Polymer clays for sculpting ..+ "best" ones
...some suppliers
Non-polymer clays
....air dry clays
.......paper clays, "cold porcelain" clays
.......epoxy & other clays-putties
General sculpting
...Gen Info (shapes,strength, joins, baking, fragility, finding images)
...Fingerprints, smoothing, dust
.......cleaning + smoothing .... "solvents"
.......tools, gloves.... plastic wrap/baggies... liquid finishes, liquid clays
.......after baking
...White or any clay --keeping clean
.......before baking ... after baking
...Misc. info ...crumbling, cracking, etc.
......"covering" w/ cane slices
Distinguishing human characteristics
Flowers & Leaves
Other items to "sculpt" (animals, bugs, puppets,etc.)
Covering sculpted forms with clay
.....covering with slices
Settings & bases for sculpts
Bas relief sculpts (onlay)
More tips on sculpting + painting

PAGE 2....(in process... for now, still here)
Books & Videos + Molds, etc.
Online discussion groups
, etc.
.... lessons...more-realistic figures ...dolls/special figures ... whimsical + simpler
.....mystical, fantasy, goddesses, wise women...... jointed-dangly figures
.... other....

(see Books & Videos for sculpting books)

SCULPTURE --general

"best" POLYMER clays for sculpting

..... for clay recipes for skin color however, see mostly Heads > Skin

(for some photos of a few different clays (packaging) for sculpting http://members.home.nl/m.spijkers/dolls.htm)

Smudgeable clays (those that "smudge" well for sculpting) (Sculpeys & Premo & Kato Polyclay) tend to be insoluble clays; water is the release agent of choice, especially for intricately detailed molds.
Fimo and Cernit, both initially firm clays are soluble clays; both possess a filler (possibly kaolinite) that absorbs moisture. For them talc or cornstarch are the better release agents
. . .Using the right clay for the job is part of the process. Being a sculptor and not a caner, I have a natural preference for clays that blend. . . .I want a clay with a good memory, a clay that holds the detail I give and can take some handling. Leached Premo seems to be that clay. I've had no trouble with bubbles or plaqueing and I rather like the stickiness. Just my 2 cents, Katherine Dewey

I mix clays or clay combinations as needed for whatever project or part of a project I'm working on. Some clays for instance aren't too good for detail, others are. I may use super sculpey for the main part of a piece, and Premo or Promat or a mix of different clays for the detail work. Get as many samples as you can. Leach some of them. . . .Work with them all and make notes for yourself. Its a fun way to find out what fits your particular needs. Robert

leaching... there are ways of making soft clay firmer and better suited to modeling. Leaching, especially suited to blendable clays, takes one to two days, but will save you work in the end.
...while only slightly harder to push into shape, leached clays are more likely to resist being pushed out of shape .
...to leach, roll the clay to a thickness of 1/8th of an inch or less (that's the thickest setting on most pasta machines) and sandwich btween clean sheets of paper, or paper printed in an ink that won't transfer to the clay (ink jet). Place a weight on top (for example, a Rio Grande catalogue) and let it rest while gravity does the rest. Some of the plasticiser in the clay will wick into the paper, leaving the clay firmer.
......for detailed work that demands a very firm clay, change the paper after 6 hours and continue leaching, or let it sit for 2 to 4 days, depending on the original consistency of the clay.
...I use the following "fitness test" to determine if the clay's right for modeling: roll the the clay into a ball and cut the ball in half. Put the ball back together by sealing the seams using thumb or finger strokes only. If the clay loses its shape, it's too soft for modeling. If seams blend easily, yet the two hemispheres retain their shape, the clay's generally just right. Katherine Dewey
...I always imagined that your preference for leached clay was one of those personal preference things, but that *I* would be perfectly happy using clay straight from the package! HA! WRONG! Really really wrong!) Anybody reading this, take note -- the amount of difference between fresh Premo for sculpting and leached Premo for sculpting is unbelivable! Sherry
(see more on leaching in Conditioning)

I have recently learned that leaching not only removes some of the plasticiser--making the clay less sticky to handle--it also takes out some of the stabilizers. Sarajane
...What exactly does this mean for the clay once it's baked? . . . .that it's more likely to crumble, be more breakable if stressed, or have some other effects? Diane B.
...The short answer is "yes". It also removes color stabilizers that help keep the colors from changing. (As to long term-comparative tests, I don't think any have been done yet. Someone would need to break a block into two parts, wick half and leave half alone, then bake and comepare--and compare again in a year and in two.) . . . It does change the strength though, and I was told that changing the chemical formulae may not be a real good idea, and that wicking/leaching takes out stuff that's in there for a reason, and not just "excess moisture". Sarajane
(...see also Misc. below for more on avoiding crumbling and fragility in finished items, particularly over time)

For clay to hold detail, it should be firm and I think the less sticky the better. . .. If strength is an issue, then I suggest leaching the daylights out of some premo . . .. If ease of sculpting is the biggest concern.. as may be for a beginner or practice work then leeched supersculpey is the stuff.
....I don't recommend either the original white sculpey (sometimes marketed under the name PolyForm) or Sculpey III for sculpture because they have all the wrong qualities.... I also don't recommend the original Fimo because it just doesn't have the right kind of "smushability." Tommie

I think everyone who sculpts with Polymer clay has a different opinion. Jack Johnston seems to prefer a softer clay. I and many others prefer a much firmer clay. But just that part of the consistency is not enough to say it's a good clay with which to sculpt. Fimo is very firm in many of it's colors but seams don't blend so well. Many very fine artists, some of the best in the world, like Premo. I find it too sticky unless it's leeched and even then it's kind of tacky. I like a good solid clay that has an almost waxy consistency. Super Sculpey has this quality but it's really not the strongest clay once it has been baked. The absolute favorite sculpting clay of this particular dabbler was Promat, and in particular promat black seemed to combine all the characteristics that I wanted. Firm, Waxy, great detail hold, and VERY strong. But much to my dismay promat is no longer being made.

PREMO clay is very heat sensitive and easily by overworked... try to learn to use fewer strokes, etc., or let the clay rest a bit, then continue.

SUPER SCULPEY (flesh-colored). . . to select the best box, I had little 'tests' for the clay before I bought. ....cracks (like splits) in the raw clay were a good sign as well as how much came off on my finger when I drew my finger hard accross it. Shane
Many times there is a lot number stamped on the box. So when you find that first great box you can then note the lot # and check out all the boxes with the same number. I use to reserve boxes of clay of the same lot once I found one I liked.
at home I carefully drag my palette knife across the clay...this removes any dirty marks without removing to much clay.
...SuperSculpey is a good clay for sculpting, and baked at a slightly higher temp, just under 300 degrees, proves to be fairly strong. Katherine Dewey .....it will darken though if not covered or using enclosed baking method? ...Katherine Dewey recommends covering baking sculpts with damp cloth?... would increase plaquing though?
......Baking times for me are 20 minutes per quarter inch thickness, with a minimum of 20 minutes
...When I blend clays, I don't treat it as blend and compromise temperature or time, but use the clay with the highest temperature as a gauge and bake accordingly.
...To prevent
browning of thin or prebaked, or highly placed (my oven has hot spots) parts of a sculpture, those parts get wrapped with cotton batting secured with aluminum foil after the first 20-30 minutes of baking time. Works for me,
....can also drape with a damp paper towel, etc., (see more ways to avoid darkening in Baking > Darkening, Scorching)
... the Robert McKinley's book on dollmaking shows him using Super Sculpey but he stopped using it because he was experiencing too much breakage... and he switched to paperclay!!? Sadly he wasn't around long enough to try some of the newer and stronger clays that we have today. Kathndolls
...SuperSculpey tends to plaque (moon) a lot with small areas or opacity in the otherwise translucent clay... can add a bit of white to it to hide them, and/or avoid getting humidity and air into to the clay before baking (see Translucents > Plaquing for more info)
....a friend of mine sculpts in SuperSculpey, then applies a thin layer of Cernit over it to give it a more translucent look. Cheryl
...Right now, I'm trying a 50-50 blend of SS and Cernit. I've heard from several dollmakers that this is an excellent combination, easy to work with and has very little mooning, if any. I haven't gone clear through the process of baking with it yet, so I can't tell you my honest opinion. Peggy
"crumbling" clay sculpts:
... I question the validity of the decomposing (baked clay) doll tale . .. So many artists undercure SuperSculpey and SuperSculpey blends to prevent scorching that as a result the clay is more crystaline, brittle because it is underfused. I await what the polymer chemists have to say. Katherine Dewey

Terra Cotta original Sculpey in the box is extremely crumbly after baking (maybe even more than the original white Sculpey in a box?)...see more on Terra Cotta Sculpey in Characteristics > Sculpeys > White & Terra Cotta

Super Sculpey Firm (dark gray)....extra firm, opaque gray, sculpting compound ......shatter and chip resistant after baking
......good for sculpting fine details... gray color makes item easier to see and photograph ... 1 lb pkg ($10?)
http://www.clayalley.com/premo.htm ...http://www.polymerclayexpress.com/sculpey.html

It's important to note that all of the clays manufactured by Polyform (Premo, SuperSculpey, Sculpey, Sculpey III) have a quality I call "fused memory"...The shape you achieve on baking is the shape the clay will hold, no matter how flexible.... If you need to bake the piece again, don't try to bend that flexible part into another shape because it will crack at fusing temperature. ...This mans pose those fingers after the piece is completely inished (will never go into the oven again) or be prepared to repair the cracks. Katherine Dewey

I work with Sculpey's Superflex all the time (now called Bake and Bend). Yes, it's tacky and somewhat greasy, but it's a problem solver. (I use it in two ways: for flexible sheet molds that can be run through the pasta machine and) as the ductility agent when I want to model very thin elements of a sculpture that won't break. For modeling, I normally blend Beige Flex in a 50/50 mix with Premo (any color) that's been leached twice and then leach the 50/50 blend one more time. Beige Flex is so inert as a color it has a negligible effect on other colors, includeing white. The result is a slightly tacky clay the exact color I need with a consistency similar to fresh Premo, but it does remain flexible after baking; that's the quality I want. Examples on my webpage http://www.elvenwork. com include every finger on every sculpture, the membranes on the dragon's wings, the ears and tail on the sphinx, and the leafy dress on the the Green Lady. Katherine Dewey

Tommie's saga re testing the new KATO POLYCLAY for sculpting (he liked it very much, and felt that it raw clay blended to baked clay was very smooth and that it was very strong, among other things)
.... My only complaint so far is just a minor one. The Kato skin tone clay is much too orange, and too opaque for reality. But it's not a big deal to mix up my own. I do that most of the time with the premo and fimo, too. I haven't sanded any yet, but I like the nice satiny sheen it has just baked... I did my best face sculpt yet out of it (despite the skintone issue) because it took the tooling so nicely. And seams lovely. That nice blending of pieces together. Dawndove
~I tried the flesh color to sculpt a fairy with, and wasn't impressed with the color (too peachy) or the translucency of the skin after it was baked. So I tried mixing it with translucent. Still didn't like it. And the feel was a bit too mooshy, for my tastes. Some people like Cernit feeling clays, so I'm not knocking it, it was not for me. Guess I'll be a Super Sculpey girl forever.... I do like the clay, it's just different from anything I've tried. Ginger
Vernon said when I first ordered it that they were going to change the color of the flesh to something with less orange. Leslie
...Well Kato clay is very strong, firmer than Premo which isn't always good for what I do, but I've found that if I mix in a little liquid clay it does pretty good.. . . I like the softer, more elastic Premo for clothing my figures as it stretches more easily. . . . The thing that I love Kato clay is that it doesn't color shift like Premo. Since I make figurines I was always having trouble with the skin darkening especially since I do many repeat bakings, different body parts tend to bake a lot. . . . the color white in Kato is and stays a nice bright white, but Premo's white is duller and darkens when baked to a less than satisfactory shade.
. . . Kato clay has a slightly shiny surface (looks a bit too plasticy) when baked which I like for the hair of a figure but don't for the rest, there I prefer Premo's soft matte finish. Dawn S.
....If you dip a pinkie in cornstarch & smooth it over the surface before baking, you'll end up with that nice matte finish on Kato clay. Marla

...the Fimo clays have been reformulated yet again...this time because some customers felt it was too crumbly
... though the plasticizers used in the previous formulation were judged okay for toys by the European Union (Fimo is classed as a "toy"), they also worried that the EU could ban more plasticizers in the future so those were changed too
.....both Fimos are now not as strong as they used to be, though if they're baked at the old temp of 265 instead of the new recommended temp of 230, they will be stronger
......FimoClassic and FimoSoft are softer than their previous formulations (becoming softer with each reincarnation) and have more problems with stretch and detail
.....the new FimoClassic is now too soft and tacky (which makes it almost impossible to use for sculpting). UGH!!! ... it used to be my favorite for sculpting. Chris
......miniaturists don't like it as much because of the
softer texture & the color changes

...for more info, see http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/shop/fimo_new_formula.htm
........also see Safety > Plasticizers, Oils, Phthalates....and Baking > Times and Temperatures

Fimo flesh-colored doll clays:
...dollmakers particularly are not happy. ...we are currently testing the new clays and observing their performance for jewellery, modelling, miniatures and doll making. We will update this page as soon as they are completed. Sue H.

.......Miniature Doll Fimo is a lot softer than it was when it was first re-introduced. The latest batch was very difficult to use for original sculpts of miniature dolls although it is still fine for moulding.
.......Soft Doll Fimo is also currently very soft. We are waiting for more information from the manufacturers about this problem. (Meanwhile, if you are having difficulties, you may wish to use Sculpey Living Doll instead. I have found this clay is excellent for making both full size and miniature dolls.) Sue H.
...while the general hobbyist will probably find the clays easy to use, some of our professional users who have "higher demands on the clays, particularly the dollmakers, are not happy. ...we are currently testing the new clays and observing their performance for jewellery, modelling, miniatures and doll making. We will update this page as soon as they are completed. Sue H.

(the following things were written before the refomulations of 2007)
I prefer a firmer clay for sculpting small faces (I use FimoClassic.) Leslie
...(Katherine Dewey): FimoSoft is a pretty good sculpting clay, but blended 5 parts Fimo Soft with 1 part Classic Fimo and you have a very good sculpting clay. Soft enough to push into shape, yet firm enough to hold the shape you given to it and resistant to fingetprints. It also has the "smudge factor", and semas blend easily. I found it not quite as strong as Classic Fimo, nor Premo. As I'm one who believes the strength of a sculpture should come from within, i.e. armatures, the 5 to 1 Fimo Soft/Classic Fimo blend mentioned above proved to be a very good clay for very intricate work. Fimo Soft, on its own, did not stand up to the task.
I mostly use Fimo soft. I love the constancy of the clay, and seams disappear easily, and it suits me well because I have not so warm hands. Christel
I've been sculpting horses - my other great love! Fimo Soft is a great sculpture material - blends to itself with ease, minimal cracking, and stronger than S Sculpey. I also find the translucency of SSculpey difficult - can't see what's happening!. . . . Maximum clay thickness should be no more than 1". Donna Kato
I had always worked with Fimo. My husband had to condition the Fimo for me and when the new stuff (FimoSoft) came out I just couldn't work with it at all. I didn't like the colors or texture and it was harder to work with. I really freaked because my whole line and livelihood was based on the old Fimo. Well, I started mixing Cernit 50/50 with the Classic Fimo and got INCREDIBLE results. I can mix it myself, it takes 75% less mixing, the colors are sooo vibrant and it's stronger than the original Fimo was! It is soooo much better to sculpt with! ...You don't have to draw (leach?) the moisture out or anything- a few runs thru the pasta machine & you're in business. I can sculpt all day & night without having tendon problems, too! Kristy
Fimo's Classic is too hard and Soft is too soft for me, so what I have been doing for my sculptures is mixing the two together in proportions 1:3 - 1:5 depending on the firmness I want (Classic being the smaller proportion). Christina

PUPPEN Fimo ("Doll Fimo") . . . comes in 3 shades --porcelain (-03), rosé (-43), naturell.... packages are 500 grams.
...You cannot compare this clay with the small packages fimo classic. . . Doll fimo (puppenfimo) is much easier to condition and works and feels very different.
...Also I find PuppenFimo the best polymerclay to work with, you can work so tiny with it and so full of detail.
..... It doesn't looses its shape when curing, doesn't get too soft when sculpting. And most of all, I think this is the only polymerclay (in Holland ) that doesn't get the plastic shiny look after curing (I compared Fimo, Cernit and CrealTherm).
.... Also compared the 'smearability' (new word?) ;-) If you make a head you usually have to add layers of polymerclay. Fimo is very easy to smear and smooth. Cernit was the most difficult, I had to try to melt the parts in each other, and CrealTherm was in between those two brands. Easier to smear/smooth than Cernit, but it still took more time with this brand than with fimo to smoothen the lines of new layers I had added. . . .I'm curious about Premo and Sculpey, are they easy 'smearable'? Marika
I have Puppen Fimo in Rose but I find it too hard to condition, and not as easy to sculpt with as Prosculpt... Maybe on a larger scale I would like it better but not on small faces!! Nanner
.I e-mailed Maureen at Wee Folks about your question…"It isn't quite the same, though both will work for dolls and figures. PuppenFimo is a bit less elastic than is regular FIMO. The FIMO #43 tends to be dry. I would add MixQuick to it." Myself, I have added diluent to the puppin to soften it as it is rather dry to start in my mini food processer which I use since I almost always mix in the porcelian Puppin to lighten and make more translucent. I think it is the " less elastic bit that helps the
...Puppin Fimo holds fine detail better. At least adding the same product to lighten or darken should not affect the internal integrity of the baked clay. Cheryl
I have used a lot of different clays and mixes I keep coming back to the Puppen fimo becuase it is soft colored and stiff enough to get better detail , in the miniatures I make.
......To brighten it up the easiest is to buy powder makeup and lighly brush onto the unbaked clay,
......I use powdered blush for the ckeeks and a light brn pastel chalk for the eyebrow/eyelash area's to get more sparkle use sparkly face powder that shimmers for character dolls usually a matte finish is better, atry different brand to get different effects.
........I find that SuperSculpey does not take powders as well as PuppenFimo and can look cakey, so do tests first .
........You can mix Puppin Fimo flesh with Puppin Fimo porcelian to lighten. Cheryl
.......If you like a darker color (than PuppenFimo), Prosculpt is great to work with , easy to seam like the Puppin Fimo , and comes in ethnic colours, though it's not as moveble or as translucent as the Cernit which I use in larger dolls but not in miniatures as is too soft. Cheryl
....a friend of mine sculpts in SuperSculpey, then applies a thin layer of Cernit over it to give it a more translucent look. experiment, have fun…Cheryl

CREALL-TERM is a nice clay- but usually expensive here in the US. I like it mixed with S.Sculpey for dolls. It has a nice elastic quality that gives character dolls interest. By itself- it's got lots of bounce and I didn't like that. It's sort of like Fimo- and that isn't my favorite to sculpt. Kathndolls
(no longer being made?)

CERNIT ... translucent, various skin colors, gets soft fast, hard to blend seams
....I've always used Cernit for sculpting faces and hands as Iove it's translucent look, too. . .
....Cernit has, I think it is, 6 skin tones...Bisquit does deepen after baking... and Almond is not quite as yellow). Dianne C.
..........you can tint the Cernit colors with other brands of clay to get other skin tones.
...hard to blend the seams on Cernit to get a seamless look ...I tried this time not to a dd any clay, just push it into form, but it still formed seams when I pushed it a bit too eagerly. I've tried everything---from alcohol, water, diluent, to toluene and more. I have had success with the diluent and with even using a dusting of powder once I get it close. Then rubbing, stroking or patting. Jeanne
http://www.heartofclay.com/pc/tutorials.htm (see complete description in Faux--Wood)
. . . (I usually use Cernit for bodies and it is very hard to smooth out and get quick definition)---but I got some of Jack Johston's Pro-Sculpt and I can tell you that this is a superb clay for sculpting especially in relief. I don't have to have any pattern as you can just go to it.
(With Cernit, I often had to measure every amount as it is hard to take off and add to.) It might not work as well for regular sculpting, but with relief, you do not handle it as much one can use tools hard to sculpt. This one is great for minis.
.......I love Cernit but not for really small faces! Nanner
....Drawback...it's expensive (Almost double the best Premo price!)
.... I have found that if it is very old---like more than two years (look at the numbers to the left usually of the bar code and you will see something like 09/01 and that is the date), it works well to use Sculpey Diluent/Softener to soften it some. Just put a few drops on it and warm in your hands first. If you can get it warm, you can gradually get it to go through the pasta machine and condition easily. I have Cernit that is going on 20 plus years old and it is still usable. ...Cernit does cure at 215 to 270 F so it can get accidently cured in shipment easier than Kato Clay or Premo.
...After working with Kato Clay, Premo, Pro-Sculpt, I think that in storage Cernit seems to "get the old feeling" or hard faster than the others with the small 2 ounce blocks getting hard within a year. I have some Pro-Sculpt that is three years old and it is still soft in the block.. . . It works up just fine though and once it gets moving it is actually smooshier than Premo. Jeanne R.
...When baking Cernit, the slow approach would be bad as the clay seems to soften a lot before setting, so if there are protruding parts to a sculpture for instance, if not very well supported it will have a somewhat melted quality to it when finished. Helene
...What I have been doing is to sculpt my face with Pro-Sculpt and then make a mold of that. Then I use Cernit to make the face from the mold as the translucency of the Cernit is my favorite look---but double the work when done this way.
....a friend of mine sculpts in SuperSculpey, then applies a thin layer of Cernit over it to give it a more translucent look. experiment, have fun…Cheryl

PROSCULPT (sold by Jack Johnston, sculptor )
... you might also want to try Prosculpt, which is a new clay particularly formulated for doll makers. Jack Johnson is the vendor
..........he also makes wonderful dolls and has workshops, books and videos.. Cate

I really like Prosculpt because it is so smooth and strong...and the fingers don't break off like with Cernit and Fimo.
....But, it gets really soft fast (like Cernit)
...it's also more expensive than the other flesh-colored clays
...J.Johnsons Prosculpt. It's really nice to work with. It doesn't moon or crack, but it isn't as translucent as some of the other flesh clays
.....His clay also blends better than a lot of them I've seen.
I can sculpt really tiny faces with Pro-Sculpt much more easily than with Cernit though
....Prosculpt's Caucasian is pink, ugh. Dianne C.
.........Caucasian for me bakes up way too dark... don't even want to use it for my reg adult dolls. GardensOfUtopia
.....Ethnic ... Prosculpt also comes in a deep brown (so has to be mixed to get lighter colors)
...Jack Johnston's clay Prosculpt is a very strong clay and wonderful sculpting clay--just does not come in enough colors.... I would rate it equal to Premo in surface hardness. Jeanne R.
....(2008) ProSculpt now offers new colors: Light (esp. for fairies and goth), Baby, and Translucent White

......Baby is a wonderful color! I adore it alot when making babies. It's a rosier color than Light. GardensofUtopia
.........I use Baby for everything ...to see what Baby looks like, check out my gallery where everything in the top 3 rows is Baby (the 1st two on 4th row are Caucasian, you can see how much darker)
.........I used to sculpt in Roma Plastelina so sculpting in Prosculpt is the closest thing to that real clay feel for me, blending, etc. Nanner
......Light ...light color, little or no translucency
.........(aka Fairy Light) is really light, but not as light as porcelain... I use fairy Light with mostly everything, even baby sculpts.
........ I also paint (antique) my babies a nice rosie color and makes them look more real rather then clayish sometimes. GardensOfUtopia
......Translucent White is great... alot of people like to use it for teeth and eyes too
.........people also use it for mixing with other clays (to make them more translucent). GardensOfUtopia
...ProSculpt is not as translucent as Cernit--- but if you add Premo translucent you can get something close to Cernit--problem is, it then begins to work like Cernit. Hard at first and then too soft
......I found what works best for me though --work a little, then sit it on marble or glass so it hardens a little and cools... go back again later and do a little more. It is amazing what you can touch the next time and how much more control you have over the clay. Jeanne
......I use a light dusting of powder once I get it smooth. The powder makes it easy to make even smoother with no fingerprints. Jeanne
.... I normally don't touch the clay all that much with my hands
...... I keep my babies' limbs etc on a rod or toothpick, and I cut away with tools and smooth as I go
...... When i add patches though like "fatty area's to the face," I like those to be warm and done by hand...they seem to smooth easier.
...... I do though somtimes get really soft clay when I have to touch, but that is mostly when I am kneeding at the beginning and shaping my pieces. After I do this I put it in the fridge for a few minutes.GardensOfUtopia
(for tips on too soft clay, esp. if you have hot hands or are working in a hot environment, see Conditioning > Cooling)
....I have been thinking about mixing brands for strength and for better color
......I think we just need to realize that we have to mix to get the colors we want. Dianne C.
...ProSculpt also sells his own brand of polymer clay diluent (like Sculpey's Softener-Diluent), which is called Smoothing Oil

mixing clays: Years ago, when I was low on Super Sculpey, and in rush to finish a sculpture, I used Cernit, blending it with Super Sculpey at a one to one ratio. That piece is now more than ten years old, and shows no sign of decomposition.
Katherine Dewey
(.....Clay brands can all be mixed together, as far as I can tell. The main caveat is that when caning, *any* clay mixes, or colors mixes within one brand for that matter, must result in the same consistency or the cane will distort more easily when reducing.)

