Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Clay Sculpture?

So I've been researching clay sculpture a lot recently.

Hopefully this blog post will not only let me express my personal views on traditional sculpture but also entice yourself to perhaps consider giving it a try!

My first proper attempt at sculpture (high school aside), was during the development of my short animation that I made in third year - (before the summer).

I used an easily accessible product named "Newplast". The modelling material is ideal for stop-motion animation; However, it can also be used for creating still models.

"Newplast" the industry standard for stop-motion flicks.

Neat fact: On the London studio visit trip I noted that Tandem Studios used Newplast almost exclusively for their stop-motion projects. So I was glad to have made a good choice.

Since then I've made two more sculpts from Newplast. Thankfully, I seem to be getting better each time.

My latest rough sculpt. Newplast.

However, for my exposition I would love to use polymer clay, or an oil-based clay to create some really polished character statues/maquettes.

I guess I should share the sources I've found during my research!

This video is a great two-parter, which gives a neat little intro to the life of professional sculptor, Tony Cipriano, who, despite sounding like a mafia boss, explains his work excellently and clearly.

I've also bought a couple of books on the subject to get me started, and help me hopefully pick up the foundations of modelling.

The first is "POP SCULPTURE", by Tim Bruckner. This book is actually recommended in Cipriano's videos, and really does lend a massive hand to people eager to learn this way of art.

Recommended by Tony Cipriano

On a more basic level, "Modelling Heads and Faces in Clay", tells you the step by step process to making convincing human heads. Which although perhaps seen as boring by some, is obviously essential if you want to be a great character sculptor.

So hopefully in the coming weeks I'll have finished a first draft of a clay sculpt. And hopefully it'll be on the way to being awesome.


  1. Gonna have to read Pop Sculpture sometime :)

    I work with Polymer Clay, but I only make miniature foods (like cakes, or a box of noodles) or things that'll sell at anime cons (like companion cube charms) and have no experience with making anything bigger than that, but reason is Polymer Clay can be quite expensive! But I find it easier to work with than Air Drying Clay. :)

    There are some people online who make their own ball jointed dolls from Polymer, there might be a few tutorials floating about :)

    Also might be worth making a polymer cake. You feel all good inside when you cut into your cake and you get a really cool slice :3

    1. Thanks for the info Ceren. Will bear that in mind. Yeah, air drying clay is quite cool for small things- (I've used fimo air dry).

      I think it'll be some form of oil-based clay I will end up using. Polymer cake sure sounds enticing, in a strange, therapeutic way.

      sculpta'z 4 life yo.