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original sculpey elephant strength / stability

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by Abigail, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Abigail New Member

    hey guys
    I've been modelling this elephant commission for er about 4 months now give or take xD I realised why it's taking me so long -
    because I'm an absolute perfectionist and I have to be happy with every body part feature and wrinkle before I deem it finished :p
    anyways he is still a lot of fun :) and I'm learning an awful lot from this process about sculpting which I love! :D

    the reason it's taking so long is because of how slow and deliberately I work I've now got out the heat gun and used it in parts so i dont mess it up as i go . some areas completely cracked but they seem to mend nicely being filled in with clay and redone over .
    I'm just a bit concerned because whilst I'm not exactly new at this I've very rarely made a figure that didn't break and has to be fixed in some way to get it how I want .

    I really wanted to do that with this elephant albeit he is bigger and heavier which will need to be taken into account plus the detail

    1. will be still be able to be baked in the oven after I heat gun some areas
    slightly unrelated but I've no idea how some artists manage to completely detail and keep clean every piece pre baking. ie those spiked scaled Dragon heads for instance that look absolutely incredible. I guess it's not my style :p

    2. will he fact that he is probably going to end up a series of varying degrees of strength clay and mended cracks as well as Normally sculpted and baked clay effect the durability when he is finished as in. not likely to fall apart?

    I presume this isn't the most straight forward or fool proof way to make a sculpture and I guess like anybody I am still learning !
    I just really want him to be nice and strong when he is done
    thoughts please? or feel free to share your techniques too :)

    image.jpeg
    Scotty, Kevtk135, balder and 6 others like this.
  2. blaster Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    What a promising start!

    Perhaps sculpt and bake in stages would minimise any cracks due to drying?
  3. Abigail New Member

    hey y'all! so here is an ele update of how he is now. very close to finishing the whole body and not perfect by any means byt I fixed the ears on very nicely with apoxie sculpt, the stability seems sound! They aren't going anywhere and I successfully managed to use it ti bulk out the odd area like the feet and joints.
    I did find the clay itself baked great AS LONG AS it was thick, where it was thin alas it cracked but he hasnt fallen apart and the cracks dont grow without deliberate force so it ought to be a pretty simple job to patch them up and overall learnt something about working with sculpey clay it really isn't a bad material and I'm chuffed with the detail :)
    to fix i was just going to glue ie transluscent clay stuff bits if sculpey abd reheat with heat gun or in oven. they offer different results each . Slightly concerned the clay will still be soft once filled in i dont know. i guess apoxie is an option but eh it should work. not my davourite in excess because of its plasticy feel
    oh and i did bake him in stages thats how I was able to get to this point yay ^_^
    for the tail ill need a harder material i havent thought yet, open to suggestions abd after that sand down and prepare a base and paint the heavy footed lil guy :] hope you guys like him! scv_15654570364881165706382-1.jpg
    Dan Morton and Martin64 like this.
  4. Jed Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Abigail,I have no idea about sculpting in any way,shape,or form but you seem to be doing a great job
  5. Mookie Active Member

    Hi Abigail.
    Ive read a lot of sculptors thst use Polymer like Super sculpey add a small amount of Fimo Proffesional or Sculpey Premo.This i believe makes the mix more flexible and less prone to cracking.I bought some Sculpey firm and yesterday added a small amont of Fimo professional to the mix.Around 70 per cent Firm.to 30 of Professional.I ran the mix through a cheap pasta roller and its a nice medium soft blend.
    The Elephant looks really great so.far.Have fun with the clsy.
    Richard
    Jed and Abigail like this.
  6. Warren SMITH PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Very nice work..
    Jed likes this.
  7. Abigail New Member

    Mookie thanks :). just curious did you get around to working with and sculpting the mix to see how it turned out cured? for the tail i am using something i have remaining called kato which is rock hard when baked and turns out i can blend with the sculpey :). i might have to invest in a pasta machine. thanks for the tip!
  8. Mookie Active Member

    Hi Abigail.
    I conditioned some clay other day by mixing 70 per cent Sculpey firm and 30 per cent Fimo Professional.The fimo i get from the hobby shop is usually quute solid so plenty of squishing before running through pasta machine.I did have some Kato a few years ago but it ended up.a real heard block and i didnt use it.I did have some smaller blocks which were better but i seem to remember the stuff smelt quite chemically.I will try sculpting and then cooking the Fimo n sculpey mix and see how it turns out.The mix is a nice semi soft when kneaded and has quite a nice consistency.A pasta roller is great for getting the ploymers into a good condition as it breaks the molecukes down in the polymer to enable sculpting.
    Have fun with the clays.
    Richard.
  9. Kevtk135 Active Member

    Nice work on the elephant!
    FYI and FWIW, Sculpey has come out with Sculpey Medium. It's a mix of Super Sculpey (the pink stuff) and Firm (the gray stuff) and takes on the best of both worlds. It takes the minute details like SS and is slightly flexible like the Firm.
    Also be on the lookout for Cosclay, which is highly flexible w/o cracking. IIRC this is brand new clay by Monster Clay and should be released soon.
    Nap and Abigail like this.
  10. Abigail New Member

    69598481_10158383710087814_7327280714544578560_o.jpg kev thankyou :) oh thats cool! I will look out for it the new stuff. overall as long as it was adequate thickness the original sculpey really wasnt too bad (i guess in generalistic terms in comparison to other types it is "soft") but I will definatley try mixing;
    I have a pasta machine now :)
    may need to experiment a little before I start my next model,a dog, so thankful to have you guys' input and shared experience
    I am considering maybe one day giving up polymer clay altogether or full models and switching to something harder if it doesnt compromise detail level which is very important to me
    I guess i can always do a hardness test in the oven for my next one

    anyway here he is , all baked now and pretty solid overall with hardened fixed cracks and with his banana :D (pics to come)

    Attached Files:

    Jed, Old Pete and Dan Morton like this.
  11. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Excellent!

    All the best,
    Dan
    Abigail likes this.

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