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Clay sculptures – What you need to know?

Elvis Elvis

How would you define clay sculptures…..

Taken from the earth, clay comes in all different grades from smooth to rough in texture. The colors are different as well, depending where on what area they come from.

In history ancient man saw the benefits of clay, a sodden earth that seemed to cling to itself.

Man saw the use in clay to line their dwellings with, and still to this day in some countries,  they use clay to hold their food, and also sculpt figurines with it

Clay has been with us since we can remember, and what better to get familiar with when sculpting. The oldest form of natural substance is clay.

I have worked with clay in sculpture, though I mainly work with wax for my sculptures for one reason, and one reason alone…..

I am more or less a fine artist, so detail is very important to me in much of my work, and I try to achieve detail to my best ability at the time.

Clay sculptures   What you need to know?

Clay is ok for detail if you are working on a big piece of sculpture. Though if you are working on a smaller sculpture, you  really need to work with a wax.

   ”Puma Canyon“   Artist~ Andrea Balch

With clay there are very reasonable wooden sets of sculpting tools you can buy for clay. Probably about the most accessible tools you can get for sculpture, purchasing them in mainly art shops.

It’s a good idea to always be on the lookout in finding unique tools for sculpture, you will need to hunt around for them though.

Now with the internet, it’s easier to buy sculpting tools that you are looking for specifically.

I know that the internet has given me more scope in finding these such tools online for clay sculptures, instead of marching from one end of town to the other.

I like working with clay, it is so easy to form with just the flick of your fingers.

Just slapping on the clay to its desired form is a process I enjoy.

Though you do need to use an armature for clay sculptures to hold your clay in place.

Also, when you go and leave your sculpture for the day. Have something to wrap the sculpture with.

A damp cloth is good to carefully wrap around your sculpture, and if your not going back to it for more than a few days. You need to keep an eye on your sculpture so it doesn’t start to dry out on you.

Use a small spray bottle to re-spray it with. This way you don’t disturb the detail on your clay sculptures, a downfall in clay, but its worth !.

“The sculptor represents the transition from one pose to another.. he indicates how insensibly the first glides into the second. In his work we still see a part of what was and we discover a part of what is to be.”~ Auguste Rodin

I like to work with fine grained clay mainly, that way I get a smooth surface, to my sculpture. Though there are coarser grained clays that are good in achieving rougher surface effects.

If you want to fire your sculpture rather than let it dry naturally for recasting. You just cant fire it as it is. The thickest parts of the big cat would need to be hollowed out like the main body and the rocks. And the armature would not be suitable either, as when the clay shrinks – and it will.

The water evaporates and the clay will can tend to crack. Though there are other types of clay which has additives that give it an elasticity, and elevates the fear of having clay cracking round your wire or wooden armature.

Clay is relatively inexpensive to buy compared to other forms of sculpting material. So I would advise that you start have fun learning, and clay will guide you.

And it is so easy to sculpt with because you are mainly just using your hands and tools for more intricate work.