There are also edible candy doughs that look and work like polymer clay (which can be made --easy-- or purchased)
... they
can be made into little figures or items, as as well as cast in molds, or caned... then eaten if desired
[for all details, see Kids-Beginners > More (Various)]

some suppliers

Puppenfimo & Cernit, (& LaDoll..not polymer) ...... sculpting clays sold at Polymer Clay Express
...(for more on LaDoll, see Air Dry below)

The Clay Store: http://www.theclaystore.com
Onestoppolymerclayshop: http://www.onestoppolymershop.com/page/939390

(SuperSculpey is sold by many online suppliers, as well as in craft stores, etc.)

for more suppliers, look in Supply Sources > Polymer Clays

OTHER "CLAYS" (non-polymer)

To answer your question, there isn't any hobbyist product I know that will give you the same results (as oven-bake clays-- produce similar results, smooth, plastic-and-rubber-like texture and feel). But some come close. Here are some alternatives:
1) Low melt plastics will give you the plastic/flexible finish you desire. Typically this is sold as pellets or sheets of material that soften when placed in boiling water. One brand is called Friendly Plastic. This stuff is formed rather than sculpted - and it's not really possible to mix colors. So forget about figurines, mixing colors, and detailed molding.
2) Air dry clays such as DAS (see also Apoxie Sculpt below) generally give a hard, plaster-like finish. Some air-drying versions of children's (air drying) clay may give more of a "plastic" finish, but they probably are not stable and colors are limited. If all you want is the satiny gloss of plastic, but not the flexibility, use air-dry clay and paint it with acrylic paints.
....Makin's Clay . . (composition? ... same as stone ground mineral clays below?)...This is a GREAT product esp. for children. ....within an hour it was set up enough to take home... Works really, really well. Smooth as silk and molds perfectly in Amaco molds, Alley Goop molds and Miracle Molds. Perfect consistency for working. . . of course this is a fairly new product and has not had any time to dry out on the shelf . . . (does not have the feel at all of all the products like DAS Modeling material or the other similar non-polymer clays... works so much like polymer clay.... only thing I would need to watch now is whether it has cracking upon curing/drying or it shrinks. I would think it would shrink a little since moisture has to go to set up. It starts to dry fairly quickly and if a spritz of water is added, it can work longer. But unless the water is worked into the clay very evenly, I think there could be some light crackling. I do see possibilities---esp. for miniaturists! Jeanne http://www.Makin'sclay.com/mc/aboutus.asp
..... for fine-detail and air-drying, stone ground mineral clays, see below in Stone Ground...)

(for a material that's cheap and easy-to-carve after drying but not perfectly smooth for creating 3-D forms (even for kids), see vermiculite and plaster mix in Carving > "Carving" Sculptures ...not polymer, but could be embellished with glued-on bits of clay)
An applied surface finish can give you the look you need. Get DAS or another air-dry clay and have fun. Then get a set of acrylic paints, some interesting acrylic mediums, and experiment. Almost any texture can be produced. If you want a smooth, rubbery look that is not grainy or clay-like, then rub the piece down with acrylic gesso before painting. To get a cartoon-like " claymation " finish as you describe, paint shapes separately with flat color, then assemble them.> Which leads to:
3) Acrylic mediums. (see also Form-It and Liquitex modeling paste below too??) These are usually spread out in painting to produce thin, flexible films on paper or canvas, but there is no reason they can't be used in the round - many modern artists do - except that they are expensive and somewhat toxic(???), and so you should wear gloves or use tools. Squeeze out a blob of acrylic paint and let it dry. See if it's close to what you want. The manufacturers make a host of matte and glossy impasto (thick?) mediums, iridescent and metallic gels, and of course a wide range of colors. This stuff also adheres well to almost everything, including glass and metal, and has been formulated for permanence. Acrylics air dry rather rapidly, so you can't leave a shape uncompleted "til next time", although you can continue to build since the stuff sticks so well. This is tricky to work with.....even the thicker impasto medium can be too moist to model....and then a surface film forms as the acrylic dries out. Which leads to....
4) Papier mache…A very simple and effective sculpture medium is papier mache. This can be very sophisticated indeed - and also can be used as a core/filler with acrylic paints, which will cut the price quite a bit. As children we were taught to glue strips of newspaper together, which looked rough, but the trick is to boil/mash the paper until it disintegrates and the pulp is completely smooth. Use lots of water, you can always squeeze it out later...
Instead of plain paste, you can bind the pulp with acrylic medium - then, depending on how much acrylic you add, and how moist the mix, the pulp becomes a hidden filler to stretch your acrylics. Less acrylic and drier pulp yields a firmer, more grainy material. Acrylic paints mix and thin with water, so there is no problem here. This is MUCH easier to model with than straight acrylic, and you can add color and detail with outer layers of pure acrylic. Items made in this way, then smoothed and painted with acrylic, will resemble polymer clay a lot. They will be slightly flexible, but much lighter in weight than polyclay tems of the same size.
Note that paper mache has a very short working life before the binder starts hardening - especially if the binder is acrylic resin. Best to prepare as much pulp as possible, then mix with binder in small batches.
(for more info on papier mache, see Armatures)
5) spackle and filling compoundHardware store solutions: The paint section of your fix-it centre will offer spackle and filling compound. These are usually cellulose fiber mixed with a resin or plaster binder - in other words, ready-made paper mache mix. Mum can't object to THAT! These products have been formulated to fill cracks in walls, so they do not shrink when drying, unlike plaster. This is important if you are matching parts of a figurine or model.
6) (I
do NOT advise using the various putties and epoxies from the hardware store. None of these have been formulated expressly for long-term contact with the skin) Ben David . . . though check out the sculpting epoxies below)

(...for more on the characteristics of all "clays," see Characteristics > Types of Clays...).

Air Dry clays

see more info on all these clays in Characteristics > Types of Clays

(Of the many types of "clay" on the market, modeling clay, air-dry clay and polymer clay are the three types most commonly used in crafting.
The various types are defined by how long the clay takes to dry, how hard it sets and its strength, its workability how easy to work with, how impervious to water, whether it's one part or two, its final surface texture, if it comes in colors, etc.
...modeling clay, such as Play Dough, is the easiest to use and doesn't harden/dry. This type of clay is especially good or young children to practice with, since it can be repeatedly reshaped into new forms.
...air-dry clays are best used for permanent creations, since they will ultimately harden and cannot be reshaped; most clays of this type will set in about 24 hours. ... doesn't require the use of heat to dry and set the finished piece.
...polymer clay is a little tougher to work with but is also more versatile. ...(DIY)
...Laguna brand clays (Ovencraft -350 for 1 hr .... Ovencraft II -350 for 30 min...... Self-Hardening Clay -1-3 days,no oven)

Some air dry clays are Amaco Mexican Pottery Clay, Amaco Marblex Clay, Amaco Stonex Clay, Adica Pongo Das Air Dry Clay, Jovi Air Dry Clay, Binney & Smith Crayola Model Magic Air Dry Clay, Creative Paper Clay, Hearty Clay Air Dry Modeling Clay,
....variety of air dry clays:.... Crayola Model Magic, Delight (made by Paperclay company) or Hearty Clay (claycompany.com) - white one bag of Paperclay

Mexican Pottery Clay by Amaco ...very blendable
...I'd like to make some pottery beads and put polymer clay on them, like a flower here and there.
.....I think the warning about not curing it in the oven is because if there is the slightest bit of moisture in the center, the
piece will explode, and if someone is opening the oven just at that time...well, I can hear the lawyers now
.... However, I have also found that if it air-dries until not cold to the touch, then left in a barely warm oven overnight, it can be oven-baked at the same temp. as PC. Consequently, if I plan to be extraordinarily patient, I can combine MPC and PC for some very interesting, beautiful effects. I'll put some up when they're finished. I refuse to be responsible for injuries to anyone, though -- that stuff is like shrapnel if there is moisture trapped inside. Kelly
... Sounds like it might be best to make the components from each material separately and then combine them. Using two-part 5 minute epoxy to adhere polymer embellishments onto the pottery clay or vice versa should work...would that do? Meredith
....the Amaco clay may have some shrinkage, so dry beads thoroughly and cook them first…MJ

Another air dry clay is Bond Kelly Clay (???)
... 18 colors, 4 oz bars $5.29; 6-color sets $5.50, but no indication of oz. .(available only in the Far East or by mail order?)--flexible in thin areas as well; must be kept damp until use
http://www.bcsgc.com/aboutclay.htm (gone?)


Modena clay ??? is very flexible after air drying, not shrinking so much as cold porcelain and stays flat. Because of the flexibility, Martha from ACDS found out that you can make a lot of home decorations with the JEM cutters and the GMF cutters. Without any support it stays flat. You can bend it after drying. Just take a look at all the ideas on the pricelist. This product is only available in white but you can knead accryl paint and oil colors through it and you can also paint it after drying."

paper clays ? (air dry)

(for more on paper clays, see Characteristics > Types of Clays ... and also Armatures)

Makins' is a version of paper clay similar to Creative Paperclay, but comes in colors.
Hearty and Model Magic also come in colors.
(Celluclay is an unmixed version of a paper clay, but leaves a bumpy surfaces and not as easy to work with as the pre-mixedclay forms... comes in white or gray)

I have used Creative Paperclay with very good results. Overall, I found it to be a very good medium and believe you will enjoy working with it. Here are some hints based upon my own use of it:
--You can tint it, even if you are planning to paint it. This will give you color gradients if you want them, or natural blends. If you dislike the color, you can just paint over them.
--Sanding and carving are both very easy to do and if you make an error you can just add more clay let it dry and re-do it, or sand/carve off the part you don't like and rebuild it.
--You can use any type of paint, I used acrylic.
--I also used a good clear acrylic spray to seal mine. I found spraying light coats prevented bubbling and left a nice even look.
--You can use molds, plastic are the only ones I used, which release easily because the clay shrinks ever so slightly and that is something may want to to keep in mind if you are using scale. Do a couple of experiments.
--Also you can put paper clay in the oven if you desire something to dry quickly. About a 250 degree oven at 30 minutes for most, unless they are extremely thick, but check the packaging directions.
--I cannot really attest to the durability as I made faeries that are hung, so they are not really handled too much, but I know paper clay makes beautiful jewelry and that must stand up to use. Hope this helps some. Donna in GA
....I've used paperclay in making miniatures. I've made an Egyptian scene where I covered all the walls and floor with paperclay and then textured it to look like stone. ....I haven't used it yet to sculpt figures.... I really like the texture while I'm handling it but don't like it when the clay dries on my hands! Euuuuu! ... one good thing is putting on new layers and having it blend together really well. Donna in Mt.

Makin's Clay ...very smooth........by ProvoCraft?, or Dutch? .... acid free (when dry)...lignin free
........9 colors (incl. glow in the dark) http://www.makinsclay.com/US/eng/products/basic_color.htm
....... can mix colors, or color w/ acrylic paints http://www.makinsclay.com/US/eng/products/mixing_chart.htm
........"does not have the same feel as air dry products like DAS Modeling material or other similar non-polymer clays"
... works a lot like polymer clay
.......starts to dry out fairly quickly ...if water-spritzed, can work longer but must work in very evenly, could be light cracking? Jeanne
...many projects http://www.makinsclay.com/US/eng/makins/aboutus.htm (click on Project Gallery)

Hearty Clay (by Venture Craft)... cornstarch-based?? or paper based??? air dry clay
...soften until pliable before using
... must keep air tight until used.... comes in colors...(must be sealed?)
some project lessons (roses, etc.) http://www.claycompany.com/projects.htm
....I buy the white clay and color it with a few drops of paint (acrylic=opaque) or oils (translucent?) ...can paint on dried clay too
...the colors Hearty sells are (very bright)horrendous don't give a realistic colored flower. Hazel
... air-dried... when dried, has a suede-like feel that's also flexible.
When the clay is wet, it will stick to each other and create a very strong bond. It may be necessary to use glue to ensure bonding once clay dries. Water and hand lotion will help keep the clay from drying
...available at Walmart?, some craft stores (D&J Hobby, Ben Franklin, etc.)... see link above for Retailers
....In the last issue of Craftrends there was an ad for Hearty Clay and it was called "polymer clay" in the ad. ....it does not work, feel, act, or in anyway appear to be polymer clay. I checked out an opened package that must have been opened for weeks at Hobby Lobby this past week. It is brittle, easily broken, can be rubbed apart if allowed to dry. Since it was in its package, it had not been conditioned as we do polymer clay so that may be why it was not durable. Jeanne R.

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/crafting/article/0,,HGTV_3352_1906864,00.html (photo)
Emi's lesson on using Hearty Clay for doll and clothing

Emi's short book using Hearty Clay, "Expressions With Air-Dry Clay"
...can use Rub N Buff or metallic paint on
... I've used other? paper clays (not the Hearty brand you mentioned) and they didn't work as well as Hearty which has more elasticity so when you flatten a piece it doesn't get jagged edges. Hazel
BOOKs: Expressions with Air Dry Clay (by Emi Fukushima, Donna Kato, etc.. published by Design Originals, Can Do)...other books, and a VIDEO:
http://www.claycompany.com/mall/ProductPageTools.asp & http://www.claycompany.com/mall/ProductPageTools2.asp
...One thing I've been experimenting with lately is Hearty Clay. It's a fairly new product. When it dries, it's feather light. It's great for making jewelry embellishments that need to be attached to costumes because it won't weigh the fabric down.
...Pretty much anything can be used to make props- wood, clay, plastic, etc. People usually prefer light weight materials because they're easy to carry around at cons. Toka_pop
...you must first papier maché it then you can fibreglass it to harden it papier maché can be left alone if you arent expecting any abuse to it. For something more permanent use fibreglass ontop of it... Wet sand it and WEAR A MASK & GLOVES! Once it's sanded fill any uneven craters on the surface with body filler (Bondo) resand (trust me you will have to sand and resand a good amount!) Once you've gotten it to the smoothness you desire, paint away. I use primer because Im anal like that, but after all that sanding you really dont have to....you can get fiberglass at any auto repair store or at Home Depot.. go to the paint section, it should be near the sandpaper. It comes packaged in clear plastic wrap-ness. You will need to buy either a fibreglass cloth or mat and the resin for it. they come in a starter kit but its not worth it. the cloth that comes with it is short and the resin can is little. Also you may need a hardener.. jsut dont use too much or as its curing, it will appear to smoke up and over heat. digitalcactus

Model Magic by Crayola (generally sold for kids... comes in a few colors)... paper? clay?
.......very marshmallow-y texture.... and very lightweight when dry
.....We don't use it for Dolls heads but rather we have used it in...creative scenery bases... for example...it worked fantastic for a beach scene we were doing. ...It smooths out so nice with a little water spray on it (slightly damp it seems to spread really well...but not to much water) ...anyway..Richard forms a beach scene of wind blown beach sand with hills and valleys...shells implanted in the model magic then removed for baking and painting then replaced in their formed spot. Also you can put in foot prints and it looks like someone has been walking in the wet sand.... Then we air dry and spackle paint about 6 colors that you would see in beach sand, and use a hair dryer in between coats of paint...this builds a neat textures looks and feels like sand...Jodi
... also amazing how much detail it picks up if you use it as a mold and then press polymer clay into it after it has hardened.Picked up every tiny detail of everything I was making molds of.Only problem I found with it,is that after a while it has a tendency to tear like paper and I haven't found a way to fix this.Even the thick pieces.So now I only will use it to create molds to impress with poly clay. Peggy

...If your paper clay is cracking, you may be using it in too thick a layer--try it over an armature/base, like a blown egg or a balloon for heads, over aluminum foil or cardstock rolled and paper taped for limbs, bodies, etc.. . . As to finishing, Van Craig sands and then paints his, I've seen others do things like dip in wax, gesso, or just leave as it is. Sarajane

Crafty paperclay from Japan. . . An economical air dried paper-based clay suitable for projects utilizing modeling techniques, press molds or cookie cutters. Sticks to any core material: wire, wood, glass or paper. Can be carved, polished or sanded when dry. Raw clay can be added even when dry. Can be painted with any type of paint.

"cold porcelain" clays
(air dry)

There are a number of brands and recipes of a silky-feeling, air-drying "clay" which seems to be made from cornstarch, white glue, white oil paint, etc.

(for more recipes and info on making various clays containing cornstarch --including cornstarch, glue, glycerin + cold cream-- see Armatures-Temporary > Cornstarch Clays )

cold porcelain can be mixed up and then cooked from scratch recipes, or from the (thick, white?) "glue" and the "powder" sold by one of the brands, or it can be bought as a premixed "paste" clay (which seems to be the best consistency and best to work with)
...dries in 24 hrs - 3 days, depending on thickness (full cure, one week?)...can also be oven-dried after dry to touch
...does not allow for much detail work.... more useful for objects and sculpts that do not have fine details
...there is less shrinkage than with other air-dry clays during drying (10% compared to up to to 30%) ...can also vary by packet or shelf life for many air-dry clays
...must be very well sealed ...otherwise will be dissolved with water and will absorb humidity over time
...now made in many countries (though just becoming known in the U.S.)... seems to have spread from South America, to England, Japan, etc., and becoming very popular in those places
...the raw paste-clay can have color incorporated into it, or it can be painted after drying ....at least one place has several colors already mixed
...treat pretty much like gum paste or fondant
...often used to create very thin, lifelike flowers, but also for jewelry, even sculpts/clothing...

When I first purchased Cold Porcelain Paste, I was told that for the first time I should buy the pre-mixed "paste"
....I loved working with the premixed paste --although it does dry a little fast for me, and I have to continually mist it
.. I was very impressed with it ...the whitest white imaginable, and smooth.... it dries just as white so that means if it is tinted, you get really good colors. Jeanne R.

I knew when I first smelled the Cold Porcelain Paste that there was a white glue of some sort in it
....I suspect that the Cold Porcelain Paste could be something similar to the cornstarch-and-glue clays, but I did some really good testing and if so, the CPP must be just a much higher quality version. Jeanne R

(for homemade recipes for cornstarch clays, see Armatures-Temp > Cornstarch Clays)
Lucille's pages on cold porcelain recipes ...plus using cold porcelain to embellish eggs

some cold porcelain links

http://tinyurl.com/ymaazr (translated from Spanish)

drying...It takes a full 24 hours to dry, even a 1/4" thick piece
(...if you let it dry by accident when not finished, it can be misted again and even covered with plastic for it to regenerate so it is workable)....becomes stronger as it dries
......after one week it is probably about as dry as it will get....but I always cure mine in the oven at about 165 degrees after dry to the touch. Jeanne R.
...flowers made with cold porcelain clay should normally be left overnight to dry, and large flowers may need longer..... petals can be slightly reshaped the next day by holding over steam and bending.

sealing...All cold porcelain clays that I have found can be damaged by the least bit of water unless sealed very well.... even then, moisture in the air is absorbed by all the ones I have tried. Jeanne R.

If I had wanted to mix my own instead of buying the pre-mixed paste, I would need the Cascorez Cold Porcelain Biscuit which looks like white glue, plus the powder-like substance, then mix those together).
......from what I understood on the web site from Brazil, this mixture had to be cooked to a certain point, then stored in the fridge
........ it looks like there are lots of variables (and since I did not want to deal with all that, I purchased the pre-made paste at first).
.....Cascorez Cold Porcelain Biscuit is the binding agent in Cold Porcelain Paste...it provides elasticity, plasticity, consistency, the high water resistance, and smooth texture
.......the Biscuit can also be added to the pre-mixed paste (CPP) if wanting very specific conditions such as more plasticity or water resistance....(I have experimented with mixing biscuit in the CPP, and have not come up with anything that improves on the pre-mixed CPP though)
.......the Biscuit also used to "glue" the cured pieces of Cold Porcelain Paste together. Jeanne R.

...shelf life . ..I have also found that the shelf life of (all) the air-dried clays makes a huge difference in the shrinkage and how the clays work. Even when I used clays with the same expiration date, from the same batch, there was a difference in how they worked.
(...my suggestion is to use polymer clays whenever possible). Jeanne R.

coloring ...craft powders, chalks ...water colors and acrylics may work...oil-based colors look good, will keep their color, can be rinsed quickly when dusty (using excessive thinners though will create an undesirable plastic finish)
...at least one place has several colors already mixed

shrinkage ...at most, CPP shrinks only 10%
.... pieces dried by a quick method of putting in an oven to finish the drying (after surface dried to touch--- but not dried throughout) shrank more than ones left for an extra week to dry in the open.... I suspect that some way, the surface forms a skin and the rest of the clay dries slowly and does not pull down so quickly. But who knows? Air dried clays are more fickle than polymer clays.
(....also combining 2 different air-dry clays in one project may be difficult because of the diff. amounts of shrinkage) Jeanne R.

