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Thread: Types of clay
March 1st, 2009 #1
Types of clay
I just wondered if you guys would be able to help me out? In a few months time, I'm thinking about trying out these new clays, (see below) specifically for the purpose of super fine detailing, like hands, amulets, patterns etc. Normally, I advise people to try out samples of clays when I'm asked the same question but the clays I'm looking at don't offer samples.
Here are a few clays that I'm looking into at the moment:
I done a search for 'WED' clay, which is very rare over here where I live (England) But I found ONE place on the net that sells it. If any of you use it, I was just wondering, do you have to use a kiln to heat it? In the description it says that it's 'like' ceramic clay and it stays moist much longer than normal ceramic clay. Pretty vague I thought.
Is it as good as it says it is? How firm is it?
I was thinking about using this stuff for detailing, but is it any good? Nice to use?
They don't sell it here!!!
I use it, but mainly for making an armature stronger, for fixing and repairing. (And I'm too bloody slow at sculpting anyway, since it hardens quickly..
Any feedback will be greatly appreciated, so thanks in advance if you can help!
Hide this ad by registering as a memberMarch 1st, 2009 #2
I've used Sculpey Firm quite a lot, so I can throw in a few words on it.. it's not very firm! I don't know what you're used to using, but it's not as firm as, say, a medium-hard plasticine clay. Much fimer than regular Sculpey, I will say that. Has the same 'drawbacks' .. a rubbery, bouncy texture, likes to 'feather' instead of smoothing unless you're using very smooth tools.
I would say that it really depends on what kind of a touch you have, soft or hard.. if you have a soft touch and a lot of patience, Sculpey Firm can be worked up to a pretty good level of detail. It's going to be annoyingly soft to someone used to a material that can take a firm touch, like wax.
I'm a newbie-sculptor, and am forever messing up my work, though, by resting fingers on it and accidentally mooshing as I turn it this way and that.. *sigh*.. sculpy firm isn't firm enough to resist that kind of abuse.
I will say, however, that a savvy character could experiment with shaping it close to the desired form, then baking it, and working it more - properly fired, it's quite tough.
... epic answer, sorry.. ^^;
If you're interested in trying the epoxy puttys, you might search for Milliput - it's like Apoxie (two-part putty, meant for art.. hardens in hours instead of minutes), but I think it's actually made in England. IIRC, it's expensive.. so it may well be that you'd get more material for less money by paying the shipping on Apoxie or Magic-Sculp.
Hope that helps!
March 1st, 2009 #3
Wow, many thanks for the detailed info on the Sculpey Firm.. I will take it all into consideration. Yes, normally I use Super Sculpey and Chavant now and again the medium stuff, so I can imagine the pros and cons.
And yeah, I'm too slow at sculpting you see.. so I'm not so sure about the milliput. I use it mainly for fixing and repairing. But, I may just have another go at using it for sculpting simpler things.
You're a great help my friend, it's much appreciated! Thanks for the advice.
March 1st, 2009 #4
Well, there's the suck thing about being a girl - 'Mistress' makes you sound like something off a vampire movie, and 'Dudette' just... well.. it's just not the same.
Oh well. I appreciate the sentiment, Master! You do me much honor.
And oh, oh.. oh... I forgot. The sculpture I'm working on right now is a different mix, that I'm enjoying.. I used this stuff:
.. there is a UK retailer for it.. by itself, OMG, obnoxiously hard. Just really obnoxious. I never did have enough patience to see if I could have, eventually, gotten it to smooth out with enough kneading... it was still at the stiff / crumbly stage when I got fed up with it and started throwing in regular pink SS. I ended up with a mix that was .. mm.. 2 parts SS, 1 part white Kato and 1 part black Kato. That mixed to a lovely cool grey, and so far, I'm liking the texture.. I wouldn't call it harder, but it's less......mmm... fluffy? Just feels more dense under the tool, and a little less rubbery.
My other big HURRAY moment for wee bitty details came when I discovered making wee-bitty loop tools out of guitar wire.. I have one that I made myself for about $3, the loop is tiny.. well, here, see for yourself in this fabulously non-awesome photo:
.. and MAN, it helps. Well, assuming you're a loop-tool kinda gent, anyway. I am - create a rough shape, loop it down to what I need.
.. epic answer #2. Mea culpa - I am not much for editing. ^^;
Best of luck to you!
