So i have been attempting some clay figure sculptures recently using Terracotta clay, built over the top of a wire frame armature.
Im no clay expert, so im not sure what i am doing that is making the Clay crack.
I know that as an Air drying clay the material is prone to shrinking and that it needs to be kept wet while sculpting, so i have been very careful that when working the clay is kept that way.
Ideally i would like to work with Sculpey of somekind, but here in australia the only viable substitue is sold in pitifully small packages for an extraordinary amount of money.
Sorry canít offer any help with terracotta clay but i completely agree about the crazy price of Sculpey in Australia, the cheapest your likely to find it is about $21 online for the 453gm box.
If youíre looking to buy other stuff as well it can be cheaper to get it shipped from America, especially at the moment with the dollar so high. I bought the 3.6kg bulk pack and a few other things a couple months back and even with about an extra $60 for shipping it still worked out cheaper than buying the same stuff locally.
Ive used a fair bit of sculpey but i dont like it as a sculpting material
have you tried Chavant.. its an oil based clay which never dries and you can make a mould of it and once done, you can reuse the chavant again.
I mainly use wax now, which again has the same advantage of reusing the material.
granted you have to learn a new skill of moulding but its much better than sculpey (in my opinion)
agree with what JoshS says about buying stuff from the USA> i buy most of my stuff from there because its not available in the UK (sculpey is though)
Part of why it's cracking may be because of the armature. I have not used air dry/ceramic type clay since high school but I do remember you couldn't have anything inside it for several reasons. Mostly because if there was some kind of armature the clay would shrink and crack around it, and also, if it's the kiln-firing type, when you fire it in the kiln if there is metal or anything like that inside it can expand or cause problems.
It may also be cracked because it's too thick and/or drying too fast. Usually with air drying type clays if it's a thick figure you need to build it around balled up newspaper or paper towels so it's hollow inside (as it's loosely balled up it will compress and not cause the clay to crack around it, and will burn off in the kiln though it smells horrible doing so) And once your figure's finished, you should let it dry slowly, keep a plastic bag draped over it until it gets dry to the touch before removing it, otherwise the outside dries way faster than the inside and causes the outside to crack.
Critters! Dinosaurs! Lovecraftian horrors! ~~~~~> My creature sculpting thread!
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Liam good thing you put your location ..so i did some search for you.
I do not use air dry clay so this is the only way i can give my help here.
You maybe aware of them but i will post them here for you. One is a web site with an Australian polymer clay like sculpey (worth to try) and the other one is a website with polymer artists from Australia. Maybe you can find some information from links or by asking them from where they are getting their supplies.
If this gets you nowhere check if you can get them shipped to you from another country. I get materials from UK mostly and USA rarely...shipping is a big pain.!