... large pieces should not be made solid because the surface will crack
.......polystyrene (Styrofoam), papier mache, wire wrapped with tissues, paste thinned with water on dried areas, etc., can be used as armatures
....if under polymer clay, I cure
Cold Porcelain Paste in the oven right before I cover (about two hours for every inch thick at about 175 dgrees--- and this is even after you think they are totally air-dried!).... if it is not completely dried, it will cause polymer clay to get bubbles; and with the liquid clays, a texture similar to coarse sandpaper will develop under the skin of the liquid clay even though the CPP is perfectly smooth. .
...If not used immediately and if living in high humidity climates, they will absorb moisture and cause problems (I've had no problems if used as soon as removed from oven and cooled). Jeanne R.

molds & texturing
... I used some molds and the CPP shrank just enough to be able to pop out (less than 10%). I could run my fingernail around the inside rim, but no more...
remove only once totally dried
...since the CPP is so smooth, it takes textures and molds beautifully
......but when using silicone molds, it takes a very long time to dry..... If dried thoroughly, it does not stick to silicone molds, but if still wet, it will stick. The silicone molds can be put into the oven at the same 165 +/- to completely dry, Jeanne R.


Craft Porcelain Modeling Material
(by Amaco)
Craft Porcelain (aka Porcelana Fria) modelling is a relatively new craft which is growing in popularity.
"...The mixture and art method, while common in South America, is not well known in the United States.. . ."
...Craft Porcelain Inc. (currently selling in USA, United Kingdom, Australia and South America) ...Craft Porcelain SRL is our manufacturing facility in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Cold Porcelain Creations, Florida... they also sell a large pasta-type roller for the clay
(link deactivated --now an "attack site") http://www.coldporcelaincreations.com/coldporcelainpaste.htm

http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/livingtoday/020915/art.shtml ..beautiful flowers
"Mixing cornstarch, grease, Elmer’s glue and lemon juice, Maria McMunn concocts a white clay-like material that she transforms into realistic flowers, leaves and other pieces such as seahorses and starfish she affixes to bathroom accessories or decorative boxes. . . . Maria's clay is air-dried, taking from one to three days to cure, depending on thickness...."

" Geraldine's recipe"
When using N.T. (non-toxic) Paste Cold Porcelain, some shrinkage will occur. We recommend that you increase sizing to accommodate for this shrinkage until you have experience in making and using N.T. Paste (Cold Porcelain). Ingredients:
3 tblsp Mineral Oil** 2 tblsp Sodium Benzoate (above) 5 oz. White School Glue (NON-TOXIC)
MUST BE WASHABLE (must be "School"??)1 tblsp Water 1 cup Cornstarch**

Asi Es
Cold Porcelain is sold in Holland (Martha Regtering?) ....but really from Buenos Aires, Argentina?
Titi Pain, manufacturer and artist?....

http://www.sugarcraft.com/catalog/gumpaste/BCP.JPEG Cold Porcelain Projects (book by Margaret Ford)
http://www.lisandrascreations.com/revistas.html Curso Practico de Modelado en Porcelana Fria (magazine)
http://www.sugarcraft.com/catalog/gumpaste/CP-Works1.jpg C.P. Works magazine & Cold Porcelain Magazine (translations?)
...also Modela con Pasta Flexible (bread dough clay?)


air-dry clays with various ingredients --some (or all?) contain ground "minerals" ("stone")...mostly flesh-colored "doll" clays

info on these very fine air-dry clays at polymerclayexpress

Premier . . . " A natural stone air dried clay of exceptional strength and versatility. Fine grained and malleable it offers strength to small doll parts and permits crafting thin, but strong projects. Sticks to any core material: wire, wood, glass or paper. Can be carved, sanded and polished when dry. Raw clay can be added even when dried hard. Paint with any type of paint when dry. Can be mixed with LaDoll for the added strength of Premier and the beauty of LaDoll . . ."

LaDoll clay . . ."It's a Japanese clay (stone-ground mineral clay, air drying, pale gray-white)."
...I've seen it. It is a very very fine clay and resembles porcelain. Never used it, although the folks I know who work with paper clays say it is fabulous. Linda
...La doll clay is an air drying clay brand. I have worked with it when i made dolls but I like polymer clays better... La Doll sometimes cracks when it is drying! --depends on how much water you use with it and how humid is the room you are letting it dry in . . . When you are finished with sculpting with ladoll you proberly need to sand your sculpture first and then paint it with an acrylic paint and then you can varnish it..
.. All clay is expensive here in Holland but if you look at how much a brick a fimo/premo cost then the La Doll isn't at all expensive here. Ria

...a "Satin Smooth stone clay. Sticks to any core material, wire,wood, glass or paper. Can be carved, sanded, and polished when dry. Raw LaDoll can be added to dried LaDoll. Paintable with any type of paint, once dried.... for doll making where skin tones are important"
express.com/dollmaking.html (one supplier of LaDoll)

FormoFit and LaDoll ...They are all Japanese air dry clays.... Right now I am working with LaDoll. It is a little bit smoother and I find it nicer to work with than FormoFit. But it is the same brand and almost the same price. This clay is wonderfull.
...Totally different from the polymerclays of course. It has advantages and disadvantages. I like the clay because you can, after it is dry, sculpt it by cutting it with a knife, so correct it that way, sandpaper it, etc and after you wet the dry clay with water you can add more wet clay and so on, till you are satisfied. . . . When it is finished and completely dry you have to sandpaper it and polish it. That is hard work, that is the disadvantage part of the clay. . . .After polishing, use a brush to get rid of all the dust and then you can paint it. I use ordinary paint that is used to paint walls (waterbased). I colour it with acryl-or watercolorpaint and add lots of mineralwater. I painted the parts 6 times, do not tuch the parts anymore, because of the grease on your fingers.Paint de details of the fingers, eyes, lips, etc. Than put protecting spray on it. Glue the eyelashes and put a gloss varnish on the nails, eyes, mouth.


Deco Clay is probably the same thing ... but comes in several colors... http://www.decoclay.com

Epoxy and other Putty clays
for sculpting/carving (before completely dry)

Milliput, a UK product, is similar to Magic Sculpt.... Another epoxy clay or sculpting compound is Aves Epoxy Sculpt.

"Milliput http://www.milliput.co.uk/home.htm . . . .the Micromark catalog has Milliput also
specially made epoxy compound for the restoration of porcelain and other ceramics. Milliput Superfine White has a very fine grain and pure white in color. Milliput Terra-Cotta has a fine to medium grain. Both colors have a easy 1:1 mixing ratio. ...Both of the putties will set in about 1 hour....adheres well to wood, metal, plastic, glass and porcelain surfaces. It can be easily shaped before hardening or after hardening, drilled, cut and sanded. It can also be tinted during mixing, or painted after drying. ..two 2-1/2 oz. bars (1 bar each of resin and hardener).
is one of my favorite expoxies. It's a 2 part, epoxy putty that molds like clay and cures hard (for sculpting when in partly hard stage). You can roll it as thin as 1/64 inch for making super detailed scale parts. One big advantage of this stuff is you can smooth it with a wet finger or tools and it cleans up with water before it cures. It gets leather hard in about 90 minutes and fully cures in 5 hours without heat (or sooner with a hair dryer). Carving this stuff is extremely difficult after it dries completely. You can get 4 ounces of putty for around $12.

Pliacre is a two-part epoxy putty, which may be hard to find these days

Gapoxio epoxy clay... tips http://www.miniworlddolls.com/Goodstuff/TipsGapoxio.htm

if you don't need the finest grade, you can probably find a suitable substitute at any hardware store -- it's epoxy putty, usually found in the plumbing section. Comes in a plastic tube, in the form of a cylinder of putty with a white center and green "rind." You mix the two together until it's white again and then sculpt away. (see warning though above in Ben David's descriptions of clays)
http://www.hirstarts.com/sculpt/sculpting.html (sculpting with epoxy ... he allows the putty to sit for 10 min. or so several times to firm up to the point he wants)

try Plumber's Putty, available at most hardware stores, to fill cracks in your cured sculpture pieces.
...looks like a bullseye cane, just slice and mix.
...once the two parts are mixed, you can press it into your work and let it cure (this happens pretty fast so, don't waste time!)
...once cured, it can be sanded and painted. Donna Kato

self hardening clays that mimic what epoxies do:.

FIXIT and Apoxie Sculpt are synthetic ...can be an alternative to sculpting with polymer clay

Apoxie Sculpt,.. Apoxie Clay, and FIXIT .... loads of info about the characteristics and differences between them
0% shrinkage
…they do stick to polymer clays.
... adhere to almost everything (even sticking to it's own cured self), yet harm almost nothing.
....no baking required....non-toxic, no fumes, no gloves required, super adhesive, non-shrinking, super strong and long lasting
...are waterproof, can be painted, filed, sanded, tapped, drilled, etc.
...can even be used on foam (polystyrene foam?) without damage, as the products contain no solvents. They are putty-like in consistency.
...have a working time of about 3 hours; projects needing longer working times are no trouble. Simply finish what you can, then mix up some more and continue working by adding on to where you left off
...The Chicago Field Museum used Apoxie Sculpt exclusively to restore Dinosaur Sue, the full size T-Rex they are exhibiting.... Disney has used these products for many years.
...Doll makers use for repairs and restorations, as well as for originial work
.. Some even mix them with polymer clays to strengthen the finished products. Chuck
....Some miniaturists and modelers mix 2 parts Apoxie Sculpt to 1 part Kneadatite for modeling and detailing.

Apoxie Sculpt from AVES Studio
. . has 10 colors and 2 metals-- (I ordered cream to try & what I got was an unattractive dull silvery gray.).
... if it's sticky, wet your clay, tools or hands to avoid for awhile (Karen)
...an amazing sculpting, repair, restoration and fabrication product

...a self-hardening, 2-part, synthetic clay....putty-like feel.
...cures hard overnight (24 hour full cure).... 0% shrinkage...strongly adheres to almost any clean surface (...
can take up to 350o heat)
http://www.clayalley.com/apoxie.htm (Apoxie Sculpt ...at Clay Alley)

(The armature in my figure are wire wrapped with fusible fleece)...(after baking and before dessing) the head and hands were covered with Apoxie Sculpt (before adding final polymer clay?) ... while Apoxie isn't as light as foil, there's no chance of getting a trapped air bubble that will later crack clay, and Apoxie is rock hard when it dries. DivaLea

For best results in achieving a thin sheet with all of these products:
... knead thoroughly and let it rest for an hour... roll in-between sheets of waxed paper coated with vaseline, and let rest again
...just before it cures or sets (about 2 hours from first mixing), you should be ready to shape it.
. .polymer clay will adhere, but best adhesion occurs before the epoxy completely cures
. . You can freeze mixed epoxy for up to 3 days to extend the working time.
....You can also mix it, once kneaded, with polymer clay. I like a blend of 2/3 epoxy to 1/3 polymer (Fimo seems to work best) for a medium that's easier to use, though not as strong, and has a working time of about 5 hours before it sets up. Katherine Dewey

FIXIT comes in ceramic white and Aluminum. It is a great structural enhancer, but is also used for complete sculptures. It has more uses than I could even tell you.
....The drawbacks for an artist such as myself are many though... Once painted, one must be careful with the artwork as the paint chips off very easily. If I must sand & prime for better adherence it is not worth my time. Also, without an armature it slags down once molded. I sculpted a miniature (1" tall) dragon and sat it down to harden. when I went back to it 30 minutes later it had all but flattened out.

Acrylic clays?

the Acylic modeling paste, or a product called Form-it, a plastic mousse. It's perfect for light weight sculptures and landscapes. (see also Liquid Sculpey, Diluent paste, etc.)--could use as an armature?
~The brand (of modeling paste) I have used for a design class and as grout for some pc mosaics is Liquitex. It is found in the same area as the Gel Medium and Gesso i.e. among the painting supplies. Kat
~I have done 3-d sculptures, etc on wood....using Modeling Paste.....It is just the right consistency to go thru the cake decorating tubes. . . . (I also used a pallete knife on large items giving it form. It air dries, & is very durable...You can put paint in it prior to using, but...I would normally paint it after was dry & usually then antique..and varnish...the end result appeared to be a wood carving.... but for the cake decorations, since it is white, would prob. not need any further treatment. Before I found polymer clay, it was my main craft..and did very well at craft shows....Be sure the Modeling Paste is fresh......or you will be disappointed.... It is acrylic, however, and can be thinned down with water..... donna (mamadonna)

MISC. clays?

Crayola's "Wet Set" by Crayola...…the new water-curing clay from Crayola.
... This modeling clay is soft and pliable indefinitely until submersed in water. It comes in three colors: natural, moss, and terra cotta. It can be painted with acrylic, tempera, or watercolors. Shelly
...This is good stuff, and allows unlimited modeling until you choose to set the clay.
.......What people don't mention is that the water only penetrates a short distance into the clay -so if you model a solid figurine, only a thin shell of not more than 1/4 inch ( 0.5 cm) thick actually hardens and the clay inside is wasted.....so model hollow figures, or use a core of plaster or another cheap material. Ben

There are two "new" clays out on the market. One is called "Microclay." It is a modeling material that can be microwaved or baked in a conventional oven to cure. Colored tempera can be added to the wet clay before curing. It can be painted with any paint after baking. Shelly (where do you buy this??)

...see Hasbro's wax formula (for sculpting toys) below in Dane's Tips

Enlargement . . . "expanding urethane"

HydroSpan ... two-part urethane polymer which will expand 60% (or x1.6) after soaking in water, so any 3-D object (a sculpt, mold, pattern, real world object, etc.) you can create a mold for, can be increased in size (repeatedly, by 60%, if you wish) ... working life =10 min, full cure = 24 hr . . . feels dry to the touch even if cut... "simply make silicone (or polymer clay?) molds from small objects and directly enlarge them. . .
....a flexible urethane polymer, which over time absorbs individual molecules of water deep into itself until it is completely saturated....as water is absorbed the polymer matrix stretches to accommodate the in coming water ... Hardness of cured HydroSpan (before soaking) =45 Shore A, hardness of expanded HydroSpan (after soaking for 14 days @ 72°) =35 Shore A."


general info

To attach clay pieces to each other, see Armatures and Glues.
To strengthen or bulk up the inside of sculpts using compacted aluminum foil, wire, or other materials as an armature, see Armatures

To use a glass ball or bulb (or wood ball,etc) as a form or core over which to create/sculpt a figure or head, see Covering > Glass Balls & Lightbulbs, and Christmas > Glass Ball Ornaments

find images on the Web to study:
1.Google's "Image Search" feature . . . just enter the type of image you want to see (e.g., a koala, pineapple, sunset) and Google will display *many* http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en (Image Search)
http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en (Advanced Image Search)
2. enter the word "clipart" after whatever you want to find (for example: squirrel clipart), then follow all the links it brings up (these may be mostly graphic drawings).
..for costume (hair,hats,jewelry,etc.) and ethnic faces, see Costume category under Non-Polymer categories

There are an amazing number of shapes you can make with your hands alone!
...A great exercise (for beginners or anyone) is just to play for an hour or two and just see how many shapes you can come up with (I save these in a box for future reference and inspiration).
. . Try to use different areas of your hands and fingers, different amounts of pressure, and different kinds of pinching or pressing, then see what you come up with. (Don't worry about trying to make particular shapes as much as seeing what what things happen when you use certain motions.)
...Actually, just about every shape in polymer clay begins with a smooth ball (or a rolled out sheet). This is the one way we can eliminate all seams, cracks, lumps, etc., so just keep rolling in your palms until the surface is completely smooth.
....Then some of the motions you can use for making your shapes are:
rolling, pinching, pressing, twisting, coiling, stretching/lengthening/etc.
So, after you've rolled a smooth ball in your hands, you could:
...press the shape into a cube, or long or short rectangle
..taper one end by rolling it smaller (for a teardrop or a longer carrot shape... if you flatten this shape on its non-pointed end, you'll have a cone)
...roll your ball into a log (and then you might want to press it into a square, /triangular, or rectangular log, or another shape).
...(could also use a toothpick, knitting needle, or larger rod to roll crosswise over clay logs to indent it, like the posts under a stair railing, or spiral or coil these logs or tapered logs)
. . . In addition to pressing or rolling with your hands, you can use your work surface as a sort of third hand to create flat surfaces (think of flattening the bottom of a teardrop shape to form a Hershey's kiss shape or cone as above)
...After you've developed a basic vocabulary of shapes, you'll have the tools for figuring out how to many just about any shape!
(...for more ideas for shapes and how to make them, also see these pages:
Beads > "Rolling Beads by Hand," and Sculpting Body & Tools)
...There are also sculpting, miniature, and beads/jewelry books you can buy which show many of these kinds of things in detail. Diane B.

A good place to start may be making shapes. Balls, cones, teardrops, snakes, coils...etc. Everything in life is made of those shapes. Once you've started doing these, you may very well "see" something in the shapes. Like a teddy bear made of balls and discs with a cone for a party hat. Also you could play with pushing things into the clay (texturing). A toothbrush to give a fur effect, or crumbled aluminium foil to give a stone texture. Fabric, paper doilies..etc. Maddy

To create a very thick sheet of clay, or a solid rectangular shape like a cube,etc.,, it's a good idea to begin with a stack of pasta machined sheets rather than simply rolling out a pad of clay ... this will make sure the top surface is exactly parallel to the bottom surface
...good for making some cane elements too

I have continued working on a large doll after leaving it for weeks. But I would not try to re-sculpt areas that I had left for a long time (i.e. a few days or more) as the clay does stiffen up and is likely to tear (unless it's gentle warmed up again or only gentle pushes, etc., are used).

too-soft clay ...if you have hot hands, or are working in a hot environment, or like to work and work your clay (especially when using soft clays or Premo, you can use marble work surface or gel packs, etc. to help clay or canes cool down), see Conditioning > Cooling
on the dollmakers list, there has been a lot of talk how some freeze their dolls just before baking! Sue Heaser

so I can paint small pieces more easily, I attach a small object to the top of the golf tee with Fun tack . The golf tees can then be stuck into floral foam or something similar for drying. Cynthia

using armatures inside clay sculpts, for most info see Armatures-Permanent --and possibly Armatures-Temporary

To add weight to a sculpture (base, or any part). . .
...or help a figure to stand up (or kneel, or whatever) in just the right way. Janey
....if you only need to add a small bit of weight, you could imbed a BB or two in the piece. Joanie
...tiny sinkers that fisherpersons use. These come almost as small as BB shot, and I got a box of them assorted for under $4.00. (a hundred.) What I do for weight in a piece is select a sinker (or cut one up) that is small enough to hide in the clay object. Since these are lead, they cut easily, and weigh a lot for their size.
....For really big pieces, I have used metal washers, and those work too. Just be sure to bury the metal well into the clay, as you don't want to "find" it when sanding and buffing. Janey

Joining parts:
....for many techniques for making successful joins between clay pieces (raw to raw...raw to baked... and baked to baked), see
Glues > Some Bonding Techniques... and Armatures-Permanent)

(re making a smooth join between connected ends of extruded) ropes of clay, I cut both ends on a diagonal so when I join, then ends overlap a little. Then I roll the overlapped section between my fingers and smooth. Desiree

liquid clay also makes a great glaze/protection of small pieces that might get knocked off with wear and tear eg....whiskers on my bunnies or cats, or flower stems/leaves in my mini baskets. Victoria

A fews weeks ago I asked for suggestions how to salvage a scorched (figure). I wanted to paint it (all over) to give it a bronze or pewter look.
Several of you suggested using Future and Pearl-ex. I mixed the silver Pearl Ex and a tiny bit of gold Pearl-ex together before adding Future (to them)...mixing the two powder colors together seemed to take away some of the brassy look of the gold). mary (yields a bright, shiny, dark-silver or light-pewter finish)
... for more ideas, see also below at the bottom of "Keeping White Clay White"

BAKING & partial backing
(most info about baking polymer clay is in Baking... most info about partial baking is in Baking > Multiple,Partial Baking)
...If you make a figure out of clay and keep a heat-gun handy, you can heat sections of the figure AS you build it ...and save yourself the trouble of an armature. The technique works REMARKABLY well..... it also saves propping them up in the oven, and the heartbreak of splitting.
.....The baking may not be complete <always> but you'd be surprised how this material TRANSMITS heat throughout its structure. Heat a foot and the WHOLE THING hardens. I doubt you get maximum strength (could repeated partial baking be a problem?), but it's perfect for small original sculptures with protruding parts.
.....The only thing you have to watch for is NOT to overheat the thin parts or they'll scorch and even burn.. so 'waft' over it. (a bit more on heat guns is in Tools)
...PolymerClayFan heats sections of a sculpt with a heat gun as it's built so it won't get fingerprints or distortion... he gives his SuperSculpey sculpt a final bake to thoroughly cure it (setting oven at 250, but putting sculpt in oven at 200, then bakes at 250 for 30 minutes
...Katie's lesson on baking a standing. figure
...... to make sure the feet are really flat, and the
weight of the sculpt is well-balanced over the feet (& because that can change slightly when the clay softens during baking), she
firsts partially cures just the feet of a med-small sculpt by heating it with a heat gun or hair drying while it's standing on a ceramic plate or sheet of glass (not in oven)
......after cooling, she hangs it in the oven from an oven rack (by an "armature wire" she's left sticking out of the top of the head) with its feet on a plate and bakes it for 8 min in standing position
......lays it down on a cloud of fiberfill (with a bit of fiberfill over the projecting hands and feet), then bakes for an additional 15 min+... cools in oven
....Bunny's lesson & explanation on using a heat gun (to cure fingers of a sculpture to a certain shape, in this case)
http://www.thewildbunny.com/HeatGun.htm (gone)


ALSO read Light & White Clay, Keeping Clean just below for more ideas (...some overlap with this sub-category)

firmer brands of clay get fewer fingerprints than softer ones like Sculpey and FimoSoft... Kato or FimoClassic best in this regard, Premo in-between)

allow clay to cool, esp. before final finishing step
...then run your hands under cold water (or on a gel ice pack) to cool them a while.
It probably helps that I have small cool fingers and a light touch. Sarajane
I work a little while, and then sit my piece on marble or glass so the clay cools and stiffens up a little
..... then I go back again later, and do a little more (amazing what you can touch the next time, and how much more control you have over the clay).
...I also use a light dusting of powder once I get it smooth which makes it easy to make even smoother with no fingerprints. Jeanne

to keep my fingers smooth, I use Curel hand lotion on my hands, and also a mix of lanolin and cocoa butter, and keep my hands from being too rough.Sarajane
...Also, to keep your fingertips smooth, it helps to apply hand lotion several times a day, even when you are not claying
.. I started using an exfoliating scrub on my face every other day or so. Since using that, it has also exfoliated my hands, making them very smooth.

Cultivate a "light touch" when sculpting as opposed to a heavy hand (...use a finger to "pet" the clay and remove any fingerprints that appear). Sarajane
....Maureen suggests using a series of light fingertip pats while sculpting and shaping clay, rather than pressing firmly on the clay surface.... It was easy to adapt my sculpting techniques to light taps and strokes, and after awhile they developed a natural rhythm. The end result is fewer fingerprints.

