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May 27, 2018


Replies: 15

Sculpting materials advice?

HellboySoto Featured By Owner May 27, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Years ago, I used to do some small sculpting of busts and figures. I used what was available to me then, which was an air-hardening modeling paste. Problem was, it was messy, very similar to clay: sticky, needed water, sand paper to polish... lots of drops and splotches and dust everywhere from the polishing. I donīt have the space for all that, so I just quit. Plus, the details seem limited.

Lately I have this need to go for it again. Is there a product that allows me to work in a more clean way? I always see people doing wonderful, detailed things with super sculpey (or something else maybe) without the mess. Something that allows me to work in a small desk in my room without turning it all in a clay workroom lol.

Any advice? :)


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Devious Comments

Skiriki Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Polymer clay, the sort that you bake in the oven at ~+125 C so it becomes rock hard! Best of all, you can still add stuff, or even sculpt parts off when it is warm and bake it again and hey, no probs!

My preferred brand is Cernit, but Fimo is also great!
CinderBlockStudios Featured By Owner May 29, 2018  Professional Traditional Artist
Depending on how small we're talking about you can use sculpy. Requires an oven bake for hardening though.

Alternatively rather than a clay you could play with using wax for a more subtractive technique.
NathanLParker Featured By Owner May 28, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wax is another option. It can still be messy, but in a more contained way - just drips, which as long as you don't get them on carpet, are easy to clean up. No dust.

I like modeling epoxies (Aves Apoxie, MagicSculpt) but they usually require sanding.
HellboySoto Featured By Owner May 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
I´considered wax once, but I saw it was hard to detail... maybe it´s just the works I saw. I will look more into it. Thanks!
NathanLParker Featured By Owner May 29, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem! Harder waxes such as Ralph's Wax, and wax-based clays such as CX-5, are wonderful for fine, crisp detail. Wax is the traditional material in industry for sculpting action figures and other small toys, and for sculpting jewelry that will later be cast in precious metal, so that should give you some idea of the detail level possible.

On the other hand, wax is slower to build up than softer media such as Sculpey and modeling clays, and of course it is non-hardening, so if you want a permanent version of your sculpture you will have to mold and cast it.
Hipmlee257 Featured By Owner Edited May 27, 2018
Yeah same reason
But im using homemade material
3 varian Flour + glue
HellboySoto Featured By Owner May 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Sounds practical O.O
I would have o travel  bit to get the expensive super sculpey :/
Glori305 Featured By Owner May 27, 2018
Polymer clay.

Super sculpy is one. I like to mix Kato and Primo.

They can do more detail than the air dry clays, stay soft. Without water. And can continue to be worked on until you bake them.

I used to teach classes on polymer clay, so if you have specific questions, I probably know the answers.
HellboySoto Featured By Owner May 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
I love the part that it stay soft until baked. The one I used was just like a clean clay, it would air dry too fast.

I do have a pair of questions! :)

1- How do I polish it? I see people working with it and having a perfectly polished surface even during mid sculpting, which seems too polished for hand modeling only, especialy during that stage.

2- Can I use a sand paper after baked? (what I want to avoid, but maybe for some fixing after baked)

3- How fragile it is after dry? The thing I used was SO fragile, it was almost imposible to manipulate safely without something breaking apart.

Thanks again! :D
Glori305 Featured By Owner May 29, 2018
If it is looking polished while being worked. There are a couplw options, it could be an illusion, because before baking it can have a wet look. Or it can be smothed with a very smooth tool (like the back of a spoon) I have also heard of people using baby oil to help smooth the clay (I have not tried that one) Or it can be sanded with extra fine sandpaper (the stuff used to give auto paint it's glossy finish)

So that answers the sanding question as well. You can also carve it post baking, and you can add more clay and bake again.

Polymer clays are more durable than the air dry clays, but not as strong as the earth clays.

For example, after a few years the skirt that is flying thru the air in back here. Cracked and fell off. Should have used a support, I have been told that even a thin fabric would have helped.

Cytherea by Glori305

One of the reasons I like the Kato Premo blend is that it is signifcantly stonger than the 1lb box of super sculpy. Kato tends to be the strongest after baking, but is stiffer and harder to work than the others.
H-SWilliams Featured By Owner May 27, 2018
As far as sculpting materials go, I would say Polymer clays (like super sculpley) are probably the easiest to store, work with and the least messy. Downside is usually their cost and needing to bake them.

Polymer clays do have some mess factors. It leaves a residue on your hands and work surfaces, that soap and water doesn't clean well. I think I used to use Metho to clean it up, but I hear people say Rubbing alcohol more.
It's also quite nasty if you accidentally burn it. 
A lot of people like to get accessories, gloves, a board to work on, separate toaster oven, a pasta machine to condition it, mineral oil, softening agents, liquid clay etc... tissue blades, sculpting tools, materials for armatures.
:shrug: Frankly, you really just need an oven to get started though.

Super sculpley is aimed more at detailed sculpting in my opinion. I'm only familiar with the beige one, it comes in a larger box, and is very workable and great for fine detail. I've heard there's a firmer one that's grey, but I've never seen it for sale out here. 

Other polymer clays, Fimo, Kato, Primo, SculpleyIII, tend to come in little packets in a variety of colours I think they're more targeted at kids or people making miniatures though. 
Could be good if you weren't sculpting to cast, and didn't want to paint anything.

Youtube has a lot of info on Polymer clays now days, brand comparisons, tutorials, tips etc... 

Cold-Porcelain is also an interesting alternative. I've never tried it, but my mother did when I was young. It's far cheaper and air dries, but shrinks, and you used to have to make it on the stovetop. I've seen microwaveable recipes around now though. Always been meaning to try it, but never have.
HellboySoto Featured By Owner May 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the detailed reply! :D
The good thing is I know Super Sculpey is available now in my country, even if it is expensive as you say :/
So I think I will give it a chance, it looks so nice!
dprostock Featured By Owner May 27, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Impresión en 3d???
HellboySoto Featured By Owner May 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Trabajo en 3D, tengo pensado comprar una impresora 3D en algún momento, pero la idea de retomar la escultura tradicional es hacer algo manual para salir de lo digital que me consume casi todo el día, aparte de que el método de trabajo es completamente diferente. :)
dprostock Featured By Owner May 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Claro. Yo apuntaba al tema que conozco lo que haces en 3d ( estás publicando? ) y me imaginaba que era una opción. Un conocido hace impresiones por secciones  ( impresora chica ) y luego ensambla todo, lo ajusta con resina plástica y lija, y quedan muy buenos.
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