You can carry out the simplest form of sculpting and model making with clay. Working with this malleable and flexible material is both exciting and enjoyable. It is relatively easy to create even three-dimensional figures and shapes with clay. So much so that even small children can easily use their creativity for kneading, roll, squash, and otherwise develop the material into any form they can imagine.
The versatility of the natural clay is such that it suits kids, novice artists, and experienced sculptors. Sculptors often produce large figures with clay. However, as the clay cannot hold its own weight, an enclosed metal armature is used to develop the model.
Clay comes in reasonably ready-to-use-form and lends itself beautifully for making prototype models, masks, and numerous special effects as well. In fact, clay modeling is also employed in animation, and this dedicated art is exclusively known as claymation.
Kinds of clay
Not only can you mold clay in several ways, but it comes in a variety of types too. They vary depending on the process of production and composition as well. While water-based clay usually tends to harden on exposure to air, non-hardening varieties are also available. In fact, some clay kinds need to be heated in a microwave for the model to set correctly. This is extensively used in ceramics.
The non-hardening clay is either wax or oil-based that keeps it from cracking, drying out, or shrinking. Artists and sculptors prefer this as it holds fine details well, stays flexible, and can even be reused by careful heating. Certain high-grade clays stay permanently malleable and so can be employed time after time. Then there is mysterious ballistic clay that replicates mammal tissue and is useful in forensics and for testing body armor.
The ultimate choice of clay is personal and based as much on the texture, feel, and hardness of the material as on the finished piece’s possible requirements.
And irrespective of the variety of clay, you will surely need various tools to pierce, pierce cut sculpt the clay before you can make it into the shape you desire. Trimmer, cutter, tongs, and rasp are but just a few of them that are regularly used. And once the clay modeling is ultimately ready, it is decorated with paint, or you can create even stain effects.
Particular care is required when clay molds are used for making rubber, resins, or metal casts. The mold has to be adequately sealed before casting as the clay can dissolve or even distort when it comes in contact with any potential solvent. Furthermore, certain clays’ sulfur content often ends up inhibiting the setting of polyurethane rubbers and silicone rubbers. Therefore, sulfur-free clay is considered a better option for safer and more enjoyable clay modeling.
Concluding this short piece, the pliable clay surfaces as a modeling material of choice. It is convenient, and you can utilize it as you want!