Art: Where to begin
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Thread: Where to begin

  1. #1
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    Where to begin

    I'm a former art student at SCAD (Currently working in a music store out in Charleston) and sculpting is something I've wanted to do for awhile but haven't had the time to learn the methods how. I browsed the sculpting forum so far and aside from the two tutorials on top still have some questions that are more beginner oriented:

    My first question is, what type of tools are a must-have for sculpture makers, and what type of clay as well?

    My second question is, what are some good basic things to start doing models of ?

    And also how do you get the clay to blend in when attaching multiple pieces of it together so it looks like one solid as opposed to a really poorly blended mixture of clay shapes?

    Thank you!

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    tools depend on the size your working in, and the detail level. you can make alot of tools yourself with some wire and handles, your hands are really good tools,

    and I feel doing human anatomy was both fun and a great learning err thing too do.
    try making a sculpt of an arm or a person just standing. posing or something, I started out with one sculpt of a dragon and ended upp now having 4-5 sculpts that I'm working on according too my mood.

    So I guess there's no "right" or "wrong" answers for this.
    and making a consept sketch helps alot.

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    Super sculpey is a personal favorite, wan't too try castecine or what's it called but I can't find it in Sweden

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    I think I need too wind down a bit and read your question through before posting xP attaching depends on what your attaching, organic stuff are a bit trickier than non organic, jamming in a pice of wire were you wan't it usually works fine for me and using some turpenoid (for SS) to soften the "welding" spot out. sorry about the crappy english, hope you can read something of this.

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I think with your information I'm on the right track then.

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    there is no right or wrong clay too use just find your own favorite!

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    Hi all,

    I am new to sculpturing and hoping eventually, i can manage to create some decent sculpturing work May i know in broad outline what is the steps taken to complete a sculpturing work with painting? What is the difference between "caricature" and "marquette" terminology?

    Many thanks and sorri that i have so many questions..

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    One of the most important things about sculpting is feeling comfortable with the material you choose to sculpt with. And Plastiline is definately a good choose to sculpt with for a beginner. But, we all have our prefered choice that we feel most comfortable with as you've probably noticed in this forum, or any others. I've experimented with plenty of different clays over the years and below I want to show you what I think in my own personal opinion what the good points and the bad points are of each material:

    Plasticine
    Advantage: Oil based clay that is soft, easy to use, never dries out, detailing possible

    Disadvantage: If the temperature of the clay is too warm. it can 'sweat' and the clay can be too soft, making it more difficult to detail coz the clay becomes 'springy'

    Tip: Since this is oil based clay, you can heat it up and it'll get softer and you can do the reverse by putting it in the fridge to firm up, or leave it somewhere cool.

    Plastiline (Chavant NSP)

    Excellent!!!! More or less the same as above, but with more advantage. excellent for detailing, Also, I think one of the best clays to use. It comes in different hardnesses and is a much preffered choice to many sculptors. You can also use alcohol to smooth out rough textures and heat of any kind. It is also excellent for people who want to making a mould out of (silicone rubber) the detaling created from a mould is amazing.

    Sculpey
    Advantage: Excellent!!!! It has similar characteristics of Plastiline and Plasticine in the way it stays soft, excellent for detailing and you can use alcohol to smooth out textures. A personal favourite. When baked, it only shrinks by 2%! Which you won't be able to notice at all.

    Disadvantage: It's best to use the stuff as soon as you get it as it can dry out over a long period of time and can become very stiff and brittle. And yes, it is expensive. BUT worth every penny. Not everyone has access to or even owns a kiln, so the good thing about sculpey is taht you can just chuck it in your home oven.

    Tip: Correct baking times are essential in the success of the sculpt, otherwise you could mess it up. Use alcohol to smooth out textures, and DON'T use heat to soften it up. The more you play and knead it, the softer it becomes.

    Air Drying Clay (Daz clay)

    Advantage: Does what it says. Nice for quick sculpting like landscapes or nothin' too extraordinary.. detailing kinda possible. You can also carve it afterwards if you want.

    Disadvantage: It's horrible, springy, rubbery, messy, generally difficult and awkward to use. The outside of the clay can dry too fast leaving the inside moist. You can use water to keep it moist, but then it becomes very slippery to use. It also cracks easily if not all the bloody time.

    Tips: Don't even bother mate, it's crap.

    Newclay:

    Advantage: It's simply beautiful to use, easy to sculpt with. Not too hard or soft to use. Very easy on your hands.

    Disdvantage: Pah.. after all your efforts using it, it only decides to be one of the weakest clays around. You only have to gently knock it and it bloody well crumbles into powder. However, you can fire it in a kiln I believe. But, I don't get it.. it says very clear that it's an air drying clay and you can also fire it in a kiln. Well, not everyone has access to a bloody kiln!

    Tips: If you do decide to use it, make sure you keep it moist by spraying water on it regularly and when you're not using it, spray water on it again and make sure you cover it properly with a plastic bag or something.