March 1st, 2009 #5
I've been using Roma Plastilina recently, and I've really come to like it. I love using #4, which is very firm, but it hold detail incredibly well. It feels more like wax than clay, and it needs to be warmed before use. I usually break it into smaller chunks and shoot it with a heat gun for a few seconds to loosen it up. Though you can still scratch it with a fingernail, you don't have to worry about fingerprints. I've even dropped a piece a few times and it was totally unaltered. Plastilina also comes in #3 and #2, which are much softer (#2 feels more like ceramic). It doesn't dry out because it's oil based- there's sulfur in the mix, so it's a little smelly, and it can also cause some problems with certain silicones. But overall, I definitely recommend it. I hope that's helpful!
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March 2nd, 2009 #6
Good question, glad you asked as I'd like to try new clays too...
Yeah I still haven't found out much on WED clay-I'd like to try it as they use it in movie studios?
My 2p on sculpey firm- all the stock I've bought in UK has been old and crumbly. I've recently been mixing it with regular sculpey but I just gave up- too much work for me- much prefer the soft stuff.
Avesstudios makers of the apoxie sculpt do ship to UK if you make an enquiry with them, just add 30 quid on for shipping! Totemo takai!
Green stuff, you can get from games workshop shops £5 to try, I find it a bit too rubbery for detail.
Milliput is okay but can stick more to your fingers than your sculpt.
Hope it helps, let me know what you find out
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March 2nd, 2009 #7Registered User
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to me castiline (or whatever it's called) seemed a nice option. i think you can use it like a polymer clay, but it's also waxbased so you can melt it down and pour it into a mold. seemed like a good idea to bake a sculpt mold it. melt it down and cast it. so you can keep using the same stuff and keep adding detail.
unless i'm completly mistaken. it's just a summary of what i remember from a couple of sites.
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March 2nd, 2009 #8
I guess if you won't work that fast you should absolutely stay away from epoxies like Aves, Milliput, etc.
Sculpey Firm might be just right for you, considering what wonders you do to that mushy standard Sculpey. If thats still too soft (at least for me it is), give wax a try; Gary's ZEN is simply amazing and you can probably work on it for several hundred years
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March 2nd, 2009 #9
Hey there dreamsorcerer,
As far as wed clay goes, it is basically like a ceramic clay except it stays wet longer. FX shops tend to use it for large-scale applications because of its speed. Since it is soft and muddy like a ceramic clay, you can shape it very quickly. When special effects studios use it, they're generally planning on molding it, because true wed clay isn't formulated for firing (though it can be). It's mixed with glycerin which is what keeps it wet for a longer period of time. That being the case, it's best not to use wed if your intention is to harden your original sculpt for permanence, since cracking can occur. Also, it's good to note that wed clay, because it is soft and muddy, can be more difficult to achieve super-fine detail. Not impossible, but certainly more challenging.
Last edited by Aquanaut; March 2nd, 2009 at 05:57 PM."There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportions."
-Sir Francis Bacon
My Sculpture Thread!
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March 2nd, 2009 #10
hey, i use a mix of sculpey firm, milliput and green stuff. cant comment on any others, but my thoughts on the above:
sculpey firm -
not a huge difference to super sculpey, never tried them side by side, but if they are both fairly cool and not been handled, they arent vastly different in texture. the most recent batch i got was from an ebay shop. was a bit hesistant, but turned out to be in perfect condition, smooth and easy to mold, but not too soft. (i'll dig out the name of the guy if anyone's interested)
i stick with firm because it shows up detail and imperfections well (pre-baking), and can be got to a damn good finish with a bit of work.
good for armatures, incredibly hard and tough (duh!). most recently ive been shaping this into rough objects and then filling/sanding them to get more mechanical/rigid shapes. good for blade weapons and gun parts, as with a bit of patience you can get a very precise "machined" effect.
also for the impatient (like me) you can bake it at low temperatures to accelerate the setting time, though this possibly makes it a bit more brittle. i dont find it sets that quick in the open air, but after an hour or so it becomes more crumbly.
as mentioned above, this stuff gets everywhere, especially sticking to fingers. it helps to keep tools and finger damp, but if they are too wet it really will get everywhere!
green stuff -
i dont use this very often, as it has quite a spring/elastic quality (not fun for non-organic shapes) however, as demonstrated by the games workshop team, extremely high detail can be got with the right skills
this is also pretty good if you are making small shapes on an armature, as it has a slightly sticky texture. i used it for the fingers of my last model, as milliput and sculpey kept falling off and stretching. (hard to describe and very frustrating! but the green stuff stayed where i wanted it!)
