A Quick Warning
If you want to make a ceramic bird, I will be glad to tell you that it is actually VERY easy. That is why I am going to sit here, at my computer, making a "ceramic bird" with playdoh to give you an idea of what it takes. I am not going to go through how to put your clay properly in the kiln once you are finished, though, so be warned. If you want to finish it properly with actual clay, you will have to visit a kiln specialist in your area or an art studio with a kiln to do it. I did learn how to do this bird-making thing from a ltttle instruction sheet at the Kiln Doctor, a kiln specialist building in my area, so feel free to sell your creations. Now, I've muttered on long enough, so let's begin.
All you need is the basic clay. They come up with a lot of different types. Just ask for a good beginner's clay and take what they offer that is affordable.
Access to a Kiln
Again, I used the Kiln Doctor for my original piece. Use what is in your area though.
First, take a handful of clay (I was limited on the play-doh) and roll it into a ball. Then, insert your thumb into the middle but don't let it go out the other end. If you know how to make a pinch pot, do so. If not, use your other fingers and squeeze the clay lightly while using your other hand to move the piece around slowly. Eventually, it will take the form of a bowl. Make sure that the walls of this bowl are not too thin, or too thick. When looking at the picture, keep in mind that I'm limited in clay. Make sure to have your hand facing down a little more.
Next, gently close the pinch pot so it almost looks like a football. Do not flatten it.
After Step Two, bring the front point of the "football" up to form a head, and round it and mold it some more to give it a beak. Next, bring the other end up a bit to form the tail. Experiment and make this bird your own!
This one is pretty easy, so I won't include a picture. All you need to do here is smooth any cracks in the clay and correct any errors. After you do this, fire the bird in the kiln, glaze if you wish, and you're done!
Enjoy your new bird!