    Water based clay /Ceramic Clay

    Advantage: You can do anything with it, simply put.

    Disadvantage: It shrinks at about 20% after it's fired and of course, you need a kiln.

    Tips: Make sure you keep it moist by spraying water on it regularly and when you're not using it, spray water on it again and make sure you cover it properly with a plastic bag or something.

    But, all of this is up to you to find out and everything I just wrote is my own opinion. Some folks may choose to either agree or disagree with what I think are the good and the bad about each material. But, it's entirely up to you. I mean, hey.. you might even become a master of air drying clay! Coz really, at the end of the day it's you who has to feel comfortable with it.

    Sculpting is something I feel is very theraputic, and enjoyable. So buy a sample pack and play around with it.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your work! I won't say good luck coz you won't need it. Instead I'll say, 'Enjoy!!!'

    Last edited by dreamsorcerer; November 2nd, 2007 at 03:04 PM.
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    Advantage: You can do anything with it, simply put.

    Disadvantage: It shrinks at about 50% after it's fired and of course, you need a kiln.
    What kind of water clay are you using that shrinks 50%? I know that some high-fire stoneware clays will shrink a lot, but 50% sounds high even for that. A low-fire earthenware will give you more like a 10% shrinkage rate, which is fairly easy to accommodate.

    I would say that the big disadvantage to water clay is that it dries out, and fairly fast when working in smaller scale. You do not have to fire water clay - you can make a mold of unfired water clay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlamarche View Post
    What kind of water clay are you using that shrinks 50%? I know that some high-fire stoneware clays will shrink a lot, but 50% sounds high even for that. A low-fire earthenware will give you more like a 10% shrinkage rate, which is fairly easy to accommodate.

    I would say that the big disadvantage to water clay is that it dries out, and fairly fast when working in smaller scale. You do not have to fire water clay - you can make a mold of unfired water clay.
    Did I say 50%? Whoops! I meant 20%. Thank you for noticing that, I stand corrected.

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    Hi! i'm really new in sculpturing. i think i'm using Plasticine because it melted when i heated it. i know to harden the Sculpey is to bake it but is it really true that to harden the Plasticine is to freeze it? is it really have the same quality as the hard Sculpey? Sorry if it's a stupid question. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by murai View Post
    Hi! i'm really new in sculpturing. i think i'm using Plasticine because it melted when i heated it. i know to harden the Sculpey is to bake it but is it really true that to harden the Plasticine is to freeze it? is it really have the same quality as the hard Sculpey? Sorry if it's a stupid question. Thanks!
    Hi Murai,

    You really don't have to apologise, if you're new to sculpting and haven't used it before then you'd wanna know before using it. And, you wouldn't have to freeze it by putting it in the freezer, you can just leave it somewhere cool and/or away from any kind of heat like a gas fire/radiator/electric heater/fan heater. I have a cupboard where I store my Chavant clay (Plastiline) and it's rock solid! And that's the medium grade strength. And by the way.. when melting it, it will of course go extra soggy and drip if using extreme heat, so you can use a freeze spray to keep that form on the surface. Here's a link that sells it: http://www.tiranti.co.uk/subdivision...ubdivision=134

    I hope that helps!

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    You're talking bout Plastiline right? but i only have Plasticine. That's the only thing i can find here at my place. My problem is how to make it as hard as a rock. it's not working by putting it in the freezer. Please help, i really need a detail explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murai View Post
    You're talking bout Plastiline right? but i only have Plasticine. That's the only thing i can find here at my place. My problem is how to make it as hard as a rock. it's not working by putting it in the freezer. Please help, i really need a detail explanation.
    Ah yes, the 2nd time I've made a mistake in this thread. The problem is with Plasticine is that it is very soft but should still remain quite firm, but not rock solid. Plasticine does have a tendancy to sweat as well, but it should still be okay. Also, I don't know the scale of the sculpture is of what you're about to make but if it is quite big then I'd always recommend you make an extra strong armature, since the clay you use is softer than others. And also you can get Plastiline/Chavant from mail order companies, (that's what I do)although I don't know where you live, it shouldn't be a problem getting the stuff.

    If that doesn't help then I'm sure someone else in the forums will be able to help you. Best of luck!

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    thanks anyway DreamersEye. I guess i should start with an introduction first before posting. i'll do it in new topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murai View Post
    thanks anyway DreamersEye. I guess i should start with an introduction first before posting. i'll do it in new topic.
    No problem, I'm just sorry that I couldn't be of much help. What I may suggest is to look up at how Nick Park (Is that his name?) The guy who makes the models from Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. I think he uses plasticine as well and he has a book called, 'Cracking Animation' detailing and chronicling all his events, even sets. Its been out for some years now but it's a bloody good book. Your library may have it, or you could even try it on ebay.

    Look forward to seeing your stuff!

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    really appreciate your words. Thanks!!!

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