After years of using only Super Sculpey, I developed a few techniques that suited my heavy handed touch:
...the first was leaching
the 2nd was moistening my tools and finger tips with water to reduce drag. (Dewey?)

if you see shiny areas on your raw clay, it probably means that you smoothed the clay more in certain areas (with tool or finger)
to remove that shine, you can 'wet' the surface with water and rub ...something I recommend to do before painting anyway. Jodi

For rolling even logs of clay (without fingerprints), roll the clay log under a sheet of glass or plexiglas. DB

cleaning ...and/or smoothing

OLD DUST (before baking):
If left uncovered, over time raw clay items or just hunks of raw clay will get covered with dust, which is hard to remove!
...some possibilities for removing old dust (more details on these + more possibilities discussed above or below):
......try using various "solvents" like water, alcohol (91% best), acetone, or even liquid clay or Diluent-Softener --on a brush or a wipie or anything that seems to work, then smooth out again (use light strokes, rubs, till you see how each is working)
...try slicing off, cutting off, or somehow abraiding off just the topmost layer of clay, especially in the worst areas, then smooth out again
.....one abraision idea is using Bon Ami or cornstarch as a very-very fine grit, rubbing it around... they rinse off pretty easily from raw clay
Or BAKE the items first, then do one of the following things till the top layer is gone:
.....sand them using wet wet-dry-sandpaper, or sanding sponges, or 0000 or other grades of steel wool (after doing those, you'd need to then buff the abraided areas to get back the finish you had before, or use a liquid acrylic finish on the areas in a gloss, satin or maybe matte, depending on the look you want)
....texture the areas (even lightly) to hide the dust... or add metallic wax (or metallic powder in a medium) to the higher areas of the whole figure or just to the worst spots... or just paint over those areas (acrylic paints) or use light washes. Diane B (more details on all below)

....I also use a pointed blob of Blu Tack to pick off any cat hairs, specks, whatever has landed on the raw clay while I'm working. Pat
...a fairly sticky clay like Sculpey is good for picking up bits on hands, tools, work surfaces too
.....I pick up little cat hairs and shmutz on the surface of clay scotch tape . . . I sometimes even use one of those sticky lint rollers for larger areas (be careful with the lint roller though - once it stuck to the clay itself almost destroying the design. I guess less contact is more?). Kathy S.
(more ide


water is my savior for making softer looking sculpts and smoothing clay.
....... I use it on my tools by pre-dipping them.
....... I use it on my fingertips while sculpting (always in an up & down finger motion, so the ridges of my finger prints don't transfer to the clay).
Wayne the Dane

...gently rub a moist finger over the raw clay (if you're using Sculpey, Premo or Kato... not best for the Fimo's)
.....I have found that a tiny bit of wetness applied to a smooth tool will aid in smooshing clay, even Fimo.

.before painting on clay, and to remove any "shiny" spots on raw clay , you can 'wet' the surface of your piece with water and rub. Jodi
......will help rid untextured areas of bumps and ridges
......or will
soften texture in textured areas

very mild abrasives:
...a litte baby powder (or cornstarch) on the tip of your finger, rubbed onto the clay surface in a light circular motion, usually smooths out the prints, and I find that it alnost gives the clay a buff shine even before you bake.....Robin
..."finger buffing" the surface with cornstarch or talcum powder is good for large areas...nice for smoothing eggs

(....for more on using powders, liquid, oils, etc., like Bon Ami, SoftScrub, Vaseline, etc. to smooth, "sand," or get rid of fingerprints, look in Sanding > Smoothing Before Sanding > Abraisives and also "Solvents")

baby oil...I use just enough to make my fingers moist but not "wet" (for lightly rubbing over the clay to smooth)
....vegetable oil is good with very light brush work when you have time to let it dry out. Wayne the Dane
...putting on a bit of nose oil (yes, that is oil that is found around your nose) also helps put a soft sheen on the clay. Pauline

waterless hand cleaners
...Maureen Carlson uses Waterless Hand Cleaner for brushing down her Fimo sculptures
o avoid fingerprints, I sometimes brush the piece with my finger coated with the Sani-Tuff cream that WeeFolk sells (nice orange-smelling

try KY lotion or aloe vera to smooth clay -- I think the KY is mostly glycerin?

...using an antibacterial wipe (with alcohol) is good for getting color that has smeared from one place to another on an item (one of my young students used them in this way in a class last year. We were making penguins and the red from the scarf had gotten on the white).Cindy
...I use a baby wipe that has been dipped in baby oil to remove lint and fingerprints ... go easy tho --doesn't take much pressure! Alecia

alcohol alone
...polymerclayfan uses 91% rubbing alcohol alone (on a brush, or sponge) to smooth his clay, though overuse will make the clay tacky temporarily
...... he feels 99% is too strong, and 70% is weak enough that it takes much longer

alcohol (+ Diluent-Softener)
.....Yes, rubbing alcohol with a few drops of Diluent-Softener has been advised by various artists. Katherine Dewey, Patrick (Disney artist),etc.
........it seems to vary around 1 oz. of alcohol per 2 drops of Diluent

.... for .Sculpey, Premo, Kato: mix Sculpey Diluent and ispropyl alcohol together, then using as a smoothing agent (this is what we always recommended at Polyform. ..Donna Kato
.......(some people seem to think denatured works better than isopropyl)
...don't use too much though because it does soften and melt the unbaked clay, and can
eliminate texture
...using 91% alcohol (from drugstore, stronger type of rubbing alcohol)...add 1 drop of Diluent per 2 ounces w/ soft brush.
......all the way up to half & half (the Sculpey book says half & half, but others say this is way too much...it seems to work for me with no adverse effects.) Annette
(see next for using this to "brush down")
"BRUSHING DOWN" (see just above for exact recipes)
..."brushing down" (with alcohol & Diluent-Softener) is the technique preferred by industry sculptors who work in polymer clay, and it's the last step before a piece goes into the oven for baking (if needed)

.......It takes some practice to determine the right touch and the right amount of flow, but it's a life saver.
.......wipe the brush on a paper towel, and carefully brush your sculpture
....If you must touch the work, wear gloves or finger cots, because the alcohol will soften the clay.
...also place your sculpture on its baking stand before you brush it down, and let it rest several hours before you bake it.
....It can be sanded (start at 320 or 400 grit, and work your way up to the higher numbers)

However... brushing down with solvents like alcohol or turpenoid will break the bond between baked & unbaked clay when
trying to do things like add baked legs or arms to an unbaked body. Katherine Dewey

lesson uses mineral spirits (on crosshatched clay for skin), from paint-sculpt.com)

....some people use acetone
....some also use lighter fluid for brushing down very rough areas as it's a more agressive solvent. Katherine Dewey

If the area is heavily textured and you want to rid it of burrs caused by creating the texture, a soft synthetic sable brush should do the trick, especially if you use artist Maureen Carlson's (older?) technique of using a filbert brush that's been groomed** with polymer clay.... The brush cleas the clay of burrs as you brush the rough areas smooth.
**To groom a brush, start with a dry sable artist's brush. Squeeze and flatten a 1/8" ball of well-conditioned white clay between your thumb and index finger. Leave the clay on your fingertips and squeeze the brush at the base of the bristles. Keeping pressure on the clay and bristles, pull the brush handle. The idea is to press the clay into the bristles while squeezing from the ferrule (metal part) to the tip. Repeat this process until the clay has worked itself into the middle of the bristles. Pressure is the key. When you are finished, you should end up with nearly as much excess clay as you started with. The object is to coat the bristles with clay residue. You won't be able to see the clay in the brush but it will look almost oily. Once the bristles have been conditioned this way, they are stiffer and you can pinch and shape them. You may only need to groom a brush once. After that, stroking it against the clay during use is often enough to keep it in prime condition. J Maddigan

(see also sculpting over plastic wrap for smoothing before baking, just below)

(see also the Dane's discussion on "Creating Smooth Sculpts" in the sub-category below called Tips on Sculpting and Painting)

smoothing... tools & gloves

Using the tapered end of a knitting needle as a roller helps to create smooth surfaces and is my all time favorite modeling tool.

After reading that Jodi Creager recommended using an agate stone to smooth out fingerprints, etc., I decided to try a very old stone tailors egg (or darners egg).
....I couldn't get along without a Finger Presser from Clover (like a bone folder?)- it's a small plastic tool that stitchers (quilters particularily) use to press a seam flat. I use it for all sorts of things from smoothing the edges of clay to indenting to making impressions. Nancy

Place finished raw sculpts in the freezer a few min's ...then lightly rub a small polished rock over surface
.... then go over it with a small, soft bristled brush and Sculpey Clay Softener (Diluent). sculpey.com

more on blending seams
... I learned that it is often more effective to roll the tool along the clay when blending parts than to slide it along
...I bet if there was a way to warm our tools we would be able to smoosh better. What if we keep them on a heating pad?
...to smudge effectively, what tool is best? Knitting needles are ok, but too smooth....a rounded pencil eraser actually works pretty well for me since it has some friction between the eraser and the clay.
...Another smooshing trick is to take a tiny drop of Sculpey Diluent plus a tiny bit of the colored clay that you want to smoosh. Mix them together on your work surface until what you have is a tiny pile of sticky paste
Now, use your tapered-tip color shaper to spread the glorp between the two unwilling surfaces and blend, blend, blend. . .Katherine Dewey?

How on earth do you manage to sculpt with gloves on?Or are my hands just weird? The fingertips are always so baggy on latex and nylon gloves that I feel like a clutz if I try to do any work with my fingers. Come to think of it,why are fingertips so baggy in gloves? Manx
....I buy latex gloves at the local Eckert drug store, $5.99 for 50. They come in sizes, so I get the small size and they are a snug fit.
I use them over and over, cleaning them between sessions by spraying a little Armour-All on them before I take them off and rubbing it in, then wiping off the excess with a towel.
......I rub a little baby powder on my hands before I put them back on.
The gloves get a little baggy after while, but I save them for the messy stuff, like mixing Pearl-Ex with clay and the like. mjski
....The ones I tried that fit snuggly were from home depot, or a store like that, in the painting section. They were less expensive than the generic ones at the grocery store too.... they were easy to work with, which surprised me...all due to a good fit. Lori
....I use gloves almost religiously when I work with clay. I use bare hands for any sculpting, then towards the end, I use only one glove on my less dominant hand to hold with and smooth out with my bare hand. I look like Michael Jackson, but hey, it works.
..... For beads and other small things I always use gloves. I either buy them in a 5 pack and reuse them over and over again (cleaning in between) or get a box of small sized gloves (the small ones fit perfect on my hands-no bagginess at all), non powdered, non texured from a medical supply store. (The one-size fits all are good only in a pinch.) Valerie
...Lycra (a brand name for spandex) are NOT latex.. very thin, hands don't sweat, hypoallergenic, no powders inside (but do have a "skin conditioner/protectant")
.......new gloves called ProCraft have been available since late 2004 (made from Lycra)
..........I absolutely LOVE these... they feel good, and I can do detail work with my polymer clay VERY well. I'm truly impressed with them. Mary Clare
.........buy them online at http://www.procraftgloves.com ...or check one of these places for best price, bulk, etc. http://tinyurl.com/5a4z9
(same as those first promoted in the high tech, medical, and food processing industries, and for personal protection (military, postal, law enforcement) but Wilshire Technologies)
(for more info on these , see Safety-Health > Gloves --also used by those who get rashes from handling polymer clay)

Our local Walmart carries finger cots...about $1.25 for a dozen asst. sizes. (or drug stores)
....I don't use gloves, as I find them uncomfortable, but I do use finger cots (on all fingers?) made by Renco
http://www.rencogloves.com/ for the last stages of a sculpt. They make latex and nitrile gloves and cots. Even though they have some big customers (NASA), they have little ones, too (Elvenwork). . . . Initially, I wear cots on all the fingers of my left (holding hand) and all but the blending fingers (thumb, index and second fingers) of my right hand. I use water so these fingers glide over the clay. Sometimes, this is followed by a talc rub down to burnish the surface when I wear cots on all fingers. I know there are folks who have this thing about talc, but with some clays, namely the insoluble clays that blend easily, it works better than corn starch. Katherine Dewey

smoothing .... plastic wrap & bags
(...raw clay, or raw clay onto baked...)

...I've been smoothing finished raw pieces lightly before baking by laying a sheet of plastic over the clay,
then rubbing the fingerprints out gently through the plastic .....food storage bags seem to be about the right weight. Wayne the Dane

SCULPT SOFT DETAILS OVER plastic for RAW clay: (from Wayne the Dane)
...place soft clear plastic on top of clay area to be sculpted or detailed, then use (a non-sharp) tool to sculpt clay through the plastic for soft detailing (won't create sharp edges though if that's what you want
..........the thinner the plastic, the finer the details that can be achieved in the clay
the trick is to keep the plastic stationary ...only the tool should move
..... for maximum detailing and minimum mushing, remove plastic between each tool stroke

PLASTIC EXAMPLES: both layers of a freezer bagfor the la rger details like body muscles
........sandwich bags for medium details ....
thinnest plastic possible for very fine details.

ADDING RAW clay to BAKED clay:
....stretch the plastic taut over your thumb or forefinger to smooth the unbaked clay onto the baked clay (keeps clay from sticking to your fingers)
........use to 'blend' the seams of unbaked clay to a baked surface (so unbaked parts won't stand out)
........or use to add translucent clay to baked clay when you want the most translucency (spreads raw clay very thinly)

liquid acrylics & liquid clays ...before baking

Applying a liquid finish often brings out fingerprints and small imperfections unless you put on 3 or more coats
....(so sanding the baked clay before applying the finish --and/or using other smoothing techniques on raw clay-- will make the liquid finish look a lot better...and you'll need fewer coats). Dotty

I discovered this technique due to very hot hands and the need to hold a bead in one place for a long time to do inlays & bas reliefs
....I put a couple of thin coats of Future on my raw clay piece, and then let it dry overnight....I apply the bas reliefs & inlays the next morning (after the coating has set on the bead and before curing), so I don't distort the bead and also don't leave fingerprints .
... ('m also convinced that this makes the item stronger (or at least less prone to chipping) because there seems to be a blend of polymers that just curing and then "Futuring" doesn't give it ....the sheen is a more gentle one, but buffs nicely to a higher one). Kelly

liquid clay...just pulled angel out of the oven and she has the most beautiful skin because of TLS (recommended by someone to cover fingerprints). ....Not only did the TLS produce a smooth and matte and almost a flat finish, it was applied over a painted sculpture (eyebrows, thinted skin, etc).
....I thinned the TLS with Diluent, cleaned my brush with alcohol, and painted the thinnest of layers over the fleshy parts of my sculpture. I baked it at 275 degrees for 20 min and she did just fine (the final coatingwas so thin that higher, recommended temps weren't necessary).
.....Although the finish was matte, there were some rough spots where the TLS had flowed due to heat and gravity. These imperfections, visible only under magnification, proved difficult to deal with. TLS is very hard and is difficult to sand.. Katherine Dewey
..TLS creates a very matte and slightly textured finish. When I've used it, I couldn't (even) tell it was there.... I'd try thinning it - quite a bit (set aside a small amount and thin that... a little goes a long way). Desiree
..both Kato and Fimo liquid clays would be shinier and less matte than TLS

after baking

Diluent-Softener as a solvent will remove pigment stains and smudges from baked clay. . . Katherine Dewey

see more ways to remove stuff from baked clay just below "Keeping White Clay White" > Baked (including "washing" off debris and fingerprints after baking, by Diana W.

I just pulled angel out of the oven and she has the most beautiful skin because of TLS (recommended by someone to cover fingerprints).
... Not only did the TLS produce a smooth and matte and almost a flat finish, it was applied in this case over a painted sculpture (eyebrows, thinted skin, etc).
... I thinned the TLS with Diluent and cleaned my brush with alcohol, and painted the thinnest of layers over the fleshy parts of my sculpture.... I baked it at 275 degrees for twenty minutes and she did just fine. The layer was so thin that higher, recommended temps weren't necessary. Katherine Dewey

Various people have suggested making a second clay skin to cover the baked face in order to cover discolorations and fingerprints.

sand the dirty areas after baking with sandpaper or steel wool, etc.... then buff to degree of matte/sheen/gloss you want (see Sanding ...Buffing)

NoraJean advocates actually filing faces (and other sculpts) after an initial baking of the rough shape (she may begin with a mold). . .she feels that one has greater control using a jeweler's file (rather than sandpaper which removes too much) and one can go slower, etc., .. and that there's no chance of messing up the head by mishandling or dinging it (takes about an hour)... should also cover fingerprints and smooth
She then fills in all the file marks, and coats the whole skin, with skin colored clay mixed with a drop of TLS ...or TLS and acrylic paint for the details

paint over the dirty areas or whole sections or whole items
... use 2+ coats of acrylic paint for total coverage ... or just use a wash or acrylic or oil paint (see Paint)

apply metallic powder (in clear acrylic medium of the finish you want) to the bad areas or all high areas, etc.... or use metallic waxes (see Metallic Powders&Waxes...also Baking > Darkening, Scorching --fixes)

sequential molds... NoraJean advocates making a number of molds as you get closer and closer to the face you want to sculpt ...so sculpt-mold-make new head from that mold. . . sculpt-mold-make new head....etc . . . . then file

(not fingerprints, but...) plastisizers (from raw clay or incompletely cured clay) live on your hands also, and they love to eat the shine off of beautiful shiny finishes on finished pieces, so you shouldn't pick up anything with a beautiful finish on it without washing your hands eather!! leigh (see more in Baking > Gen.Info)

keeping WHITE clay or ANY clay . .clean!

How on EARTH do you keep white clay WHITE????
. . . Leave it in the original plastic wrap and look at it. It works every time . . .. ;-) . . . Jeanne

......(also read section just above on Smoothing, Fingerprints, Cleaning, for many more ideas ...some overlap)


Boy can I tell you about working with white clay!!!! (from Shane. . . who works a lot with only white clay):
--I clean my work area probably 3-4 times a day with a spray cleaner and paper towels.
--I do not wear dark clothing when I work.
--I try to keep the animals out of my studio.
--It has become habit (after 7,000 white angels) to only touch clay when my hands have first been cleaned and not to touch anything else in between. I don't work with the white then answer the phone then go back to work. I clean my hands when 'm off the phone.
--I clean my hands often by mooshing around a piece of white scrap clay in my hands to act as a tack cloth. If I actually washed my hands every time I wouldn't have any hands left!
--I wash (cleaner and water) between colors because the residue from other colors is the hardest to fix.
Embedded stuff I find while raw requires me to find the least obvious spot to dent the clay and refill. Shane
http://www.shanesangels.com/xmasangels.html and http://www.shanesangels.com/gallery.html

Just plain soap and warm water is one way to remove dirt and lint, etc. from your hands.
....I use a nailbush and scrub my hands...then I pour salt into my palms and a few drops of soap, a touch of water, and scrub everything..rinse, and air dry! Adria
...Soaking your hands in dishwater seems to remove a heck of a lot of that stuff. You can scrub the insides of your hands with a scrubbie pad, too. Dry your hands on white paper towels.
I've tried sanding my finger tips, and also alpha hydroxy lotions, and a host of other "solutions", all to no avail.. . K.Dewey

Oily substances will make dirt, etc., easy to wipe off or wash off
.. baby wipes are another favorite...they usually contain glycerin... some have alcohol, some don't
...Vaseline, or anything that has lanolin or glycerin such as hand lotion, works great and doesn't abuse the skin.

...i never use soap, water, or (some) towellettes.... the air here is so dry, my hands would crack and bleed.
.... while working with the clay, i use mineral oil and cloth rags to wash my hands.... when i've gone visiting, i use whatever cooking oil is in the cupboard. hand lotion also works, so does Vaseline. Sunni
... hand sanitizers that have alcohol AND glycerin in them should work adequately
. Desiree

Emulsifiers are excellent for removing all dirt, grime, lints, etc from your hands and work even better than soap and water
........so try any skin product that is designed to emulsify grease and oils

waterless hand cleaners ... some contain abrasives (pumice), and some don't
........they can be found in automotive stores, auto dept of Target, hardware stores, even grocery stores... usually in large plastic jars
........these are simply rubbed well all over the hands, then wiped off
.......Orange GOOP without pumice is recommended by Linda Peterson for removing oil and dirt from hands
.......Maureen Carlson use Sani-Tuff (and used to sell it at her online shop)
.......I found a really nice, nonabrasive hand cleaner that has lanolin in it.
.......I wash my hands about every 20 minutes with GoJo Pumice Orange (wal-mart, K-Mart etc...) you find it in the auto dept.
......... the pumice in it helps to clean deep, and this particular brand smells good and also conditions while it cleans

...... I use "Fast Orange" (their pumice formula -- they also make one without pumice, but that doesn't work as well as pumice formula does)...There are similar brands, but this is the only one I'm familiar with. I love this stuff!...
........ I use it to clean my hands, brushes and anything else). ....WalMart carries it; automotive supply stores have it; I've even seen it in grocery stores. ...
........for brushes, just work a bit into the bristles of the brush, then rinse the brush well with tap water. Comes out looking like new! Bonnie
.....My personal preference while working with polyclay is to apply generous amounts of cheap hand lotion, then wipe it off with paper towels, and repeat once or twice.... cleaner, then wash with soap and water.

washing my hands after working with clay what works VERY well in keeping my hands from getting too dry is this:
.... I squirt (a couple of squirts actually) some liquid soap (I use a generic brand) onto my hands (no water) and rub that around, then WITHOUT rinsing, I squirt (again a couple of squirts) some hand lotion onto my hands and rub that around really well until I can see no more residue from the clay on my hands. If there are stubborn spots, I take a nail brush to them (also to get under my nails).
...Then I rinse in warm water and dry my hands.
...Sometimes I will rub in more hand lotion into my hands, but usually I don't. My hands don't dry out anymore like they used to before I started doing this, and I get ALL the clay off my hands. I don't feel any clay residue on my hands anymore and they are nice and soft and not dried out. Judy

First make sure your work surface is clean. . . . I clean my work surface like crazy! . . .

I keep a chunk of old white clay handy & I spend a few minutes conditioning it in my hands & also rolling it across my work surface... It's amazing what the clay will pull off your hands even after all that cleaning. Joanie
...Angela uses a wad of SuperSculpey to wipe her hands
..... and she also uses it to wipe off the glossy-coated book covers she uses to sit her sculpts and component pieces on
http://www.emilysfairies.com/hints/Sculpt_Clean.pdf (needs Acrobat Reader)

I have a small length of masking tape, sticky side up, attached to my workboard. If I notice any unwanted cat, dog or beard hairs anywhere, I pick them off the work and stick them to the tape - where they stay! It works for me. Alan

Pat Smith turned us on to Tac N Stik. It's that blue, slightly gummy substance that you use to hang posters without leaving residue. I roll a wad of it in my hands and over my work surface before working with light clay, and it does minimize the lint and fuzz and dust. . . get the blue stuff -- the white or yellow type is not as effective. Irene NC
...After I read about a similar technique using Blue Tac, I thought "Aha!" and tried it, but it just didn't do the job well enough. Katherine Dewey

First I scrub my work surface. . . then I put down waxed paper.
...I wipe my pasta machine with oil... and then alcohol.
...Then I wash my hands with Ajax or Comet and dry them on white paper towels, not cloth ones. Cloth ones leave tiny shreds of fabric that show up on the white clay.
...Then I go to work. Very carefully. Fun, huh? But it really helps me to follow this routine. Dotty in CA

Alcohol is great for cleaning tools and worksurfaces
...it can be used occasionally for hands, but is too drying to use alone regularly on hands
...... alcohol also
facilitates absorption of the plasticizer into your skin because it so readily trashes the natural oils in your skin that help to protect it.
....many baby wipes contain alcohol, and boxes of individually packaged small alcohol wipes are sold as well (often in the baby dept.)
....i clean my tools and work surface with rubbing/denatured alcohol. Sunni

Then I wear latex (surgical) type gloves. For some reason your hands can hide all kinds of colors and lint in the oils of your hands -- but the gloves don't. . .
....Also, I use one side of the glove for white clay - then take them off inside out (which is easy to do) and use the other side for other colors of clay.. . .If I need to do more white later, I have my "white side" of the gloves still used only for white clay. Michele
...some people are allergic or become allergic to latex though (see more types of gloves in Safety/Cleaning > Gloves)

Using the cut off fingers of my latex gloves works for me: I've had two weeks of pretty much fuss free . Katherine Dewey

Work all your white clay first ...and set the pieces aside while your hands and work surface are clean. Then work on the colored clay pieces.
...I've also found that assembling parts with the gloves does not mix the clay colors - at least for me. Michele
I have this problem too, particularly this time of year when I'm making a lot of red stockings with white trim. . . . my best solution has been to do everything I have to with the red clay first, and then switch to another set of gloves to work on all the white trim parts. Lisa

I don't have a big problem when I use a pasta machine because I clean it and use paper between the rollers and white clay. Michele

I am lucky to have more than one pasta machine. I keep one for... light colors and the one for dark colors. That helps with picking up odds and ends of color from the pasta machine. . . One of my pasta machines continues to streak light clays, even after a good cleaning; if I condition white clay with that machine, I end up with a pale gray color. I never use that machine for white clay. Kay

I don't turn on the air conditioner or the heater on the day I am to sculpt ... they kick out all kinds of dust particles into the air.

