Monday, 22 August 2016

A beginner’s guide to basics of Clay sculpturing

Sculpting is an extremely satisfying hobby and will have a calming influence on the budding artist in you. It involves working with hands and creating a figure/sculpture out of a glob of clay, thus providing a highly therapeutic effect on the doer. If your plan to join any clay sculpting courses that are available, make sure you have checked out the basics of clay sculpturing.

What is clay?

Originally, clay is a distinct kind of earth that is created due to the decomposition of rocks by weathering. However, the clay that we use for sculpturing has been refined and fortified to make it an ideal material for this purpose. Clay needs to have good plasticity to be moulded into a sculpture and this can be easily tested by rolling a piece of clay in your hand, roll it into a coil or bend it into the ring. If the coil or ring does not fall apart or crack, it can be considered ideal for sculpting.

Sculpting- A beginning

For beginner’s understanding, sculpting is divided into two areas i.e. additive process & subtractive process. Additive sculpting includes adding materials to build a structure, while subtractive process does the opposite, i.e. removal of material to reveal the sculpture.  While additive sculpting uses materials like clay, plasticine, and wax, the subtractive process uses wood, marble or plaster.

Materials to be used for Sculpting

Additive Sculpture process can be carried out using the following materials:
  • Plasticine Clay: This is an oil-based, coloured clay and does not dry out very easily. This clay is costly and can be used for smaller sculptures. 
  • Polymer Clay: This is actually PVC with pigments and other liquids added to give it flexibility and colour. It is ideal for making delicate jewellery.
  • Air-dry Clay: This is ideal for children as it is non-toxic, cheap and can be painted for a great effect.

Subtractive Sculpture process can be carried out using the following materials:
  • Soap: Soap is the best material that is available for carving and some great work can be created by using rough blades. The bonus, of course, is that it is very cheap.
  • Plaster of Paris: This is easily available at most hardware stores and can be set into blocks for immediate use.
  • Balsa Wood: This kind of wood is soft and the best wood to begin carving/sculpting on. However, children may not use it as it needs to be sculpted with a knife.

Enrol yourself at a reputed institute that offers clay sculpting courses to give wings to your hobby and turn it into a profession.

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