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March 2nd, 2009 #11
IIRC WED clay is just ceramic clay with glycerine in - so it doesn't dry out. There's a tutorial somewhere on how can make your own from clay dust.
Green stuff is brilliant for small things. BUT - it's difficult to get the hang of to begin with. If you give it a go keep at it. I guarantee it the first time you use it you will hate it Mixing in a gnat's cock worth of Brown Stuff makes it easier to use, but now you're pushing up the price. Procreate is also nice - but also more expensive again.
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March 2nd, 2009 #12Registered User
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i m new to this forum and my english isn´t the best but i think and hope that we will understand us ;D .
i never did something like sculpting ,although it´s a whish of my for so long.and since i read through this forum and see how people like u sculpter your own fantasy and share your love with eachother i can´t wayt anymore.
yesterday ,i bought super sculpey normal and firm.and in about to weeks i have the time to start my first lession in sculpting ;D.
but now back to the topic:
i´m very glad that dreamsorcerer opend this thread cos i have some questions,too.
- how much time do i have to work with super sculpey bevore it gets brittle??
- how is magic sculp??i heard it´s made out of resin and would be good for making details...
good night dear colleagues!!
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March 2nd, 2009 #13
I don't really know what to recommend...it seems to me that super sculpey and sculpey firm is the best thing out there because it is so versatile and can be made permanent right in your oven.
However, I think the next best thing would be the wax-based clay like Casteline or Zen. I haven't tried this yet but I am sure that you can create insanely detailed and sick sculpts with it. If you have seen the toys from Todd McFarlane company, that is what they use. I collect the dragons from that company and I'm amazed at how much detail they could pack into small scale.
Originally Posted by SavannahLeigh
Originally Posted by Diam
Hope that helps!
March 3rd, 2009 #14
Wow, I've only been gone a day or so and I've got loads of responses!! Thank you everyone for taking the time and effort in making suggestions for different types of clays and what clays I should mix to get a perfect clay. I'm totally grateful to you all thank you
Best wishes all!
P.S. Razimo my friend, I'm really sorry for thinking you're a 'dude' when in fact you're not (d'oh!) This is the third time I've done that in CA! Yes, the last one was 'fruitdot' and so I now call her Miss. Fruity. So I'll have to call you Miss. Razimo or Masteress. Razimo!
March 4th, 2009 #15
Call me whatever you'd like, Master (You are certainly the master here - I am trying to do things in order, or I'd already be posting about your wonderful Dragon Man!).. if you're looking at me, I'll know you're talking to me! (heee!)
March 5th, 2009 #16
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March 5th, 2009 #17
March 8th, 2009 #18
Hey dreamsorcerer, I was about to post a thread similar like this one anyways.......can anyone tell me what these clays are? What are other clays that i didn't mention?
-Super Sculpey/Sculpey III
Los Angeles, CA
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March 8th, 2009 #19
I have no idea about the first 6 clays mentioned in the list but the bottom three are the only ones I've used.
-chavant clay is oil based clay that comes in 3 grades of hardnesses: soft, medium, hard. Great stuff! It never dries out, and you can melt it down too. It's re-useable!
-waterclay is basically ceramic clay, really nice stuff to use, used by potters. It dries out so you have to keep it moist with water and a plastic cover. Shrinks a lot after being in a kiln though.
Super Sculpey- That's what I use the most, and you can use rubbing alcohol to smooth it down. YOu bake it in the oven to cure the clay.
March 8th, 2009 #20
All of these are different types of ceramic clays, the kind that potters use and fire in a kiln. I remember working with them in my college ceramics class. Great if you are into pottery, but difficult as a sculpture medium.
March 8th, 2009 #21
I have nothing constructive to add to types of clay, mainly because I haven't had a chance to work with many of them, just open their boxes and poke them with fingers at the art store I work at....I can tell you that roma plastilina gets pretty freakin brick-like when it sits on the shelf in that piece of paper it comes loosely wrapped in.
I don't reccommend poking it with your fingers.
That is all.
OH, but mainly, thanks for inquiring and sparking this discussion about different clays, I totally am underwhelmed by SS firm's performance. I'll probably be getting some Aves stuff later on.
Best of luck, lemme know what you happen to get a hold of and keep us updated, I love hearing about consistencies of clays....MMMMM, much more positive than reading the news.
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March 8th, 2009 #22
Hey Kenny, hope you're well. Not used most of those unfortunately! I've found green stuff is better for fixing gaps in scukltures rather than actually sculpting anything out of - it's quite elasticky and tends to stick to the tool you're using.
