I use an air drying clay to sculpt

by Anna Tando
(Conroe, TX)

Strange Little Man - I used an air drying clay to sculpt

Strange Little Man - I used an air drying clay to sculpt

I use an air drying clay to sculpt: I have just begun sculpting and the cheapest and most readily available clay to me was found at a local craft supply store.






It is great for a quick mold but I find that if I spend a lot of time trying to detail the facial structures it dries out and begins to crack. Even adding water as I work is only partly effective.

Still, it's quite fun and I am really enjoying learning!

===================================

Reply from Peter (admin)

Hi Anna

Great start! Thanks for uploading and sharing. I like your strange little man. Sculpting is fun and I believe it's all round good for you too. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but I find you just have to work quietly and positively through those times - always living in the present moment (as Caesar Milan might say) and projecting a calm assertive energy. This is a good life lesson.

You don't say what clay you are using - because some of our more experienced visitors might be able to help with the cracking thing.

Be sure to read the other submissions in this section as these issues are dealt with and there are some excellent home-made recipes.

We are lucky to have in our online community a very helpful resident expert - Sangeeta - who has passed on much of her knowledge right here.

Good luck and happy sculpting!

Peter (admin)





Comments for I use an air drying clay to sculpt

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Thank you!
by: Anna Tando

It feels so good to have someone else recognize my work, funny as that work may be at this early stage. Thank you!

The clay is Amaco Air Dry Modeling Clay, Terra Cotta. Now that I am hollowing out the head in the back after sculpting it seems to be drying more evenly. Still, there are some cracks and of course my general knowledge of how to sculpt is greatly lacking!

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks again!!

CRACKING ON AMACO AIR DRY MODELING CLAY
by: Anonymous

USING SHELLAC OVER THE FINISHED PRODUCT I KNOW IT PREVENTS CRACKING DUE TO DRY AND HUMIDITY

MAD Model Air Dry clay
by: Maz

So excited to find some info about air dry clay. Like Anna I too have just started using it and am worried about its long term resilience. I have been doing small detail sculptures with this MAD clay I found in the local art/craft supplies shop. (Will attach a photo when I figure out how to).

I have covered the sculptures with a Jo Sonja's (Chroma)Matte Varnish, which seems to protect it and gives a nice natural finish. But I'm just not sure how long it will protect it for.

I was interested to hear that Shellac would be an alternative. I've been thinking about trying other clays and seeking out the use of a kiln at the local crafts council.

air drying clay sculpture

air drying clay sculpture

Photos of your work
by: Peter (admin)

Hi

Just send your pics to me peteradmin@theclayartist.com and I will add them to your comments

OR

Start a new thread and upload your pics there - saying they are for this section

Peter (admin)

Maz's Photos of her work
by: Peter (admin)

Maz

I added your photos above - splendid work may I say!

Peter

Any Tips
by: Marcy

Yesterday my first batch of air drying clay arrived in the mail. I am a seasoned potter/sculpture with regular clay, but thought I would try this, mostly for kids that come to a one day class I hold at the local art center. What I want to know is does it really work as regular clay does, or are there any secrets I need to know about?

Air dry clay
by: Maz

Hi Marcy...I can't really help you as I haven't used ordinary clay. What I do know is that air dry is quite fragile once dry, altho my pieces are small and fine and kids will probably do chunkier pieces. It does give a lovely feel on the hands tho and my 8 year old daughter and her friend has had some fun with it. Good luck and hope you find more info. Oh and I think it could dry a little 'dusty' if you don't use a sealer or varnish of some sort over the top (see my comment above).

use foil
by: Anonymous

my experience w/ air dry clay:
i used pp towels rolls for the base and covered them with clay, then created cool tree logs [dead tree/fallen logs] which turned out well.
however, it takes very long to dry and the pp towel [cardboard] roll absorbs much of the moisture.
you can use tin foil to form your figure and then apply clay to that. should be more uniform. foil works well for cold porcelain too.

to avoid clay cracks, you must let it cure. takes days. if you paint it before its dried, it will crack.

Sangeeta
by: Kathleen

Where can I find Sangeeta's advice on air-dry clay sculpting and which brand would she recommend? Is Sargent's better than Amaco? Thanks!

newbie also !
by: Anonymous

Ana , hi im Roy in Cali. I am new to sculpting and am using the same air dry clay as you. I get it at Michael's crafts and some og my sculptures crack and some don't. I don't know why. I do know that the solid clay one work better that when aI build one over a styrafoam armature. I am having better luck when using a wad of newspaper taped to the armiture and build from there. I do strictly head sculptures. If you want some pics of my work for reference let me Know. Roy

Shellacking?
by: Anonymous

Hi I am a school teacher I bought air dry clay and I was wondering if shellac will help keep the children's pieces longer? What kind? How many coats? Etc?

Seal the work
by: Peter (admin)

Yes, use shellac, or any other type of sealant. There are proprietary ones easily available in craft stores, ebay and DIY/hardware stores etc. I used to varnish my kid's work with a watered down PVA glue, which worked splendidly to give a shine and a protective layer.

The point is, try one or two little experiments before committing to putting on the kids works of art.

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