I suggest covering up your sculpture every night when you finish with a zip lock bag.....but I think the most important thing is to wash those hands constantly.

(When I use Future, I put it on the RAW clay, let it sit overnight, and then bake in the morning.)
. . . I also do this when I'm doing something with bas relief in white and will be handling the item a lot before baking. (It also gives the clay some protection from my hot fingers and seems to make the additions meld into the base better. I do this with my bas relief beads and never have a problem with things chipping off even if bumped.) kelly
...(would work with Varathane too?)

hide the fingerprints
....I texture a lot of things to to hide fingerprints.  :) ....or to add visual interest.   Irene NC
....this can be done with texture sheets or with tools ... also just here and there or all over
....I textured my slicees sheet with a piece of sheer chiffon... gives the little quilt a "fabric" look and camouflages fingerprints, too. :-) Elizabeth


I have found that placing a damp paper towel over my items prevents it from scorching. Sue A.
...wrap or drape damp paper towels on the pre-baked parts. .... this technique also helps to protect smaller or thiner components of an unbaked sculpture
...... I'm partial to Viva paper towels as they have almost no texture and are durable, good for multiple uses. Katherine
(see more on ways avoid darkening or scorching during curing in Baking > Darkening, Scorching, )

tent with aluminum foil while baking espeiclaly if you use a lot of white, translucent or pearl colors in your mixes. ....check it at half an hour, and then every ten minutes. Those colors scorch really easily. Elizabeth
...since I've started shielding all the pieces with tinfoil during baking, the white (actually 50:50 white: fimo pearl) stays white. Alan

or use a completely enclosed baking method like clipping two aluminum disposable pans together with the piece inside, or placing under one half a cardboard box
....other completely enclosed methods include baking the piece under a pile of baking soda

(see Baking > Enclosed Baking for more ways to do partial and completely enclosed baking)

metallic powders seem to be unburnable... (chalk powders are pretty impervious too)
.... so it might be a good idea to coat your white/Pearl item (or area) with white powder (metallic or chalk)
before curing and softly brush off excess (you could also brush it off after baking as long as you are not using a convection oven). faun
... I put the Pearl colored Peal Ex powder on my Santa beards with a brush and baked, then I'll glaze with a satin finish ....they came out nice and white, and I baked at 275 for an hour. deb jean
...would a coating of cornstarch work too as a temporary protector, rinsed off after baking


I find that a piece of lint or dust or cat hair is often removed better after baking with a tiny scrape. Sometimes just running my finger over the baked piece removes stuff that isn't embedded.

Embedded stuff is a judgement call.... If I miss this when it's raw, sometimes I can dig it out with a sharp blade after it's cooked making a nice hole..... I fill it back in with raw clay and bake again. Shane

I was about to ditch the entire figure then I thought ......heck I'm gonna wash it.
.....So I placed my unbaked figure on a upside down bowl and took it to the kitchen and put it under the spayer on a very coolish warm.
... that seemed to really be helping, so I took it just one tiny step further. I got some shampoo and diluted it then I drizzled it over the figure, then I found a very soft paint brush and washed it out and gently rubbed it all over the figure....Then rinsed with cool water.
....The results were GREAT!! Not only is the clay all fresh and clean but no fingerprints and its so nice and smooth! I'll be doing thn all my pieces just to blend them!!!
.... Later dried it with a blow dryer on slow cool setting. Since it was on a upside-down bowl, it drained really well and dried quickly. ...just thought this might help someone else! Diana W.

sand or abraid them using wet wet-dry-sandpaper, or sanding sponges, or 0000 steel wool, etc.
....(after doing those, you'd need to then buff the abraided areas to get back the finish you had before... or use a liquid acrylic finish on the areas in a gloss, satin or maybe matte, depending on the look you want)

NoraJean advocates filing faces (and other sculpts) after an initial baking of the rough shape (she may begin with a mold). . .she feels that one has greater control using a jeweler's file (rather than sandpaper which removes too much) and one can go slower, etc., .. and that there's no chance of messing up the head by mishandling or dinging it (takes about an hour).... this could also cover up discolorations of the clay
http://www.norajean.com/Sculpt/FileFaces/001-Group.htm . . .She then fills in all the file marks, and coats the whole skin, with skin colored clay mixed with a drop of TLS ...or TLS and acrylic paint for details http://www.norajean.com/CowboyKai-3e.htm

You can do a second skin of thin clay over the shaped clay at the end to cover the not so clean clay (baked or not?). Anita

sequential molds... NoraJean advocates making a number of molds as you get closer and closer to the face you want to sculpt ...so sculpt-mold-make new head from that mold. . . sculpt-mold-make new head....etc .

cover the item with a metallic wax (or a metallic powder in a matte or glossy medium)
....cover just the worst spots
...or "highlight" the whole figure by applying only to the higher areas
....or antique over the items or worst spots, especially 3-D items
... I take a brown antiquing medium over most of my white items.. It fits with my style anyway.. Dave

... I just stopped trying to keep my white, white.. That's why most of my things have an antique look now
...I made a lightbulb Santa and his beard is not as white and clean as I'd like. I was thinking of antiquing him to cover it... Michele

just paint over those areas (acrylic paints) --degrease, and possibly abraid, surface first
....after baking, you can just paint over it (possibly preceded by a "primer" coat of gesso or white acrylic ...see Paints) ...try acrylic paint, but apply it in very-thin washes (paint and water mixed together
.....you will get good coverage but won't cover up your details with one thick coat of paint.
.......and dry in-between with a hair dryer
...water mixable "oil" paints might work very well for this too

I'm finding that a white color of (oil paint, Genesis paint, or oil pastels --see Paints) mixed into liquid clay especially helpful in covering up small blemishes on my pc snowmen. Dianne C. (....must rebake tho' briefly to cure liquid clay)



Some of you use Super Sculpey to make prototypes and for doll faces. When working on prototypes, the translucence of the clay makes it difficult to read the details of your work. Add (opaque) white Sculpey III to reduce the translucence. Amd also...some of you have experienced "mooning" in your clay. This is actually moisture in the resins. This moisture might have been introduced in the manufacturing process or might have been contained in an individual ingredient we use. In any case, you don't want it! Every batch is different, Polyform trys to make them the same but, it just isn't possible. Something like dye lots - they just aren't all the same. So, please test each new box you buy. Work a bit of Super Sculpey as you would normally, then bake it. . . . If you have "moons" either add a bit of White Sculpey III to mask them or leach (roll the clay out into sheets and sandwich between paper towelling for a day or so). Run the test again and see if the moisture has been removed. Donna Kato

To avoid the plaquing you can just add one pea-sized piece of (opaque) white Premo to 2 ounces of the Flesh clay. Premo flesh is really a base clay. ...It's a middle of the road color with a nice translucent quality which, even when mixed with opaque colors, gives the finished piece a porcelian look. Dotty

In addition to mixing a translucent clay with a bit of an opaque clay to control the mooning or plaquing, you can also paint over the baked clay with water-mixable oil paint, washes of acrylic, etc, possibly preceded by a coating of gesso. (see Paints)

I cool (my heads) out of the oven and wrap them in heavy toweling, away from drafts...this seems to help quick changes in temp...and possible cracking..also, fewer moons appear in doing so (I never cool down in oven as I feel it overbakes the piece and therefore making it more brittle causing breakage after the cooling process.) Jodi

Tory Hughes suggested that if you want MAXIMUM plaquing, you put your pieces in a hot oven and subject them to that drastic temp change quickly. So it would stand to reason that if you put your pieces in a cold oven, and gradually bring them up to curing temperature, then let them cool in the oven (slowly bringing the temp down) you should be able to minimize the plaquing.
to minimize plaquing- condition with an eye towards incorporating the least amount of air,(something along the lines of Pier Voulkos's method of pulling/rolling snakes,cutting and restacking and then repeating, with a careful eye to eliminating/preventing the formation of air bubbles) place in cold oven, bring up to temperature and then begin timing. To maximize plaquing- condition with running start in food processor and then use the Tory twist (doubling back and twisting a snake upon itself while letting gravity help things along) preheat oven to ten degrees over temperature, set to correct baking temperature as soon as you have placed your piece in the oven.


Figures can be placed on bases (standing, sitting, lounging) as well. (see more in Setting for Sculpts, Bases below)

cracking (mostly in larger solid pieces) during or after baking
...I cool my thicker items outside the oven, and wrap in heavy toweling away from drafts
.......this seems to help quick temperature changes in temp...and possible cracking.
........I never cool down in oven, as I feel it makes the baked item more brittle, causing breakage after the cooling process. Jodi
.......or, if the cracks are still appearing, rather than letting the pieces cool down in the oven plunge them into cold water after the full baking time... the clay should shrink and seal the cracks
...Because I leach my clay, removing much of the plasticiser, even my very large pieces have never cracked.
...pre-bake your cores (permanent clay armatures) if you use them, or make cores from more "advanced" clay (older or leached)
(...see most info on cracking during or after baking, in
Heads )

(later) crumbling ... fragility
...It's important to bake at a high enough temperature, for at least the mininum time recommended, to be sure that the clay will not crumble or leach plasticizer out onto porous materials in the days and months to come
....so make sure you oven is actually baking at the temp. it says on the dial, and that it stays at that temp, and that you bake long enough for the thickness of your clay item, etc.
...any of the clays will (crumble later) if you don't bake properly, but Sculpy III (and maybe the new FimoSoft) is the biggest problem
......(raw) clay is full of plastisizers, they keep the clay soft... when you bake, you bake them off... but if you don't bake it long enough, you don't kill off all of the plastisizors....then when you take it out of the oven and the piece cools down, the plastisizors start to recover and go back to work softening the clay... because there is only a little plasticizer left, it takes a lot longer, but eventually some of the clay gets soft and the piece will now get brittle and fragile... if it is dropped it might just fracture and crack and the least little pressure will break it apart!!!... leigh

Angela's tips on packaging sculpts for shipping (with lots of large bubble wrap, cotton batting and packing peanuts)

In the Creager's "Sculpting Hands" video, Jodi says that she has found that when using the Sculpey flesh it has tiny white specks when you pull the clay away from the block and she has learned that when removing clay, if she CUTS it then this lessens the white specks that seem to appear. Also, I have learned not to twist and pull clay. It is better to chop, warm, run through the pasta machine or the like to condition. I use a lot of flesh Cernit and never have this problem. I have heard of several people having the specks with Caramel Cernit, however.

NoraJean advocates using a file on faces (and other sculpts) after an initial baking of the rough shape . . .she feels that one has greater control with a file, and can go slower, etc., this way, and that there's no chance of messing up the head by mishandling it. After the faces are filed they are covered with a layer of TLS and skin clay to smooth out the marks.

the best thing I've found is the almighty BABYWIPE! Not only is it handy when your changing clay colors to wipe your hands, but if you catch a smuge mark before it gets to ugly you can use it to wipe off the piece your working on. I even use them to smooth off rough spots on my faces before baking, something about the lanolin in them.

throwing clay on a wheel. . . . (Will Trucheon? --demonstrated it at the Arrowmont conference. (Use Sculpey III; make grog by rolling Sculpey III really thin, baking the sheets, grinding them up and screening them; and throw using KY Jelly, or generic equivalent, instead of water for moistening! Weird but true!) (see more in Vessels > Freeform)

skin reactions: a very few people have allergies to something in the raw clay. This doesn’t usually stop them from claying, but they may use several methods for preventing contact (either barrier creams or gloves –see safety file for details)

I wonder if it would work to build a sculpture on a wax form, bake, then fill in the bottom & bake again. It may be a way to lighten the piece. Many cast porcelain figurines have a hollow core.

~I just visited Ms. Goodnow's website and I am in heaven! If any of you can get yourself of her sculpting seminar, I would grab at the chance! She has a mold making/resin casting instructional (lesson) video tape. 1 Hour + 40 min. for $75.00+$5.00 S&H. Visit her website and see her dolls and click on the videos link at homepage's bottom http://members.aol.com/junedolls/index.html The Dane

~You can take transparent Liquid Sculpey and color it with pearl-ex pigments (i.e., antique silver for grey or gold which turns out yellowish) and then paint the stripes on. I have been doing this with my cat and dog ornaments (although the dogs get spots instead of stripes). mamadude


(for skin tone recipes, see Heads/Masks)

Babies and children: large heads; large forehead and eyes, short chin, full/wide cheeks, features close together . . .

sarajane . . . the gist of that discusssion was that it is easier to do "character" than "pretty." Well, that's true enough, but here are some tips to help you towards "pretty", should you wish to go there!

Roll out a ball of clay (its harder to work small, so practice a little larger at first...when you get comfortable, work smaller.) Flatten the convex (rounded outward). Add bits of clay for the "sticking out" parts--forehead, nose, cheeks, mouth mound (NOT the lips, the part between the nose and chin--lips go there later) and chin. Press them into place, and indent where the eyes go. Then roll out a sheet of clay (set on #3 or so) and use as "skin" to cover the face. Starting at the nose and working out, press gently into place, working any air pockets out to the edges. This gives a gentler smoother surface to the facial planes. Sharp edges become obscured--hard lines read as "old" to our eyes, whereas smooth is "pretty" ---I use this technique on doll bosoms for nicer "cleavage" and smooth joins to the chest, as well. Trim away excess clay. Add your eyes, nostrils, and lips. I often make the eye sockets, and then add eyeballs that are beads, or round white clay balls that have been baked previously. Or bake the piece with just the sockets, then add white for the eyeball and rebake. The mouth mound is very important---mouths (especially in the young) are slightly raised above the face plane, or they look sunken-- toothless, as it were. This is a VERY aging effect...so take good care of your teeth!
When you get a face that you like, look at it from the profile as well as full-on. Look at it in the mirror--this is a sneaky little trick my costume design teacher taught me--your brain glosses over mistakes and things after you've been looking at something too long, but when the image is reversed, your brain sees it afresh, and notices things.

. . . if you want an older look for your crones, make the eyes & chin a little smaller, the nose a little bigger (medical fact - your nose never stops growing!) and drop the cheeks a bit to make jowls. Fill in the neck a little also. This is what I do for my "oldies" and it seems to work. Blame it all on gravity. . .these traits are often, but not always, present. Add a few character lines and grey the hair a bit also. I love making older faces.
(look in websites for examples)

re: the elf, Nancy, for such a subject I would suggest exaggerating the features more, trying different poses ,& in general going for "sass''. You're on the right track. Mavis

(for male and female hands, see Wayne the Dane's suggestions in Sculpting--BodyParts/Hands).

Think of a story line that these characters are from. What are they doing when you capture them in clay? Is there a tear in the dress from climbing a tree? are they marveling about the beauty of a found flower blossom? think having a story adds to the fun of creating the sculpt. . . and viewers love to hear stories, it really draws them in to the piece, sometimes even identifying with the emotion themselves. tlc

~Or use distortion to your advantage! The molds I made for the water sprite faces in the fantasy swap were pretty cool that way. I used one of my daughters' little bitty dolls, dusted it with powder, and smooshed it into some waste clay. The original mold, then, was actually a copy of a face that was quite likely copyrighted.
But next, I made a face from that mold. I used the distortion as it came out to inspire me--changed the face drastically. I changed the angles in the face, making it thinner and more mature looking. The jaw was thinned. The eyes became more slanted, so I took a needle tool and pulled them up even more, giving them an elven air. The cheekbones got flattened and raised, so they weren't chubby little cheeks anymore. I sculpted wild looking eyebrows, where before there was nothing textural--only painted on the original. I added pointy ears. Where the hair had met the mold it was kind of messed up, so I used the needle tool again and stretched out every "strand" of hair to look like hair under water, or flames, maybe. By the time I was done with it, it looked nothing like the commercial original, except that the facial proportions had been started for me, and I had no lines to smooth with micro-tools where I'd tried to join on features.
I baked that face, made a new mold from it, and now have my own "sprite" mold. It's enough different that I feel guilt-free over possibly violating a copyright to get there. And for such a small face, it made the sculpting part a cinch. KLEE

There's information about using molds at my Web site's FAQ:
http://www.angelslanding.com/pushmolds/faq.html It has a section on softer clays and explains several ways to avoid distortion. While it was written for resin push molds, the techniques are the same for molds you make yourself.

to mold a head . . . .first powder the doll head with talc getting all the nooks and crannies .....then press the softened sculpey onto the doll head making sure you get the sculpey into all the folds etc....carefully pull away....then bake!!! Let cool...and then press more sculpey into the baked and hardened mold (oops, talc the mold first)...then pull out and here is where your handy work comes in...."Tweek" the pressed clay...by that I mean...age the head...adding lines and wrinkles, and extra ball of clay on the end of the nose for a real santa look....laugh lines...you know all those cool santa traits...this will give you a good base to work from...and if you don't like the look...start again by repressing the clay. Add ears...you can glue the front part of the head onto a styrofoam ball after baked...paint the head and add lots of hair to cover the back of head and add a wonderful beard.....Jodi Creager

multiple casts: . . . To sculpt one little face from the beginning takes me at least one hour and if I make ears, it takes me at least 1 1/2 hours. I developed a way to make it faster for me. I used a thin plastic which has a grid on it and mark the eyes, nose, mouth in a permanent ink. I then use a large needle and punch holes at the corners of the eyes, sides of the nose, lips, etc. After making the first ball of clay about the size of the head, I lay the grid on the top and put marks in the clay where these features are. Placement of the eyes, nose, mouth ere the most time-consuming part for me and this cut down about 15 minutes. Jody?


(see also Canes-Instr > Flowers & Leaves for more lessons, etc. ...and for real flower photos)
(see also Miniatures for more flowers)

Three-dimensional flowers and leaves are referred to here as "sculpted."
(....but for canes which contain images of flowers and/or leaves, see Canes-Instr > Flowers or Leaves)

Many "sculpted" flowers are created with solid-colored clays only
some flower or leaf sculpts are created with fancier petals and/or leaves which are first created as canes (as "petal canes" or "leaf canes") in order that some type of pattern and/or multiple coloring can be used for all or some of the sculpted flower parts
(...fat slices are taken from these petal and leaf canes, then those are shaped and used to create the sculpted flowers and leaves)
(...many of the flower and petal canes discussed in Canes-Instr > Flowers or Leaves, will work great for sculpted flowers too... just don't use them for making whole flower canes)

SO, some of the examples and lessons below deal with just the sculpting of solid colored clays,
....and some deal with making a fancier petal or leaf cane first to use for the sculpting.

MOSTLY FLOWERS (...more on leaves below)

(SOME EXAMPLES using only SOLID-COLOR & NO PATTERN petals and leaves)
Cheri Oshinsky's beautiful sculpted flowers and leaves of barely-tinted translucent, onlaid as embellisments on a small vessel made of heavier-tinted translucent (could be "faux jade")

Anne Klocko's simpler posies (in high relief)
...http://anneklocko.com/pix/potted.htm ..http://anneklocko.com/pix/country1.htm
Anne Klocko's somewhat-simple flowers/leaves in vases (high-relief)

flowers in pots, vines, etc.. as onlays (on a large ceramic tile?)... bas relief

Flo's simple flowers, leaves & vines (bas relief) (on covered toothbrush holders)

Linda B's lesson on making a bas relief flower, by putting the proper scientific parts together

(for simple tiny flowers made with tiny cutters, see just below in Cutters)
Cheryl's flower sprays, etc., & leaves (on wires, etc.)
Johnny's flowers and leaves on wires, in vase
Crealand's various flowers --sunflowers, daisy types (not white) ...(some on wires in pot or stoneware bowl)
Marcy's simple flowers and bee, etc. for garden
Mary V's miniature "forever flowers" in tiny vases
http://hobbystage.net/art/airliefairy/ (inaccessible?)

more flowers, especially spray type ...not clay

South Bay Polymer Clay Guild members' "basket of flowers" assignment (website gone--DB ADD)
Kie's flowers in pots http://www.zigzag.co.nz/kie.html (gone)

Monica's lesson on looped "wicker" basket
http://guide.supereva.com/hobby_femminili/progetti/ (click on basket with small flowers) (gone?--find new)

SOME EXAMPLES using CANED petals and/or leaves
Nora-Jean's variety of sculpted flowers and leaves ... many from cane components (some in "pots")
... plumeria... autumn leaves... striped ("bug") leaves... rose... pansy... etc.
http://norajean.com/Biz-Archive/OnSiteFlowers.htm (look down whole page)

japaya's 3 dimensional flowers made with thick cane slices, mostly onlaid from center of flower

using slices from one cane to create different flowers, depending on their shape and placement

Mary W's onlaid cane slices for radial-petal flowers, used as buttons or as drawer knobs
Marie S's more complex posies (various techniques)
Jennifer S's rock purse flower with insertion in petals which are then shaped... leaves molded? (website gone)
*Grove&G.fish,flowers,insects,masks,faces+ http://www.groveandgrove.com/wearablegallery.html (gone?)
*Klew's leaf pods, necklace beads

Klew's Jungle Sculpture" beads with fancy-leaf, etc., onlays
Cheryl's onlaid sculpted flowers and many sculpted caned leaves on focal beads
http://www.cherylsart.net/ & http://www.cherylsart.net/Hearts.html (gone)

Ziggybeth's lesson on making a flower bead
http://www.homestead.com/ziggybeth/beadless.html (gone)--find new?

Burgess' sculptural flowers & jewelry
where are other onlay flowers?
flower "corsage" pins http://forums.delphi.com/polymerclay/messages (gone, or at PCC message board)

Nora Jean's lesson on creating shaded petals by cutting them out of Skinner Blend sheets with leaf-shaped cutters
...You can give things depth... shading.... by using eyeshadows

You can elongate a petal and roll it into a "bud" shape for a flower, too.

