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Thread: New Artist - Need Help

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    Lightbulb New Artist - Need Help

    Hi all

    I am brand new at sculpting. I am taking my first art class since I was ten years old this year. I attended the first class but have to be out of town on business for the second one and can't seem to keep myself from sculpting.

    I bought clay from Pearls in the city that I went to for a business meeting and have been practicing at night. The sculpture that I am creating is one that I am happy with but even though it is supposed to be fired is drying way to quickly.

    I wanted to begin building it here and bring it back for class but it is drying so quickly that when I touch it some of the smaller parts are breaking off.

    I tried dampening the clay but that only smears the details.

    Any advice please???

    I really want to continue this sculpture and am afraid that I will lose the flow of where it seems to be going if I have to postpone it or start from scratch.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Caterina

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    it sounds like your working in water based clay. I dont know how you are storing this clay but i try to tore it in a relatively moderate room covered in a wet cotton cloth which is then covered by a plastic back that is sealed to keep the air from reaching the clay. You will get some drying but only slight. The amount of drying you have sounds like your not covering it at all.

    Also try using oil based clay they never dry out. These cant be fired but they are better to use in my mind.

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    Thank you for your help

    Yes you are correct. I didn't cover it with anything because I thought that since it was meant to be fired that it wouldn't dry out. I will try your suggestion.

    Thank you so much for your help.
    Sincerely,
    Caterina Christakos

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    Just so you know, clays that are fired you dry out as much as possible before they go in the kiln in most cases.

    Also fyi you should be posting this in the main sculpting forum not in the challenges section

    Garyo

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    well not really dry out as much as you can.... they get to a stage that is called leather hard. The leather hard stage is when the clay is dry to the touch and has sort of a skin if you will on the out side but still wet enough so that you dont start cracking it.... its really hard to explain because I have only been shown and never really had it explained.

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    Moved.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by artisticdork View Post
    well not really dry out as much as you can.... they get to a stage that is called leather hard. The leather hard stage is when the clay is dry to the touch and has sort of a skin if you will on the out side but still wet enough so that you dont start cracking it.... its really hard to explain because I have only been shown and never really had it explained.
    You can still work with it when it's leather hard. If you're doing slab work or something else that requires the clay to be stiff, then you should let it get leather hard. Before you fire it it should be bone dry. When it's bone dry you can't really work with it anymore but you can still drench it with water and use it for something else. Anyway, the original poster should just spray her sculpture with water and cover it with a plastic bag.

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