Wari Figure

In the Wari Empire (600-900AD), colourful four-cornered hats and robes were worn as a sign of importance and are seen in sculpture and pottery from this period. The Wari were experts in textile craft, producing incredible woven designs using fibres from alpaca and llamas.

Wari Figure

Skill Level

Beginner. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

2 hours + drying time for ModRoc + paint

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Use a cardboard tube as the middle for the sculpture; a 20-22cm long kitchen roll tube is ideal.
    Draw a pencil line around the tube about 1/3 way (6-7cm) down to mark the position of the head.
    Twist 8-10 sheets of newspaper into long pieces then wrap them around the tube, one piece at a time. Wrap the newspaper from the pencil line then work downwards until the lower half of the tube filled out into a rounded shape for the body. Tape each piece of newspaper at the ends to hold it in place. Fill out the body with a couple of extra newspaper pieces near the top so it tapers towards the base. Press the newspaper from the top and push the sides to compact the body and make it rounder.
  2. To make the arms, twist 2 small pieces of newspaper into 5-6cm lengths, wrap with tape to make tighter shapes, trim both arms to the same size then tape onto the body about 8cm apart. Use enough tape so the arms stay in place, the plaster bandage in Step 3 will fix them more securely.
  3. To add a staff, tape 2 wooden lolly sticks together so the ends overlap then tape to the end of the arm.
  4. To cover the model in plaster bandage, cut 10-12 strips of ModRoc 20cm in length, plus a few smaller pieces. One at a time, dip the strips into water, soak for 30 seconds, squeeze out any excess water then smooth the pieces over the whole model until it is completely covered. Smooth the surface with your fingers. Add extra pieces of ModRoc where the arms join the body so they are securely attached and wrap a piece around the top of the staff.
    To make the hat shape, squeeze a small piece of ModRoc into a triangle then press it onto one corner of the head the repeat to make 3 more corners.
    Leave the ModRoc to dry.
  5. Mix up some brown paint with a small amount of white and orange to make terracotta then paint it over the body. Mix a light brown colour to paint the head. Leave to dry.
    Use a pencil to outline the hat, face and robes then fill in with paints. Leave to dry then add black, brown and white lines and patterns using a fine brush. Leave to dry.
Wari Figure Wari Figure Wari Figure

Top Tip

Add a coat of varnish over the model for an extra layer of protection.