SPECIFIC FLOWERS (mixed techniques)

Marie S's lesson on building simple roses from clay circles cut with small cutters (wrapped around, and bottom cut off flat)
http://www.sculpey.com/Projects/projects_Knobs.htm (look near bottom of page)
Jeanne D's lesson on making 7-petal roses, some with contrasting center
http://www.jaedworks.com/gallery/roses/index.html (how Jeanne uses her roses)
Cheryl's lesson on making rolled roses
Ann & Karen Mitchells' lesson on making Skinner Blend "ribbon roses" & furled leaves with clay (steps# 18-22)

sev. rose types on BOH (...one rolled rose uses double sheet of pink and aqua)

Elizabeth's lesson on miniature roses, and ways to use them
Linda's lesson on making large rose around the bowl of a wine glass (as a votive)... using (tinted) translucent clay
Glenna uses her sculpted clay flowers (mostly roses) on or with all kinds of other objects, or objects she's created
... like metal baskets, corsages & bouquets, frames, candles, goblets, card holders, hair accessories-headbands-tiaras, and earrings, etc.
http://www.rosepetaldesigns.com/misc.htm (click on all categories)
Mia's pink roses (based on Barbara's) http://www.clayfulmingles.com/gallerypage1.html (gone)
Denise in A's roses with cane slices for petals.... + hibiscus, beautiful lily ... miniature bonsai pots, etc. http://hobbystage..... (gone)
Karen's roses & leaves on barrette http://www.geocities.com/fripon1980/Barettes.html (gone)
Maria's thin sheet roses... made with the Polish Umbaclay (polymer, or air dry porcelain clay, etc.?)

on making a bas relief miniature rose.
.. it's easy ...make a rope of clay into a (flat?) spiral, and lay it down... press on each rope layer with an orange stick (perpendicular to it), going around the spiral from the outside to inside, ending near the center. craftewoman
on making thin sheet roses and other flowers with air dried clay

You want to get the petal edges as thin as possible......for my roses, I make small teardrops of clay, then roll my finger on them from the point to the fat "drop" end, pushing a bit as I go so they lengthen out a bit.... After letting the clay rest for a few minutes (gets very soft just from the heat of your finger), I use a tissue blade to pull the clay up off of the ceramic tile, sliding it under at a near 45- degree angle (this causes the petals to curl up as they come off of the tile).... I then roll the roses with the curl facing outwards
.... using my finger to flatten the teardrops usually leaves a print mark in the clay, which I don't mind (once rolled it looks like the barely-visible ridges and veins), and most of the time makes the petal stick to my finger. I just "slice" it off of the tip of my finger with the tissue blade (sometimes it gets tiny little tears in the thinnest edge; I also leave these be because not all rose petals are perfect). Carrie

Monica's lesson on making a purple orchid
http://guide.supereva.it/hobby_femminili/interventi/2001/11/80945.shtml (old site)
Skygrazer's painted orchids

NoraJean's various orchids
...and her blue orchid lesson, with insertions

Monica's other flower lessons (hibiscus, calla lilies,
http://guide.supereva.com/hobby_femminili/progetti/ (click on English flag for English, but photos are good anyway)
Maria's lesson on making a beautiful hibiscus

Maria's lesson on making a bunch of cala lilies (using cut-off teardrop shapes)

Jenna's lesson on cala lily http://tutorials.theclaystore.com/miniature-food/calla-tutorial
Marie Segal's lily ...http://www.http://www.clayfactory.net/images/gallery/2tr88.JPG (can't find again)
Alan's sweetpea flowers

Cheryl Trottier's daffodils with large leaves on glass vase they're in, simulating placement on stems
Miniatures(about.com) had daffodil and tulip, etc.... still helpful daffodil lesson using 6 diamond shapes+fluted tube, & tulip (6 teardrop shapes) (fr. paper tho' )
http://miniatures.about.com/cs/howto/ht/daffodil.htm and http://miniatures.about.com/cs/howto/ht/tulips.htm
Celidonia's poinsettia (with a touch of gold highlighting on edges)...,,,or dahlia, or chrysanthemum-type flowers
Kathy G's poinsettias (website gone)
Nora-Jeans holly leaves could be poinsettias http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=1751108&a=30172543&p=60672660
...lesson:The white poinsetta was cut out with a small leaf cutter. ...The mix is this: Sheet of no color translucent. Sheet of gold leaf. Second sheet of no color translucent and run it through the pasta press. ...I thought...hey, why not run a sheet thin and then back it with pearl to kick up another layer of shimmer? What about cutting out leaves on this with the leaf cutter and do it like the holly, pulling out the veins using the cone shaped clay shaper tool? What about dusting the center seam with holographic embossing powder? I never thought it would come out like it was made of ice! I never thought it would come out as pretty as it did..... One trick with the embossing powder is after the first curing of an item, paint on Future just on the areas you want the holographic effect on, leaving the other parts dry. Then sprinkle the embossing powder on it. Let it dry and then tap off the excess, cure a second time. That way you can highlight certain areas and have a bit of control over it. On these petals I just dusted the center stem before curing, just to beef up the gold leaf foil. nora-jean
.......just use one of the six or eight-pointed star-shaped canape cutters and elongate the star a bit... make a line between one point and the one that opposes it for a "vein," and sort of fold it up at that crease a bit. Tilt one end up and one down. There's a little mini-wreath ornament that uses those cutters on the polymerclayexpress.com site, the lessons page. Elizabeth
nora-jean's cane slice & formed holly leaves lessons and photos using a number of wrapped cane lengths, placed together in two rows?, then shaped and indented
and http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=1751108&a=30966173&p=65761472
...I do about the same as Laurie for tiny 3/8" long holly leaves (lesson): Flatten sheet of dark green to #6; cut 1/4" wide ribbons; use smallest circle cutter to cut half moons from one side of ribbon; every other one is shallow; every other one is to the center of the ribbon; repeat on other side; matching shallow moons and deep moons; viola! holly leaves!!; place on item; imprint lines with favorite knife tool. Can lay saran wrap on ribbon if you want softer leaf edges. Cella in SDak
..try a green pearl to dark blue for the basic holly color... then a mix of silver and pearl to outline and vein your holly leaf... Havenmaven
.....Maria's lesson on making a leaf mold by pressing an oval ball of cold porcelain clay (use silicone or polymer instead) onto just the central part of a heavily veined tough leaf... she then cuts small bites from the sides of the leaf with a straw so they resemble oak leaves, or poinsettia leaves

Alexandra's pansies & fluffly geraniums ....& heavily ruffled leaves.... in window box

Nora Jean's various tropical flowers (some are lessons)
Jennifer's lessons for a puakenikeni lei ...and other flowers

lesson on making a lei with puakenikeni flower: http://starbulletin.com/97/09/23/features/story1.html
(Hawaiian) These "eternal leis" (flowers made from polymer clay) can be worn to work or special occasions, tied around the brim of a hat or hung in the home for decoration -- and they always look fresh. ...a three-strand pikake lei ...a plumeria lei. .... Most others, including puakenikeni, pakalana, ilima, rosebud and single-strand pikake are $45 to $75... leis can take 8-20 hrs each.
Anna's Hawaiian flowers in necklaces
Tahine Niu's 10 bouquets of Hawaiian flowers and leaves
http://members.aol.com/tahineniu/fimo8.html (wait for the other 9 samples to appear one at a time below the stationary photo)

Lisa's pinecone (...or flower) created by making many cuts in a egg-shaped (?) piece of clay, beginning at the bottom?) and bending them back; if the shape is flatter to begin with, it can resemble a multi-petalled flower (add a center?)

to make a flower, just use the leaf lesson http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/poleigh/leaf.html and do it with flowers instead!!! (?)

The flowers and many of the leaves in this lesson (?) were made with Premo & Sculpey Super Flex (mixed?). I really really love Super Flex for working on the leaves!
This carnation has enough give that I believe it coulfd be used as a boutineer and be used again and again without breaking or cracking!! This is all clay and all made using the same technique as the leaf lesson!!! Every leaf and every petal was made from a live leaf or live flower! The only things that are not clay are the wires that the flowers are wrapped around and the floral tape that the flowers are held in place with!!! Of course using the Flex clay and getting it as thin as I get it could definately use a lesson!!! Leigh
I do flowers including roses, irises, all manner of compositae, berrys, and leaves (even with Sculpey III). I have wired and sold dozens of wreaths with no problem. The trick is to thin edges only, not the whole piece of clay. . . . (the main problem was how to wire pieces that are thin; the solution is to create an illusion by thinning visible edges while retaining central thickness for wiring).. MJ
.... I don't think I'd recommend weak Sculpey clays for any thin areas unless you know the baked clay will never be stressed.

very thin clay sheets or ribbons... scrunched together (Nora Jean’s flowers) (website gone)

CUTTERS, etc.:
Sarajane's lesson on making tiny simple flowers from star and other radial Kemper cutters, then adding various bits for centers (on a mask)
(middle of page)
my tiny flower cutouts (using Kemper cutters), indented in for petals and in center (seed bead added), ornament onlay
DB...add new yahoo address
Robin's "field of flowers" made with tiny indented balls of different colors
http://www.angelfire.com/art/redrobin/gallerytwo.html (gone)

Heather's lesson on making a kelp/fern-type leaf plant with Kemper cutters
http://www.sculpey.com/Projects/projects_tropfishswitchplate.htm ("Tropical Goldfish Switchplate")
many cutters for flowers, border strips, etc.....Creative Cutters

MOLDS:... use, or make, a molds (see Molds for making them yourself, or buying many more)
Judi Maddigan’s Push Molds and projects
Polymer Clay Express (sells and shows Push Molds)
Sculpey's multi-mold EZ Release Push Molds (flexible, no release needed, multi-mold sheets)
http://www.sculpey.com/fset_products.htm (click on EZ Release Molds)

You can add details to a baked molded item to get a second generation object to mold
... e.g., make a flower from a flower mold... bake the flower... then add to the flower some raw clay leaves you've sculpted, or raw leaves taken from another mold (using liquid clay or another glue if no mechanical hold)... bake ... now you'll have a flower-and-leaves mold to use as you wish

I bet clay thinned with liquid clay or Diluent can be used in frosting bags with tips to pipe out flowers and leaves??...Sarajane H.
(see more on usin icing tips in ClayGuns > Icing tips)
Or use similar methods to cake decoration frosting flowers. Instead of squeezing out petal by petal, form them with your fingers out of little balls. Flatten, point one edge a little, like a squatty teardrop. This is a basic petal, and can be laid out around a center, like daisies, or wrapped around a center, like roses. Do it all out of one color clay a few times, so you can squish the first attempts. When you get the hang of it, there's all kinds of possibilities. Sometimes I make a sheet of skinner blend, where the colors blend several times on one sheet (rainbow-ish stripes). Red to white, or red to yellow are great. Then cut out teardrops (by hand or with a kemper cutter), so that each petal goes from dark to light. Wonderful effect when you make a rose that way, with dark center but bright tips.

You can also buy a silk flower version of the flower you'd like to make, and take it apart. Use the petals for patterns and put the clay flower parts back together the same as the silk flower was constructed. You'll get a replica the easy way. After you've seen it finished, you can begin to adjust the size, etc. of your parts to get just what you want. Niki

LEAVES mostly:

Maria's lesson on making a pot with realistic-looking trailing leaves (variegated philodendron)... she also uses tiny clay ropes for all the stems

(for holly leaves, see just above in Flowers for poinsettias ...watch spellling if using ctrl+f)

NoraJean's many lessons on various leaves

PolymerClayExpress' lesson on making wonderful, realistic leaves, elliptic or lanceolate in outline, then ruffled along long edges...placed around clear votive, very dimensional
...Maria's lesson on oak leaves above uses a heavily veined leaf (fairly thick) to press an oval ball of clay on... she uses only the central area of the leaf back to make the impression in order to get a thick clay leaf that's heavily veined
...sculpey.com's similar lesson, but using Skinner Blend sheet (green pearl to gold, or red pearl to copper for Autumn colors)
...... lobed leaves pressed onto clay for veining, etc., then cut around; one leaf pressed to each side of square glass jar
1001artbeads' lesson on making long, pointed and heavily veined, impressed leaves
....a small rope of (gold) clay is cut into diagonal segments... each segment is pressed to the back side of the handle of a disposable Gillette razor to create the veins...impressed leaf removed and twisted a bit for interest, and the back side is then highlighted with lt.beige mica eye shadow... leaf bottom is trimmed diagonally to create a non-symmetrical point, and top is trimmed crosswise before the hole is made so a number of leaf beads can be hung as a necklace
Leigh's lesson on making large leaves with real leaves as texture and silhouette, in any color, edged with Pearl Ex
...various clay leaves used in jewelry... mostly faux metal...some whole leaves, some framed cutouts of real-leaf-impressed clay

...an article from Michael's Art Mag (I think or maybe Jewelry craft explained how to make larger clay leaves by pressing real ones through the pasta machine with the clay..... It used gold powder and rub and buff too.
.... Sometimes you can make the squishing into part of the design. I do this with leaves. ...I place the tip of a leaf on the end of a toothpick so that when I press it into my design it attaches it and also makes the center vein as I'm doing it. I can hide lots of press marks with leaves.

(lesson for a leaf)... take the green and yellow streaked log and run it through your pasta machine... Take (a) flattened slice and cut yourself a classic leaf shape, rounded at the top and pointy at the end. Now here's a trick. Get an old mouse pad, or something that is spongey and has a bit of give. Put a layer of aluminum foil over it, lay that leaf you just cut off from the flattened slice of yellow/green clay, and press your clay tool gently to form the veins of the leaf. You want just an indentation but you want the leaf to flex a bit. Cure that leaf on the foil, pinch and shape the foil to make the curl and movement of the leaf, the foil will hold the leaf's shape and when pulled away you'll go...wowie!
...Before the first curing I use floral wire and lay in a stem. You can run beading wire down the middle but do that when you are really comfortable with the clay and won't get frustrated getting that shiney metal wire to hide right. Cure the leaf once shaped and you have a floral wire attached, after curing you can start building your trailing hanging plant leaves, glue them, braid them, stick them into things that will hold them. Florist have this green foam block that holds water for your plant...Nora-Jean

Natasha slices could also be used to make leaves ..shape a log of many chopped colors into a rough tear drop shape; cut two thick slices and open them like a book; decide if you want to combine the leaf halves in that orientation or reversed, and add a stem between them if needed... none of the leaves would be the exact same pattern, of course, but the all colors would be the same so these might work for a variety of slightly different leaves (see Natasha how-to's in Beads > Natasha)

Sarajane H's spider plant and one with large lobed green leaves (which she put into the bottom half of an Altoid box to use as a miniature "planter")

mold for individual leaves, etc. from House on the Hill ...http://www.houseonthehill.net/autumn1.html
....for more leaf molds, and how to make molds and stamps yourself, see Molds > Molds to Buy and Stamping > Making Your Own and Texturing > Other Ideas, leaves, etc)

(...see much more! on leaves i n Canes-Instr. > Leaves)


..."Making Miniature Flowers with Polymer Clay" by Barbara Quast: She is "old school" miniature flower maker. She knows how to make flowers out of old bread! This is a good a step by step instruction (lesson), albeit she is kind of main stream for my tastes.
... "The Art of Polymer Clay"
by Donna Kato has a chapter on making flowers that are larger, life size.
....I can really recommend a booklet called "Meyer's Florist Shoppe' by Barbara. Barbara makes 1/12th scale flowers for dollhouses using bread dough, but poly clay could easily be substituted. instruction (lesson)s are included for everything from Cyclamen to Orchids , Carnations and Roses.
...I believe several of Sue Heaser's books have flower and plant instruction (lesson)s too. Check her website: http://www.heaser.demon.co.uk/sue/suetemp.htm
...Last year I purchased a Wilton book "Wilton makes it Easy to create Beautiful Gum Paste Flowers; I just changed the 'gum paste for polymer clay' and it works; It came with about 25 Floral Art cutters and simple tools; Here is a list of the flowers that you can create with this set; wild rose, baby's breath, forget-me-not, apple blossom, pansy, small and large daisy, calyx for flowers, orchid throat, stephanotis, small and large carnations, rose petals (3 sizes), daffodil petal, daffodil cup, lily, tulip petal, tulip leaf, sm. &amp; lg. rose leaves, holly leaf, ivy leaf, tulip leaf and leaf mold (puts all the little veins on your leaf).
There's a book called "Colette's Wedding Cakes" Colette Peters, pub.Little, Brown and Co. 1995 that has the best frosting flowers I've ever seen and great how-tos. Substitute clay for the gumpaste and royal icings SHE's talking about and the techniques are highly educational for us. Plus there are the most amazingly decorated cakes I have ever seen, and I've read at least 100 cake books. I bet clay thinned with Diluent or liquid clay can be used in frosting bags with tips??...Sarajane H.

... if you can find them, the following booklets have instruction (lesson)s for different flowers: Hot Off The Press's "Friendly Clay Buds & Blossoms Jewelry "and "Fimo Roses & Ruffles Jewelry", and "Liesure Arts Presents Aleene's Bread Dough Crafts".
Sweet Celebrations: http://www.sweetc.com/ . . . see "Catalog" for all kinds of (gumpaste) flower ideas, cutters, etc.!
Donna Kato's leaflet "Romantic Florals" (available through Prairie Crafts).

sculpting OTHER ITEMS

for all furniture (couches, chairs) ...furnishings .. mini foods...trees... terrains, etc., see Miniatures and also Houses-Structures

Google's "image search" feature is very helpful!!
... just enter a word or phrase (phrases in quotes) for the type of image you want to see (e.g. ...koala, pineapple, sunset)
...and google will display *many* photos
http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en (Advanced Search)

...size... cicle or square (4" or whatever size you want), or odd-shaped cut with cookie cutter or freehand
..many techniques could be used ....cane slice sheets, slice paintings, textured or stamped, mosaics (inlay or caned), faux stone, wood, ivory, or other faus and inclusions, transfers, etc.
...you could embellish with crystals, glitters, beads, charms, fibers. Patty B.

...Patty Underwood's various coasters http://www.flickr.com/photos/papcg/sets/72157600940503148
...(this lesson was designed especially for people who can't manage accuracy with scissors, but can manage to hold a stamp or a rolling pin... to make as gifts) 
(lesson) Roll out the Premo or FimoSoft to a suitable thickness for coasters.... Cut out circles, maybe with crinkled edges, with the cookie cutter.... Decorate by pushing in clean, dry rubberstamps to impress images into the clay.... Put the maker's initials on the back. ... bake. (If prefered, stamp the images first and then cut out - good for patterns).Crafty Owl.
Rebecca D. has a lesson and examples re making disks to be used for 4-5" coasters by flattening spirals of clay logs or... she says to use a rubber eraser to clean any parts that look dirty after use; drips can be rinsed off (see details in Sheets of Pattern > Dragged Lines)
http://echomtnc1.homestead.com/pccoasters.html and http://echomtnc1.homestead.com/instructions.html
...funny coasters http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/lacoaster.htm
...I also made a set of Christmas and football themed coasters, backed with pieces cut from those cork squares.
...Nina's fish mosaic coaster...
I made a clay base shape first, then covered it (still raw) with a white sheet of PC ... then started at the bottom with the weed, pebbles and then addedthe fish. I filled the background in last... covered the outside edge of the coaster. ...baked the whole thing for 25 minutes ....on removing the piece from the oven I noticed a big airbubble forming so I quickly pierced this with my needle tool and it went down
........ to make the pc grout, I mixed some clay with diluent but I didn't know how mushie to make it
...after using baby oil to remove some of the grout, I baked again and then sanded the remaining grout off I was keen to texture the grout by because the design is so small ie the mosaic pieces are approx 3mm on average I don't think I could have textured it properly. Nina
(website gone)
Ultra-Glo (thick, high-gloss, clear finish)... might be pretty neat to pour over a slab of cane slices (or whatever), and use as a coaster under coffee cups, glasses. ... I bought mine at a plastics store last year for $5.45.....should also be available at places like Ace/True Value and Michaels. The two bottles (which are mixed in equal parts) contain 8 oz., and cover approx. 2 1/2 square feet ....Ed, their tech person said clayers might want to cover the item with Elmer's Glue first, then let dry for 1-1 1/2 hrs. Then he said either to brush on the combined liquids or dip the item . If dipping, leave on a piece of waxed paper to dry (any dripping excess will peel right off the waxed paper, and it can be trimmed with a pair of scissors). If using a brush (to make the coating thinner) he recommends a small foam-type brush which wouldn't leave brush marks. Ed (800) 368-9323. ..Diane B.
......although consider also using just one huge cane slice instead of a sheet of smaller slices, e.g., canejane's covering a lid top (in this case, it was a papier mache heart box)

...coasters to put a flat polymer sheet into ...http://www.wackywagon.com/access5.html
...Several ways to prevent curling of thin flat clay when baking:. One is to place something heavy on top of the piece while baking. . . . However, if the weight will harm the surface technique, then wait until the pieces comes out of the oven and while it is still somewhat hot, place heavy books on top of it until cool. . . . OR, while it is still hot but not so much so that you can't handle it, fill the sink with cold water and then lay the piece down on the bottom of the sink and hold it flat until it is cool. Dotty in CA
...maybe see more ideas and tips in Frames,Mirrors, Decorative Tiles > Decorative Tiles

incense holders ... What kind of incense are you using?
--I made a long holder for my stick incense. It looks kind of like a shoe shape. There's a ball at the skinny end with an angled hole for the stick to sit in. The incense always burns out before it gets to the holder. The ashes are sometimes hot that fall , but even still I've never had any burn marks on it. (...Faun is right though about keeping the direct heat away). Cindy
...figures sitting in saucers with hole in head for incense http://7th-sense.com/fimobuddyincenseburners.htm
...fancy incense holders (dragons, castles, etc.) http://www.spiritroad.com/ceramicincen.html
...simulated wood, long holder, with claw and sun http://www.geocities.com/sleetwealth/DAR.html
...funny long incense holders http://membres.lycos.fr/carozen1 (click on these 3 pages in the left nav. bar: ...Les portes encens... RE- Les portes encens... On prend les mêmes)
...2 long tray incense holders...clay ball (with hole) at one end to hold stick incense...slices or ropes over rolled paper form? (one cone -shaped)
...nenuphar's round ball (with hole) on top of top end of oval clay base (embellished with strips and dots of mokume gane) for stick incense
--I have seen some pretty jazzy incense "boats" covered with polymer, but I don't think I'd want one. Although stick incense should not be a danger in one, as it doesn't burn all the way down the stick, some day I would probably forget and lay the hot match down on the holder -- and get a nice permanent black scorch mark! You have to keep in mind what some people will do, even if you put warnings on the product. Burning an incense cone or powder directly on polymer clay would definitely be risking a nasty (and toxic) mess. Same with candles. Clay-covered glass votive candle holders are safe and really pretty, though; and I've also used them, partially filled with sand or aquarium gravel, as incense burners (you could package some gravel and cone incense with each one to get people started). Good luck! Bonnie
--Yes, the clay would burn if you set a cone directly on it, but I've made one for cones where I stuck a piece of stained glass in to put the actual cone on. Kim2
(btw, good site about making your own incense --cones/etc which actually combust., or non-combustible types just meant for heating to release scent
http://www.scents-of-earth.com/makyourownna.html )

(see also Vessels and Tools)

Tracy's "dispenser" for candies, etc. ...an upsidedown jar full of wrapped candies, attached to a flying saucer shaped container underneath, which has large holes for reaching the candies which have fallen into it from the jar

Marcy's teapots (covering glass balls, but not necessarily. ..)