I've used this site quite alot - not sure if they do apoxie etc, worth a look though; http://www.polymerclaypit.co.uk/
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March 8th, 2009 #23shdesign3.com
Los Angeles, CA
March 10th, 2009 #24
March 26th, 2009 #25Registered User
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hello everyone, I am just new to sculpting and I wanted to try it out soon. Any suggestions for what kind of clay is good for us beginners. I wanted to sculpt 12" statues. thanks in advance for the help. Thank God I found this website!.
August 29th, 2009 #26
I've been researching plastiline or plasticine clays like Chavant lately. Here's what I got so far (I hope I get this right in English):
WIKI says:Oil-based clays are made from various combinations of oils, waxes, and clay minerals. Because the oils do not evaporate as does water, oil-based clays remain malleable even when left for long periods in dry environments. This also prevents the clay from firing into ceramics. Because the viscosity of oils are inversely related to temperature, the malleability can be influenced by heating or cooling the clay. Oil-based clay is not soluble in water. It can be re-used and so is a popular material for animation artists who need to rework their models. It is available in a multitude of colours, is non-toxic.
Chavant seems to be one of only three producers of professional modeling clay, or plasticine worldwide. (the others are Faber and Kolb, both in Germany) That stuff is used in the automobile industry etc for models, in product design, in special effects, art , animation and so on.
There seem to be two types, those that are soft at room temperature and those that need warming to about 50° Celsius to get soft.
These clays contain sometimes sulphur. Chavant says, they are non-toxic, though some people might feel a harmless irritation from the sulphur clays.
These clays can't be hardened in an oven or by drying, they stay the way they were and can be re-used. They are used for either scanning, prototypes or cast making.
For industrial design, where you need to work on large models, the harder types are preferred. They get warmed, formed or cast, and after cooling down, worked at in a similar way like soft wood.
They seem to be exellent for modeling purposes, as they are used in all these different professional areas.
So far, I have checked out the info on Chavant, here:
Faber seems to specialize on industry hard clay that needs to be warmed (with a special oven or lamp) for use.
Kolb industry clays need to be warmed to 52 ° Celsius as well. Go here for more details: http://www.kolb-technology.com/studi...ontent=e_2_3_1
They also make an artists plastiline: http://www.gerstaecker.de/KOLBKunstl...che-massen.htm
I would appreciate to hear about your experiences with different types of this material, especially Chavant, as it is difficult to buy in Germany.
August 29th, 2009 #27
Chavant NSP is sulphur-free (NSP stands for non-sulphur-plastiline).
All the clays can he warmed to soften them. You can melt them in a pot so you can pour them. A heat-gun is pretty essential when you're working with anything a bit hard, and a small blow-torch or something is also handy.
The hardness you choose is up to you - it's swings-and-roundabouts. I use Medium Chavant NSP (or similar) mostly. The Hard Chavant is bloody hard and the Soft stuff is annoyingly soft - I know people who use both though.
All depends what you're doing
February 15th, 2010 #28Registered User
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Here some usefull tutorials about the use of Kolb clay:
- character design with InDeClay (INdustrial DEsign CLAY)
- in the Kolb YouTube channel you will find various tutorial videos about the use of clay (=industrial plasticine) in transportation design
- here some general information about clay
February 27th, 2010 #29Registered User
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Personally I LOVE all the products from Aaves they have a clay called critter clay used for taxidermy that is air drying but if you keep it damp it keeps quite well,I kept 2 kilograms of it in my fridge for a year and was still able to use it after.
Apoxie sculpt and Apoxie clay are my first choice for most jobs.
Plastiscene,Plastilina are my favorites for sculpting very detailed pieces.
I also use a clay manufactured in Italy ,it's called DAS You only use it for detail work so you need a rough structure to cover with it and since it is paper based you need to be very aware of where your piece will remain after it is done.
I think that you need to think of what you are going to do (mold it,re-shape it eventually,sand it,one-of it,etc.) and use the clay that best adapts to your project.Good luck.
It's better to be remembered as the sand in the gears and not as the oil.
February 27th, 2010 #30
Hi, I have used a lot of the apoxie stuff. It gets pretty hard in about an hour, so it's not something you can start, walk away from, and then return to. It gets ultra hard over night. I am actually using it to make the rivit heads on my steam punk water fountain. I have used it to repair stuff, it's so tough. And it sticks like shit to a blanket. Taxidermists use it a lot. I buy there stuff through a company named "Van Dyke." They are also a great source for glass eyes! I use the gator eyes for my dangerous jewelry boxes.
Mah ' Crub