step 3. Fold each rope into a lobe
There is no definite form you can follow for this. Just fold the rope into a circle by arranging and wrapping. This circle will become one lobe of the brain, and when finished, it will appear longer than it is wide. Repeat with the other rope.
Note that you should not smooth the rope while you are making the circle. This rope-like shape will give the appearance of a "brain"
Step 4. Press the two lobes gently
Use your fingers to press them, long side to long side, and press until they stick together. With this your simple mini brain is done.
- Don't press too hard as this can damage the shape of your brain and smooth its surface.
- The end result of the shape of the brain must be the same length and width.
Method 2 of 3: Part Two: Brain Map
Step 1. Look at the base map of the brain
It's easier to make a brain map if you have a picture of it. Doing so can make it easier for you to determine which parts will be placed and how they will be shaped.
- You can find the reference photo here:
- Note that you will need six different colors to create a brain map. Using different colors will make it easier for you to distinguish and separate each part of the brain. The colors needed for this description are red, brown, blue, yellow, purple and green, but you can use any color you want.
Step 2. Shape the brain stem
Using red clay, make a short rope. Pinch and smooth the rope with your hands until the top is curved and pointing to the left, while the bottom is pointing to the right. The bottom should have a pointed end, while the top should have a flat end and look slightly wider.
The brainstem drives the automatic functions and systems of your body
Step 3. Attach the cerebellum
Using brown clay, take about half of what you used to make the brain stem. Roll and shape into a triangle with rounded edges. Position it so that the triangular shape is at the top of the curvature of the brainstem.
The cerebellum regulates muscle movement in the body
Step 4. Create the temporal lobe
Take blue clay about the same size as red clay. Roll and flatten the clay into an oval shape. Position it so that it is in the lower center of the lobe, connecting to the top left end of the brainstem. The tip of the lobe should slightly touch the top center of the tip of the cerebellum.
The temporal lobe regulates hearing and memory
Step 5. Continue with the occipital lobe
Take yellow clay about the same size as brown clay. Roll and flatten to form a short square with rounded edges. Press the lower end of the lobe against the remaining upper end of the cerebellum, shaping it with your finger so that the ends meet.
- Now, use your finger to curl the outer edge slightly inward. It should also be noted that the inner end should touch part of the temporal lobe.
- The occipital lobe regulates vision.
Step 6. Add the parietal lobe
Using the purple clay, form a square slightly larger than your yellow square. Hit the left end of the occipital lobe and make sure the bottom rests on the temporal lobe.
- With the lobes in place, use your fingers to curl the outer/top edges so that they continue naturally along the occipital lobe arch.
- The parietal lobe regulates touch, pressure, temperature and pain.
Step 7. Draw the frontal lobes to complete the brain map
Take the green clay slightly larger than the blue clay. Roll and flatten so it has three sides. The outer or left side is curved downwards. The two inner ends must be approximately half the length of the outer ends and they must be the same length as the ends of the temporal lobe and parietal lobe to be connected. Weld this final part between the blue and purple lobes.
- Map complete.
- The frontal lobe is responsible for logical thinking, speech, movement, problem solving, and emotions.
Method 3 of 3: Part Three: Detailed Brain Model
Step 1. Make the brain stem
Form two short ovals with your clay. One should be half the length of the other. Attach the shorter oval to the left side of the longer oval, and smooth it so that it forms a single section.
- These smaller trumpets are the "pons" of the brainstem.
- The brain stem regulates automatic functions and body systems, such as heart rate, temperature and respiration.
- It should be noted that this instruction requires only one color of clay. If you want to model a map of this section as well, you'll need to use seven different colors and use those colors for each section described here.
Step 2. Shape the cerebellum
The cerebellum looks like a small circle with two thin cords connected to the brain stem.
- Make a rope that is slightly longer than the long brain stem. Cut it in half so that the bottom is twice as long as the top. Lay the section on the right side of the brainstem and bend the cut section slightly to the right.
- Form a small circle with a diameter approximately equal to the length of the shorter part of the brainstem. Connect to the curved ends of the two ropes.
- If desired, stroke the circle with a pencil or engraving tool to mimic the appearance of the original cerebellum.
- It should be noted that the cerebellum is responsible for movement and posture, as well as memory function.
Step 3. Create a hippocampus
Shape small snails using clay. Its length should be approximately parallel to the length of the brainstem. Turn this part on its side and then press it halfway up against the top of the brainstem.
- The top of the brainstem must be completely covered.
- Curl the other end up and around so that the "tail" almost meets the "head" which connects to the brainstem. It should be noted that the upper part of the cord from the cerebellum should be covered with this groove.
- For added authenticity, use the engraving tool to draw a vertical line on the part of the hippocampus that connects to the brainstem.
- Be aware that the hippocampus regulates short-term memory.
Step 4. Connect the corpus colosum
Make a long cord about the same thickness as the hippocampal "tail". Position it so that it rests directly with the top of the hippocampus arch.
- Its left end should be in contact with the underside of the hippocampal “head”. Its right end should touch the cerebellum.
- Know that the corpus colosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain, allowing the left and right sides of the brain to communicate.
Step 5. Create the cerebellum
This is the largest part of the brain and the most difficult model to make. You have to attach small curved ropes to each other and build them around the curve of the brain.
- Make about a dozen small ropes. Each cord should be short and thin like the cerebellar cord.
- Bend a small string at the top of the cerebellar loop, but don't let it extend to the bottom side. Fold it, stacking it so that the cord touches the corpus colosum and does not extend to the right side of the cerebellum.
- Continue to arrange, bend and attach the cord in the same way so that it encircles the corpus colosum and touches the left end of the hippocampus.
- Use your finger or a clay carving tool to smooth the outside of the cerebellum. This outer end must be a parallel groove.
- Be aware that the cerebrum stores long-term memories and processes information received from your ears and eyes. This section also manages your problem solving skills.
Step 6. Adjust the thalamus inward
Take enough clay to fill the space formed by the arch of the hippocampus. Place it directly into the space.
The thalamus is the brain's connecting station. Most of the information received by your five senses passes through this part of the brain
Step 7. Attach the amycdala to complete the model
Take a small oval about one-third the size of the thalamus. Roll it into an oval, then wedge the oval into the front of the brain, between the lower end of the cerebrum and the upper end of the brainstem pons.
- This part of the brain regulates your body's response to fear and anger.
- At the completion of this step, your brain model is complete.