Lorie O's polymer hat (adult-size)!
http://www.sculpturefromtheheart.com/2001_melbourne_cup_hat.htm (click on each photo!)

Suzanne H's lesson on making a butterfly mobile... using liquid clay & oil paint (or Pearl Ex) ... the butterfly wings are created by filling in a black clay rope wing shape with different colors of liquid clay & paint (oil?) on a sheet of glass ....she then uses a log of clay for the body (with an embedded wire loop for hanging), baking the body together with the wings in an angled pose
..... ... then she makes a mobile from the butterflies

....Michelle Ross' lesson & photos of various colorful fish (for mobile)... disk shape as base, with added onlaid cutouts for fins, tails, stripes, heart-shaped lips (or rope) ...plus several wire loops for fins, and hanging)
(.......the fishes and a "group of bubbles" was also onlaid onto cardstock, which had been stamped for "water, for an invitation to a "swim party" )


(...she used a die cutter & laminator for the body, but could use all clay
...I made a simple mobile with space-related flat shapes of glow-in-the-dark clay for Irene Semanchuk Dean's Kids' Crafts Polymer Clay book. I pierced
a small hole in each shape and hung them from lengths of fishing line suspended from a wood embroidery hoop. Diane V.
( .... for polymer wind chimes and outdoor mobiles, see Outdoor Polymer > More Outdoor Items .. they could be used indoors as well)
..real mobiles and how to make them
http://www.mobilesculpture.com/makeyourownmobiles ..... http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/mobiles
http://www.uniqueprojects.com/projects/mobile/mobile.htm .... http://zeal.com/category/preview.jhtml?cid=10091399
http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/artscrafts/mobile.html ...http://www.seasonsnaturaltoys.com/childs_room/play_room.htm (floating fairies+)
...mobiles of various kinds & Calder

making your own napkin ring holders... I had a metal one that I covered with gold clay... it slipped right off after baking ...then I applied roses to it. ....It was pretty durable and looked nice

(greatly enlarged and disgusting things)... Once he and I made some pinworms from clay for a "joke" presentation to a research doc. The doc loved them so much they hang right next to his Nobel Prize!!! syndee
There are probably other people in the science field (including nurses, researchers, etc.) who love various micro-organisms, parameciums, etc., and love them for jewerly, pens, etc. ;D
....for info on a polymer clay maggot or larva, see Halloween

Barb's lesson on making a wooden bucket (& faux wood)

(for other items to make ....including Crafty Owl's 10-minute Teddy Bear, other bears ... look in Beginners-Kids > Sculpting or Other Ideas, etc.)

(for clocks, see Covering )

fishing lures
...Don Lokke makes various kinds of lures from polmer clay (crankbaits, topwater lures, spoons, flies, "jigs")
.......he sells several CD's with lessons (first one is basics on making lures, plus color mixing & layering, texturing, making and using molds, making hollow forms... others have more projects for specific types of lures and one is just on mixing colors)
.......I have marketed my CD's on eBay for over 2 years ..$20 each ..http://stores.ebay.com/Artist-CDs-Direct
.......http://www.craftcds.com ... http://www.polymerlures.com (gone)
.......my CD's are more detailed than the advertising and recommend the proper baking times considering the thicknesses of each design. 15 minutes is plenty for some of the small jigs or flies... crankbaits take more time and may take multiple sessions. . Don Lokke
...Sculpey III may not be suitable for thin or projecting or thin parts of lures though because of it's brittleness after baking (FimoSoft could be somewhat problematic too ...Premo, Kato, FimoClassic or Cernit would be better).
...the people I know who made polymer clay lures had flyfishing husbands who tie their own lures....they had some very good results with Sculpey SuperFlex clay (now called Bake and Bend) which is basically Sculpey with more of the flexible Elasticlay (now called MoldMaker) added, the plasticiser. The clay stays very rubbery/bendy after baking, makes things look livingbait-ier on the hook... Sarajane
(see just below in Animals for more on making fish and bugs-insects)


see many more animals especially in Websites and in Covering Sculpted Forms, both below
....also in Kids, in Sculpting Bodies, and in Christmas

When I first started sculpting animals, I tried so hard to make the face look exact and realistic, and end up frustrated. ...I had a wonderful instructor whotold me that sometimes only the suggestion of a feature was needed for a face (meaning that instead of trying to make a whole perfect end of a nose with a mouth, I may just need a tiny dot of black on the end of the nose)
...my work is sort of "raw and primitive" it is not the life-like sculpting that some pc artists do.
...another more thing that I do that helps....if I am trying to make a dog and it turns out to look like a horse or something else, I usually just go with the flow and say "the clay wanted to be a horse" and I finish the horse . lol. Leslie

a cat head is a big ball, and his nose is a little ball (only squished on the back a little). ...two triangles for ears
......whereas most dogs (long nose breeds) are a ball with a long box for a nose....simplification sometimes can be a good thing. Dot
...in sculpting cats, the head is wider than a dogs, and I think that a cats eyes are set lower and at a moreslanted angle than a dog as well. Leslie

realistic: ...When you see a cat's face in your mind's eye, it will resemble a rounded equilateral triangle, with the jaws more rounded than the nose --essentially a teardrop.... The eyes lie on a line about halfway between the tip of the nose and the crown of the head....the distance between the eyes is a whisker less than the distance between the eyes and the nose, so that the eyes and nose form another equilateral triangle half the size of the larger one that forms the cat's head.... The eyes are slightly larger than the nose.... Oval whisker patches frame and define the muzzle, and with some breeds of cat, these are more rounded than oval. Katherine Dewey

I went and felt the faces of my cat and dog......that cat was pretty puzzled, but I did learn a lot about touch that I just took for granted before, it was a neat experience (my dog on the other hand,well, I think that she wants me to rub her face again-LOL!!! ...(my cat is a regular tom, and my dog is a great pyrenese) ....the cat's eyes aren't so much slanted as they are more frontal, and the forehead is less prominent than the dogs'. There is less forehead on the cat too before the top of the head is reached. ...the face is wider around eye level than the dogs' and more pointed, like a heart, than the dogs' at the chin area. ...At a side view, the cats' face is roughly oval and the cheekbones are more prominent, as well.....The muzzle on Boomer is more like little cheeks set together under the nose area like little circles. Steph

dogs... depending on the breed, start with a head circle ball of tinfoil or clay, triangles for ears -shape as desired, and use rectangle for snout. ...put all shapes together, if using foil tape them as you go, then cover with clay or working in clay....cut in your details, pressing in eye sockets and place balls for eyes, then add lids to cover them. ...carve the rectangle into the jaw & jowls and push holes in for the nostrils.
cats... use the same principles..except use two circlar balls of foil/clay for forming the muzzle area and smaller triangle for the nose..press flat, push in holes for nostrils
......"Persian" cats have a really pronounced and somewhat flattened muzzle, so you'd want to make the balls a little larger, than for normal cats....also you can build the basic geometeric form, then add with thin flat scraps of clay and layer them over the figure for the illusion of long hair ..then draw lines on them to give a fur texture.
......for short haired cats, just add shorter strokes of lines for a fur effect ..
ALL ANIMALS ...& HUMANS ... all things of nature are proportionally equal in design:
....each arm/leg joint (segment?) is equal to 1-head, for humans as well as for animals.
....the length of the head is equal to the length of each part of the body. ....the neck, shoulders, back, rump, as well as measurements from elbow to knee and knee to fetlocks (horses only?), are all the same size as the head, and when tyed together give the overall mass and height.. . Linda D.

Leslie Blackford's many sculpted animals (or just heads) --birds, other animals
http://moodywoods.deviantart.com/gallery (look around)
Christi Friesen's short book on making cats (house cats & kittens...+ lions, etc. )
http://www.polkadotcreations.com/books/detail_cf04.html (click on book for larger image)
Laura's lesson on dog heads --lab type (mini, but could be any size)...one is 3/4 view
lesson on using aluminum foil to make "sculpt" of dog (could cover with clay as well) ... at FARP (Fantasy Art Resource Project)
(more dogs and other animals, etc. in Kids > Animals, as well as Websites below)

horses: Katherine Dewey's booklet on sculpting realistic horse heads called "Equestrian Busts"


Linda D's lessons on realistic horse, and on embedding mohair for mane and tail
http://www.pcpolyzine.com/2005winter/justask.html... http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/artfilly/my_photos
Linda Douglas' miniature carousel horse as a Bottle of Hope

Dinko's funny horse with rider in armor
http://new.dinkos.com (about 2/3 of the way down the photos) ......old http://dinkos.search.bg/gallery21.html (gone)

Kraugomi's weird little creature heads, created on the end of a bolt... most of bolt visible, but nut screwed on bottom to make a stand under head (...and one is a chicken? body, with bolt for legs and feet)
http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/kraugomi ...for more, click on http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/kraugomi/page4.html

very realistic fish by Joshua

look for dragons and dinosaurs in Websites below... and also in Sculpting-Body > Scales or Wings

for links to many other animals --realistic and whimsical
....cats, dogs, fish, bunnies/rabbits, pigs, cows, elephants, horses, and more

do a ctrl + f search on this page for the animal you want

fancy bugs, beetles, other insects

Fayette's bitty bugs ("bugs" with human faces) & mini-scenes

Becky Meverden's lesson on making a ladybug figure (to hang off a flower pot)...more ladybugs in Kids?)

cane-slices bugs .... built with symmetrical (mirrored) layers (usually but not necessarily sets of cane slices), over simple polymer bases (an oval ball)...(or you could make other items this way)
...The bugs look more complicated to make than they are... it's because they have a lot of parts & layers. But if you look at the "parts" you'll see they're ....lesson on making bugs with layers: http://www.amaco.com/pdfs/Lesson10.pdf (need Acrobat Reader)
.....can add legs** to the base before adding layers (this lesson lays 3 long wires, etc., across top of body --like an X, with a 3rd horizontal cross-piece equalling 6 projecting legs..do not bend until after baking)...make 3 small balls of diff. colored clay: flatten one into an oval and place on top of body, over wires, covering base completely or not... impress a line on this layer to divide body into lengthwise halves; add 2nd color as head to end of body; add 3rd color as "thorax"** (see beetle anatomy below)
.....can add legs to the base before adding layers (lay 3 long wires, etc., across top of body --like an X, with a 3rd horizontal cross-piece equalling 6 projecting legs..do not bend until after baking)...make 3 small balls of diff. colored clay: flatten one into an oval and place on top of body, over wires, covering base completely or not... impress a line on this layer to divide body into lengthwise halves; add 2nd color as head to end of body; add 3rd color as "thorax"
...use thickish wires for the legs, or twist two together (or attach 2 together with liquid clay?)
...Joanie's swap showing MANY cane slice bugs!!
http://www.pbase.com/joanie/image/22459731 (group) ....http://www.pbase.com/joanie/bugz (individual, closeups)
.....many bugs from 2003 swap (Kathy G's & those she received)
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4153008 (2 albums... click on Show All)
......I do one of two things with my bug bodies....
1. I use the cane scraps so I have lots of nice colors... I make a Natasha bead from them so the bottom of my bug has a mirror image design on it.
2. OR I form the body with scrap & then cover it with a very thin (#5) sheet of black clay....then the bottom isn't an issue at all
...after forming the body, use slices of cane to form the (various sets of ?) wings. ...starting at the back of the body and overlapping slices till you come to the head. . . .
.......and some have wire legs (added at end?)... most have some sort of antennae.
....(you don't HAVE to use cane slices if you'd rather use sheets or bits of mokume gane, skinner blends, powders, textures, or inclusions to achieve that same layered look.) Joanie
...Instead of cane slices you could also use sheets or bits of powders, textures, inclusions,mokume gane, skinner blends, etc. to achieve that same layered look. Joanie
...My friends and I spent one day just making simple canes... then added checkerboard edges to old canes to dress them up. Joanie
...some are just wierd bugs!!!!! I made a jester bug, and now a transparent pastel one ..don't know where these are coming from..yikes! Jenny
...can use for pins or embellishments too ..kids can make up a story for their imaginary bug
... could use a cabochon mold for the body base too (would be flat on bottom.. could shape further)
**beetle anatomy: the thorax is middle region of the body of an insect (between the head and the abdomen) and is the only region from which the legs and wings grow; it's actually composed of three sections, but only the dorsal plate (the pronotum) of the first section (prothorax) is visible from the top of the insect, and it lays across both "shoulders" behind the head (an underneath view would show the much longer entire thorax)
... each thorax segment has one pair of legs, and the back two segments each have one pair of wings (the thorax may be very large compared to the rest of the body to allow for strong wing muscles)
...wings: beetles are different from other insects in that the front wings lack veins and nearly always meet in a straight line down the middle of the back ...these "wings" are not used for flight though ...they protect the real wings and spread out of the way during flight.
...legs: insects always have exactly 6 legs (spiders have 8 & they're attached differently)
...the head holds the antennae and eyes ...the abdomen is the segmented section behind the back legs

(photos --loads of beetles !) http://www.living-jewels.com/photo.htm
(click on Coleotteri for beetle types) http://www.thais.it/entomologia/default.htm

drawings & photos of many bugs (plus butterflies, spiders, dragonflies, crabs, etc.) http://www.insectcompany.com/main/photogallery.shtml
* Fayette's fabulous 1 1/2" to 2" bugs & flies (cane pieces and wire)
Joyce Fritz' bugs have tiny twisted ropes for legs ...& various kinds of seed beads for antennae http://www.handscapesgallery.com/jewelry/joyce_fritz.htm & http://www.villagegalleries.com/fritz.html
Fayette's smaller fantasy bugs
http://www.pbase.com/fayette/galleries (click on all 3 pages)
Karen K's fantastic caned bugs
and Julia S's cane components bugs, based on Karyn Kozak class (gone?)
http://home.insightbb.com/~mgrasso01/julia/threebugs.jpg and http://home.insightbb.com/~mgrasso01/julia/mediumbug.jpg

Adria's simpler-shape realistic bugs ...with two long wings (often with two-tone stripes), plus thorax, head

*Wanda's fantastic dragonflies & bugs using cane pieces (website gone)

Suzanne's large bush/tree with a bug on each large leaf (gone?)

Jan R's mask pendants were formed over small river rocks ---I bet it'd be a great way to make lightweight little insects too.... neat! Joanie

Alan's metallic powdered, bugs/beetles ...I start with a brass wire (to double as a stickpin) and fix antennae around that. Then form a body around the wire.The fun comes with texturing (dental tools) and colouring (pearl-ex or F. pulvers).No two are alike.
..Alan's dragonflies & butterflies http://groups.msn.com/AlanJamesV/wingwork.msnw
real dragonflies http://www.dragonflies.org/catalog.htm
Varda's scarabs necklace and scarab swap http://community.webshots.com/album/5633878VQRmhdpZjP
scarab swap at PCC http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/swap_scarab.html
Matilda's dragonfly with Pearl Ex powders and stamped mica tile wings
(website gone)
many bugs, caterpillars, spiders, dragonflies (made for wreath)...esp. 2nd caterpillar made from segments of twisted/squashed ropes, spider body with Natasha technique, light blue bug (prob. mica clay Damascus Ladder tech), and bee/butterfly made with thick cane slices or other thick cut outs,etc.
(for more bugs, etc., see Kids)

Adria's spiders made with one smaller + one larger polymer beads for bodies (on eye pin), and bead legs
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v521/AdriaFilion (page 2 also)

.......more BUGS & other ANIMALS in Kids > Sculpting

chess pieces & sets

chess swap. Let me tell you, this is the most eclectic chess set i have ever seen. There are marvelously ornate dark kings and queens both replete in black and gold. Light kings and queens that are fanciful renditions (one looks like ivory, the other is dressed in silver). The knights are not just horses, but unicorns, standing stones, and stylised knights in shining armour. The bishops include a real bishop (with mitred hat) and a wood , also two stylised. The rooks are all representations of castles beautifully embellished. And the pawns... Some are stylised shapes that use every clay technique. There are caned people, clowns and soldiers, flowers and even a slug and a turtle !!!
PCC's chess pieces swap
Marie’s chess pieces http://www.clayfactory.com/images/gallery/chess1.jpg (can't find at new site)
*Dinko' s hilarious wild-characters chess set
http://www0.delphi.com/polymerclay/dinko1.html (gone)
*Garie's many whimsical sculptures & chess set (film spool)
Varda's chess (larger) pieces and board (all made with mica metallic clay)
kids make "their family" chess pieces
http://family2.go.com/features/family_2000_02/famf/famf0200bestcrafts/ (then click on Family Chess Set)
Magestic’s various chess sets (not necessarily polymer)
(pages 10-19 of the "catalog") for chess pieces cutters
.......for more chess sets and figures, see Kids > Games
atherine Dewey's booklet on sculpting horse heads, "Equestrian Busts"


Leslie’s marottes (jesters’ heads on sticks) (website gone)

my fingerpuppets
And from Nora-Jean:
http://www.puppet.org ... http://www.puppeteers.org/ ... http://www.sagecraft.com/puppetry/ ... http://www.puppetbuilder.com/
From Dotty CA
http://www.poapuppetrystore.com/ ... http://www.puppetryarts.org/
http://www.puppetrypastimes.com/puppets.htm http://familycrafts.about.com/parenting/familycrafts/cs/puppets/index.htm?ia m=dpile&terms=%2Bpuppetry http://familycrafts.about.com/parenting/familycrafts/cs/puppets/index.htm?ia m=dpile&terms=%2Bpuppetry
For those who want to know about making puppets, here are some links that will help you find your way (lessons?).
http://members.tripod.com/~manngallery/becker.html This Mann Gallery in Boston has a good FAQ (frequently asked questions) and a glossary of Polymer Clay terms. It's a little old so it doesn't have the new Soft Fimo, nor does is mention Premo. This page is of Don Becker, one of the artist who is represented by Mann Gallery and he's doing puppets.

There are many types of puppets.
Finger puppets... finger Clay Dolls. This is a puppet that can fit on a finger and is a fitting start for miniaturists.
Hand puppets...like the sock puppet, where the hand is inside of a soft body and operates the mouth.
Rod puppet..... started out as a court jester's stick, a head on a stick with bells to shake about and make merry. Rod puppet with more rods. Ok you can have a rod puppet and then the arms and hands are manipulated on sticks from below. Rod and string...a rod puppet but the arms are manipulated with strings from above. This is the forebear of the Marionette.
Marionette...the classic puppet that the hands and feet and knees are manipulated by strings from above, the strings are attached to a series of bars so the twisting of the wrist of the artist can control stuff like walking and waving the arms.
Shadow puppets...These flat puppets are made to be behind a screen and a light shines behind them, casting shadows on the screen. Many battles have been fought in India and other eastern lands this way for the amazement of the villagers.
Body puppets...where large puppets are lowered over a person and they walk about at Marti gras and again, make merry. So from being as small as fitting over the finger or as large as to cover a grown up human, puppets comes in all sizes. And are used for all sorts of purposes. I've seen sites where the puppets are used to share the word of the Christians and for activists to protest racism. From the innocent to the profane puppets offer an alter ego for the artist to say things that wouldn't have the same impact if it was just a wild eyed rant on top of a soap box.
ventriloquists' "dummies"? sit on something and mouth/head/eyes manipulated
I found out that there are universities where you can get a degree in puppetry.
I found some pretty severe activists who use puppets as a means of enlightening the masses on issues of importance. All the way to Ms Piggie and Kermit on the Jim Hensen puppet website. What I didn't find yet is a forum where the sharing of the information is as free as we are here. You can buy into the organizations, go to the schools and pay tuition, or any number of "it's going to cost you" sort of arrangements. But a forum where the free sharing of information seems to be pretty slim.
Penny for you thoughts site has some fab puppets! http://www.mich.com/~tileman/penny2.html Donna
DHM (Doll House Miniatures?), the March 2000 issue page 56 has an article on Poly-clay marionettes by Sue Heaser lenora
I have 6 cigar boxes that I have plans on covering on the outside with clay and doing the inside like a scene. Then I thought, hey...what about a miniature marionette inside of the box. Stand the box on its side and you can have the lid/door open or not, inside will be the puppet, if you have a string coming out of a hole at the top you could pull it and make it jump. Nora-Jean

hand puppets with polymer or paperclay heads

lots of info on various puppets (and links to others)
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_artists/article/0,1789,HGTV_3228_2331121,00.html (foam puppet)

puppets and puppet theatre, esp. for kids . . . not nec. polymer


You can cover baked, solid-clay shapes ("forms") that you've created yourself
...... or you can make the forms hollow, then cover wth clay
....use liquid clay, white glue, or super glues, or other methods to adhere the clay to those surfaces well if necessary

Any brand of polymer clay works for covering with other clay.
........ polymer clays are good compared to air-dry clays since they don't shrink, take detail well, etc.
Several Sculpey clays are somewhat cheaper by weight though, and can make good armatures and forms because they have a very hard surface after baking, but it may be good to add a layer of stronger clay (or slices, etc.) over some of those clays for more strength...(the hard surface also also makes most of the Sculpeys brittle, but using the stronger clay on top should alleviate that)
SculpeySculpey Firm (gray)....extra firm, opaque gray .....shatter and chip resistant after baking ......good for sculpting fine details
Sculpey Ultralight ... creates a lighter-weight form than other polymer clays
... if thick, very hard after baking; "won’t crack or break even in larger pieces" (do they mean during baking? or after baking??)
.......if thin, is flexible after baking (but is also strong when thin like the stronger brands of polymer clay?)
...when raw, Ultralight is very soft; feels a little like firm foam when conditioning (too soft for creating some details??...& how well does it "smudge" for sculpting?) ....can fairly easily stick to hands, work surface, tools
...bonds well with added raw layers of clay (but let sit together awhile before baking for best bonding)
SuperSculpey (flesh-colored)... bake at a slightly higher temp, just under 300 degrees... will darken, but it also makes the clay stronger than it would have been. Katherine Dewey (so especially good if you will be covering the SS, or painting it)
Sculpey (original, bulk, white or terracotta)... most brittle of all the clays after baking, and the softest before baking, but the resulting surface will be hard
(...like SuperSculpey, baking longer and/or at a higher temp will make it somewhat stronger, but Sculpey will turn puplish)

Or cover raw clay shapes instead
...in some cases, this could change the shape a bit so keep putting in frig or letting rest, even overnight, to help avoid distortion

also see Beads > Covering a Clay Base

paper-based "clays" can be good, but because they air dry they can shrink, and some types won't do very detailed sculpting.
...Creative Paperclay (white) for example, has been popular for using as a form under polymer clay, and Makins (colored) is good but more expensive
...paper pulp would probably work ... could add a bit of white glue to the wet pulp or acrylic finish-medium
...less expensive paper-based clays (Celluclay, etc.), would be fine but they often have rougher finished textures (
...traditional papier mache works too
(more info on these clays in Covering > Paper-Based and
grain-based clays may work too
...cornstarch based clays like "cold porcelain"
...even salt dough clay
(these must all be thoroughly dry before using with clay)

...synthetic epoxy type clays like Apoxie Sculpt and Fixit have some advantages (don't shrink at all, and can even be mixed with polymer clays)
...epoxy clays like Magic Sculpt, Aves Epoxy Sculpt, Milliput, etc, also work
(more info on those clays and how to use them, see above in Epoxy and Other Putties)

...tightly packed aluminum foil (details for form could also be given with an outer layer of clay, then baked, before adding final outer layer)
...fine wire mesh
(for more info on both, see Armatures-Permanent)

... polystyrene can be sculpted, especially the thicker extruded kind used for sheets of insulation, etc.... can also stack sheets together with glue, then carve/sculpt with various tools (for more info, see Covering > Polystyrene Foams > esp. Cutting, Shaping)
...dissolvable and/or removable forms can be created with various materials (see Armatures-Temporary)
or purchase:
...pre-made forms made from paper mache, wood, glass, ceramic, some plastics, etc.... see Covering and Vessels
.... for wood beads, etc., also see
Beads > Covering a Base

overlapped slices and bits on bases to make creatures, etc.
(direct to more examples)

Christine Taylor makes very realistic animal sculpts
...she first creates a drawing of the shape she wants to create on a sheet of paper ... then cuts it out and uses the hole left in the paper as a guide for the a polystyrene foam she carves--with files,etc (by continually trying to pass it through the shaped hole) (NOTE that extruded ps foam is better for sculpting than regular expanded white ps foam (see Covering >#6 Polystyrene > Cutting, Shaping)
... when satisfied, she covers the form with a layer of Sculpt-A-Mold and Creative Paperclay rather than polymer clay (which will be the base for the hollow form) ....after drying, she makes registration marks, cuts the form open and removes the foam (she didn't know it was safe to bake the Styrofoam and leave inside) ...she reseals the form and finishes drying it completely in the oven
. .she then covers the form with polymer clay ...bakes the piece a long time... sands.... finishes with Varathane (... she sands small or awkward parts before adding them)

covering forms with cane slices

cane slices can also be used to "cover" forms
... forms made of baked clay (solid or hollow)
...or forms made from other materials and items like glass ball ornaments, egg shells, cardboard boxes, 3-D papier mache shapes, etc., etc.

