Figure Sculptures: Clay Choices

I completed new armatures for ten figures yesterday, and started knocking in the initial clay forms.  Generally speaking, I much prefer ceramic, water-based clay because of the softness of the material which allows for inherent fluidity, gesture, and speed in the modeling process. I have to admit that I don’t enjoy sculpting with oil based plastilene because of the stiffness of the material which demands greater reliance on tools instead of your hands in the modeling process.  However, I have a studio at home right now and it’s just not practical to put up with the significant amount of dust that ceramic clay generates. On top of that, my studio work periods are often times sporadic: I work intensely for a month at a time, and then there are periods where I’m away for a few weeks or even months depending on my teaching schedule. For this reason, keeping clay sculptures wrapped and moist on a long term basis doesn’t tend to work well.

I’m using a plastilene called “Klean Klay” which I discovered recently that seems to work relatively well. The best aspect of Klean Klay is that it doesn’t have the odor that other plastilenes have which makes an enormous difference.  Additionally, there’s no sulfur in Klean Klay which can interfere in the cast process for rubber molds.

Figures-Preliminary Clay

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