I sculpt first (a cat, in this case)... then cover it with paper thin cane slices (so the canes will be less distorted)
....I use one piece of clay. . .don't add heads or arms. . .sculpt them out of the mass. Dawn

Jon Anderson's covering a snake, lizard, turtle, etc.
http://www.fimocreations.com ... http://shop.store.yahoo.com/robertshieldsdesign/polymerclay.html
Omodtart's cane slice-covered animals (dolphins, frogs, fish teapot) http://www.omodtart.com/sculptures/index.html (gone)

Mike Buesseler’s snakes (Jewelry Crafts & my class) --lesson
--form a long rope of scrap clay into a triangle log, which is fatter in the middle and thinner toward each end (his snake was around 12" long?)
--make a cane of your choice (his was ~1" square)—you could use a Skinner Blend instead
--cut slices and butt together in 3-4? long rows on table (on waxed paper?); reduce (lengthen) the cane (thinner) before slicing as you approach the slices for the ends of the snake--to taper the snake shape
--add a lighter-color strip on each long side (will eventually cover tummy and a little will show on each side of snake = 1/5 + 1/5 on each side);
--put a flat side of the triangular scrap log-body onto the slices, and pull the rest up around it; remove excess plain stripe area, and roll to smooth the seam.
--form head in a thick triangle shape
--for eye: press white clay into the hole of a large glass seed bead; turn sideways and will look like a vertical slit of white; press eye onto the each side of the head.
--shape snake body (in multiple curves, or whatever) and prop the head up on a small block or wood, etc., while baking for most realism
(--if you need to reshape snake to make it all lay flat on the bottom after baking, put hot water on it, then weight while baking and cooling again)

SETTINGS for sculpts--Bases, Scenes... etc.

Sculpts can stand alone or they can be placed in a little bit of a scene (standing, sitting, lounging); this can vary from simply sitting on a stump to a much more elaborate setting (doing this can give much more info about the sculpt and make it more interesting). Even small bases can act in this way. (Making an entire enviroment would probably be called a diorama.)

I found some fantastic bases in a lamp outlet store. Marble, wood, brass and plaster, etc. I found seconds for $1.00 - $3.00. They do have a hole in the middle, but I figured whatever I wanted to set on it would hide the hole. Roberta

Here are a few links I've pulled from the general website listings below to show some setting possibilities:
--many more of the websites on this whole page (besides the following ones) will have scenes as well
sunni's lesson on making a flat base with a texture sheet, an embellished sheet, and stops
polymerclayfan's lesson on making a "rocky" clay scene (upright corals, with rock areas textured by wadded aluminum foil) on a wood plaque base to add his sculpture to (sculpture has armature wire sticking out bottom) --don't cover a non-acrylic varnish with polymer clay
Cathi's open "book" sitting upright on a wood plaque ...with matching scene, figures, parts of story, in front of pages (on plaque).... (for kids or anyone)

Cathi's small aquariums with fish and plants, her adobe oven baking bread, etc.
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=6&uid=820896& (look around for bookend scenes too)

Karen Rhodes' dinosaur sitting on a rock and reading a book ("rock" is a clay covered wooden bowl but could use a real rock, or cover one, or make faux rock)
http://www.clayalley.com/turnings.htm (dino only; others may be added to pbase soon)
*Elayne Watrus' many figures, animals, scenes on bases
http://tinyurl.com/4yoju (many sites with her work) ...... http://www.aspinningwheel.com/Little-Street/little-street.htm (may take a while to load?)
Vanessa's many scenes with bases and accessories
http://members.aol.com/fimoinvasion/Gallery.html (click on all 3 galleries)
Gwen's Humpty Dumpty, covered wood blocks for wall/bases (website gone)
bunnie, jackrabbit and reindeer in small scenes (website gone)
*Pearl's many figures in scenes (website gone)
Marlene's elf body asleep in shoe (notice collar too) (website gone)
Joan's figures standing or sitting on wood bases next to votive candle holder, etc.
Katherine Dewey's archives of realistic & fantasy sculpts in scenes (figures, nature, etc.)

Marilyn Radzat's realistic fantasy figures, many on interesting detailed bases
http://www.marilynradzat.com/galleryVI.html (click around to all galleries)

Catherine L's Noah? and various adorable animals (lion, hippo, frog, bird, sheep, pig, giraffe)
Helene Grove's simple figures in simple scene set-up
http://members.spree.com/sip/sunnidaze/me/africans.html (click on Helene's swap photo)

*Vanessa's Pigmalion and Bearon figures and scenes (click on both in left column)

Celidonia's many little base-type scenes with mixed media (some with themes) for tiny creatures, etc.
http://www.celidonia.it/English/gallery.htm (look all around)

Fayette's many mini-scenes (in/around flowers/leaves & themed, etc.) for her bitty bugs
Kevin Buntin's wonderful scene of many woodland creatures (hedge boggles) at a
banquet (with lots of natural materials, mixing medial)
and simpler scenes http://www.kevinbuntin.com/hedgegallery.html
....more of Kevin's scenes-bases http://www.kevinbuntin.com/miscmischiefgallery.html
Bernie's bookends with little scenes

Sue Heaser's flat? teapots ...on cover of her book

Margie's penguins, igloos, simple scenes/bases (website gone)
Helene's simple people & snow scene with igloo (website gone)

Wayne's 4 hrs of video on making bases for sculptures (stumps, vines, plants, moss, rocks, water, skulls, lizzards, snakes and insects)
Tom Plattenburger's polymer display stand for glass encased dragonfly

Julianne's 3-D dragon head sculpt protrudes from a wall "frame" of rocks and moss as a sort of base

a "display window" for a scene or item can be created in any glass vessel or ball ornament by covering all but one area, which is left blank so that items inside can be shown
Kara mostly covered a jar, leaving only an empty area of glass on one side to use as a display window for her sleeping baby

Lorie's fabulous "hats" with figures, scenes on them... (for Australian event)
http://www.sculpturefromtheheart.com/_borders/cup_hat_2.jpg ... http://www.sculpturefromtheheart.com/melbourne_cup_hat.htm
(2001 hat) http://www.sculpturefromtheheart.com/2001_melbourne_cup_hat.htm ( hover cursor over lower right ocrner of enlarged photo for more enlargement)

many scenes as part of a "shoe" http://www.polymercafe.com/feat_of_clay/feat_of_clay.html
Debbie Jackson 's tiny hut under a tree with flowers/leaves as part of a "shoe"

more on making little scenes of all kinds here at GlassAttic:
Kids-Beginners > Scenes & Dioramas
Houses-Structures , for houses, castles, "ground," stone-brick, scenery, furniture, etc.
Miniatures for plants, food, other items & scenes
Halloween > Scenes, Dioramas, Houses
Christmas > Sculpting

I once attached a figure to a base when it wouldn't stand up on its own after coming out of the oven . . . just a simple thick oval clay sheet, with a few rolled roses and leaves near the feet...DB
...when they decide to tumble on me, I can either sand the bottom, or even them off with more clay and rebake. anniep

Julianne's bases and settings of various kinds for sculpted figures (stained, sealed wood, and various others)
http://www.mysticalis.com/gallery.htm (look all around)

For weight at the base of a sculpture, I find that washers epoxied together with quick set epoxy works well for me. They are inexpensive, can be bought in several sizes and come in uniform sizes. I've found the best source to be Tractor Supply Company (TSC) or a hardware or lumber yard store. Tried Home Depot but theirs were more expensive. I like to buy them by the pound rather than by "each".
Once I've glued them together, I cover them with a layer of scrap clay. Then bake and after cooling cover with the final layer.
For ease of attaching a sculpture to the base, as suggested, provide either thin brass rod or stiff wire sticking out of the base. This wire can then receive your hammered foil and/or wire armature. I would most likely cover this armature with a thin layer of scrap clay and bake it, then add the final layer. Multiple baking will help prevent having to bake a very thick piece which might cause the cracking. Also, because this would then most likely be over 1/4" thick in its final baking, I would then bake for an hour. Patty B.

using any size of ceramic tile, add polymer or wood beads, corks, or drawer pulls (crystal, brass, etc.)to the bottom side for feet. Lindaa ... could use polymer around edge too as plant or any kinds of stand or display base, etc.
... or stamp on smooth tiles with fabrico ink --bake 15 minutes ...the ink where you stamped doesn't come off--it is baked on. vbfll (could put polymer around edge as framing)

Another good use of medical 'mole skin' is on the bottom of figurines or anything with a rough bottom. I like it better than the felt pieces. Cheaper too. Lysle

Garie's glass "display globe" baby food jar (over Pokemon and Astro figures)
MORE CLEAR DISPLAY UNITS (see Kids > Scenes & Dioramas for details)
(inside or under:) jar or large glass "pot", huge brandy snifter fish bowl or reg. fish bowl, glass ball ornament, aquariums, terrariums

(for sculpting stands, support and baking stands, see Sculpting-Body > Tools > Support Stands)

Bas RELIEF Sculpting
"sculpted" clay paintings

To sculpt "in relief" means to place shallow sculptured bits onto a background to create a picture or design... the result is not three-dimensional like most sculpture (it's as if the backs of the sculpted bits had been eliminated before adding them to the background)
....high relief means the added parts stick out quite a bit from the surface
....bas (pronounced "bah") relief (or low relief) means the added parts stick out only a little from the suface
......(think of the face on a coin as very low relief, as opposed to the very high relief of the faces of 4 presidents at Mt. Rushmore).

Bas Relief in Polymer Clay, by Katherine Dewey ...(low relief scultping)--5 full-page illustrated handout -- $5. 50 ($2.75 when ordered with 1st book) ("how to create a design; transfer the pattern onto thin sheets of clay with a razor knife; apply simple clay shapes to add depth; blend and model using gentle pressure...Inspired by topographic maps, adapted from fresco transfer") . . . + another workbook on bas relief for smaller items like cameos, etc., at the same site:
Katherine Dewey's all-white clay bas reliefs ( like cameos) http://www.elvenwork.com/archive/archive1.html

Chris Glasscock made beautiful, thin bas relief scenes on glass (snow & deer winter scene, barn scene) ... baked on glass, then put in frame

Lorie O's beautiful branches, leaves, women, etc. in bas relief on glass wine goblets & stemware

Christi Friesen's bas relief scenes on the outside of her vessels (jungle, ocean, etc)

Garie has his students draw an image on paper, then re-create the drawn image in bas relief with clay (or in 3-D)
...for creating bas relief, the image could be placed under glass as a guide for duplicating the image, and the clay modeled on top of it... then baked on the glass)
..... many wonderful scenes done in bas relief, or in high relief, and some full 3-D
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/creativity/mosaic.htm (click on each one to see many more)
... see more in Paint > Polymer Paintings > Relief & Onlay & Puzzle Piece

Tony's students' bas relief paintings made over prints from magazines or famous paintings... they use a sheet of plexiglas with a sheet of plastic wrap on top of it, then carefully remove plastic wrap and place painting on cookie sheet for baking (30 min.)...they work only with a wooden skewer and fingers...
... I have used greeting cards, covered with plastic wrap, and made pins. Sharon K.
... could use your own photographs as images guides as well
...could use the polymer paste method to do this too (see Paints > Polymer Paintings > Thinned)

Karen P's example and lesson re aluminum foil armature being used under a part of a bas relief (to save clay and make it lighterweight), then covered with a sheet of clay
. . she also shows how to use molds to make the head, face and feet (she cuts the backs of these flat for bas relief)
Karen P's lesson on making a bas relief leaves & flowers plaque, and painting in the stamped letters

bas relief figures but without background area ..arms, legs, head, hat, etc., overlapped or onlaid on each other . . .reindeer, penguin, snowman, Santa, etc. . . in Creating Christmas Ornaments from Polymer Clay, by Bridget Albano . . .
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0887408508/qid%3D1057066535/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/002-9177801-4172043 (then click on "Look Inside this Book" ...and especially the two black pages)
...Maureen's lesson on (high-relief) angel ornament with wings and dangling feet under skit, using her pattern shapes --manipulated-- & head and wings mold

Byrd’s very low relief "paintings" ... all clay
sunni's realistic relief "paintings" (leached Premo; regular clay smeared thinly with nutpick for shading; hints & instructions from Katherine Dewey's workbook)

Christy's lesson on "carving" a bas relief in raw clay, baking, then making a silicone mold from it for duplicates
Christy's bas reliefs ...some antiqued, or made with lightly tinted clays pressed in mold, as if lightly painted
Lisa P's lesson on covering the top of the lid of a cardboard photo storage box (using epoxy for baked "flower" frames for photos, and tacky glue for raw clay embellishments)
Lisa's completely covered photo box, embellished with bas relief underwater scene & Noah's Ark

*Valerie's high relief plaques of scenes (outdoor and figures/structures)
http://www.vaharoni.com/wp-content/plugins/fgallery/fim_photos.php?album=paintings or http://www.falczx.com (click on Paintings)
Mary Lamoray's sealife, landscapes, and animals with backgrounds, etc. ...... bas relief to very high relief

Kathy Davis' realistic topographical map of ocean and islands (geography project?)

Lesley's low relief (background) and very high relief (or freestanding) pieces (figure & bottles) ...scene in a shadow box frame

component shapes (ropes, balls,etc.) can be bundled together and onlaid, to create a high relief item (an embellishment, a figure, even a bead)
....cforiginals also uses pearls, glass, metal, etc. (mostly beadlike) on many diff., wonderful kinds of pieces
http://store.cforiginals.net/index.html (look all around, and clicking a second time will make the photos much larger!)

*Anne Klocko's many animals, people, sea themes, flowers, etc. (flat relief . . . all in frames)
Martha's winter seascape (on slab of clay with edges "gathered" upward)... pine trees with snow, ocean, lighthouse
http://polymerclaycentral.com/chall_dec03.html (click on Details, but be aware that window may jump down into the task bar)
*Marie R's relief plaques, many scenes; some combined with painted backgrounds; look around
http://www.geocities.com/polymerclay/index.html (scenes gone?)...look on Kids page for new URL?
Bas relief sculptures of bears, snowmen, gingerbread houses, etc.
Adorables' food, flowers, etc. bas reliefs
Marita's bas relief flowers, vines, in vases, baskets, etc.

Terry O's scene of mother bird feeding baby in nest ... low relief
*Garie's small framed bas reliefs (small figures and scenes)
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/art/Chinese_Series/chinese_series.html (#1)
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/art/Chinese_Series/chinese_series2.html (really #3)
Dar's bas relief onlays on gourd (Indian women, cactuses, pueblo)
gourd "house" with onlays of tree, shutters, etc.
Bunny's basket & leaves plaque

Feat of Clay (Ginny's) peacock (& jungle, etc.?) bas reliefs
Jeannette's snow people, tree, night sky (paint, but could be clay)
http://photos.yahoo.com/primitivedragon (click on "Painting", then on Snowboxes)
mtdew's fish and rhinestone bubbles on framed plaque(website gone)
Trace's covered and decorated mini glass vases (*cactus, dolphin, bows) (website gone)
treebelly's bas relief fairy on faux wood (website gone)
seasont's many relief/onlay items (website gone)
Garie's tiny reliefs and tiny things in frames
Kim K's trees, etc., onlay scenes (tiny, on beads)
Jan R's underwater scene with fish and kelp
Pauline's fish and underwater bas relief scene on a small round mirror

Clayground's flattish figures, xmas, etc.
parrot jewelry, & and some xmas, Valentines
goddess-figure swap (bas relief, other techniques) at Sunni's place
Sonya's No Smoking plaque.. has glow-in-the-dark smoke

Byrd's lesson on making an onlaid mandala design (with cane slices & clay bits) on a tile (could be very simple to quite complex), but fun (and an inadvertent math lesson); plus more examples of her mandalas & more info
http://pcpolyzine.com/november2001/mandala.html (lesson)
http://www.abgoodwin.com/mandala/ (more on mandalas in general)
Jan R's simpler mandalas (tiles)

Jeanne R's "scenes" made by onlaying various colors of soft clay she finds under her pasta machine onto a clay sheet (often overlapped, for sunsets, etc.) http://www.pcpolyzine.com/0303march/0303scrap.html

(...for more info and examples, see also Paint > Polymer Paintings > Relief, etc.... and also Onlay )

(...also see other examples of bas relief in Kids > in "Scenes & Dioramas")
(...see also Stamping > "bas relief" effects with stamps)
(see also Canes-Gen > for pressing down "background" areas of cane slices to provide relief)
(...see also faux leather techniques in Faux-many > Leather)

also often have bas relief elements

MORE TIPS on sculpting & painting

Would it be possible to create sculpts with metallic (mica) clays? How would you align the mica particles so they would lie flat and the surface would be completely shiny? Jacqui
...you can stroke the surface with your fingers - it should align the surface for you. Helen P.
...I've had much better luck using gold clay to sculpt something, then going over it with a similar color mica powder (Aztec Gold or Super Bronze)....after baking, I glaze it with Fimo Mineral based glaze. Looks wonderfully metallic
......I have done the same thing with cooper clay and copper powder... and especially silver clay and silver powders (silver clay alone doesn't look very silvery)...I haven't tired it with the pearl blue or red. DottyinCA

When I started research for my faeries, I also started with photographs. My daughter was my first model. I had her put on her swimsuit and put her hair in a ponytail. This gave a good outline of her body and head.
... Keep the camera at the same distance away from your model, and take photos of front, back and sides.
...Then also take close ups of hands, feet, etc. for the detail work.
...After you get your photos back, you can make photocopies of them to the same size as your sculpture. This will let you take actual measurements to compare to your piece. You can use a drafting tool called calipers, instead of a ruler (it looks like a compass, but no pencil, just two sharp ends.). My piece was only 7" so I could even lay my piece on the photocopy to see how I was doing.
...put your sculpture up to a mirror. This is another way to better see your mistakes
...Eventually I changed a lot of things from my photos.... I went through all my doll magazines and found my favorite features (favorite eyes, nose, mouth, etc.). Then I put all the features together to make my faery. It doesn't look too much like my daughter any more, but now it has a little of all my favorite things combined. (website gone)
....It still took a long time to get it perfect, but this method saved a lot of trial and error time and clay.
....Also put your sculpture away for several days before you bake it.... When you look at it again, you will be better able to see your mistakes. . Enchants

Katherine Dewey

In general, though, Katherine recommends looking at anything you want to sculpt as a sequence of geometric shapes (like spheres, cylinders, whatever) which you can assemble and blend together to create the form (a little like conceptualizing how to assemble a comples cane, only more direct, actually.)

Katherine paints her figures, currently, using first a coat of black acrylic for depth, then a dry-brush coat of gesso for highlights, then a stain (or wash) of umber acrylic and water. One outcome of the Event was that Katherine has decided to experiment with layering colors of clay and incising them to get her fur look . . .
.....Katherine's long lesson on making her lifelike mouse on the HGTV site; after texturing the fur, coloring it by using first titanium white on dry brush; then raw sienna/burnt umber clays with a bit of water; then highlight with dry brush white on certain areas, or pink wash of raw sienna, cadmium red, and white for nose/mouth/ears:

-Use very firm clay, either advanced (older) or leached. Firm clay (like Premo) is less likely to accept fingerprints, and while harder to push into shape, it's also harder to push out of shape (see above near very top of page for leaching clay and then testing it for readiness)
-I make heads, bodies, arms and legs separately, and let them rest at least a half hour before attaching them.
-I use an insoluble, smudgeable clay, either Premo or Super Sculpey, so that rubbing a moist finger helps to finish blending seams.
-Leave sculptures alone and out of sight a day or two before baking, then look at them with a fresh eye in bright light. You're more likely to notice fingerprints and nicks.
-I bake on a cushion of (cotton) fiberfill; usually the figure is laying down (but can sit if armatured with metal rods, etc.?).
-*After baking, when the sculpture is cooled, scrub under hot water with a fiber scrubbing pad. Gotta be really careful around fingers and toes, eyes, ears and nose. A dental scaler is perfect for these areas.
-Garments are added to a baked, nude figure. I know the skin is smooth and flawless. Diluent makes my polyer cloth hold fast, and I can remove it if I don't like the cut or drape.
-I know a lot of artists who "brush down" with alcohol or turpenoid before the sculpture is baked. This process doesn't work for me as I often bake the legs or arms then add them to an unbaked body; brushing down with solvents will break the bond between baked & unbaked clay.
-Brushing a baked sculpture with alcohol wil help acrylic paint adhere.

DANE'S TIPS on Sculpting

A: Symmetry Sculpting Solution: The brain and the eye (the mind's eye) can get into bad habits. These habits such as your and mine (yes, i got it too) lopsided symmetry sculpting. My drawings get even father out like wind-blown sails! Many times in an unconcious effort to infuse action into a sculpture (with out considering anatomy) I will make unbalanced masses. It's called trying too hard. Nature is god with figure sculpting, so create symmetry first before doing offsets which can be confusing.
1. Using the mirror to view your work can ususaqlly spot errors in sculpting such as symmetry.
2. Stop looking and start feeling! Animal sculpts such as horse and dragon heads, have very side-based features, which are harder to view from the front than human features.
During the final rough-in stage of a sculpture, it's time to do less looking and more touching. With one hand on each side of the sculpt's symmetry sides, carefully compare the sculpted mirrored masses on each side at the same time. Your hands are better sensors than your eyes. Auguste Rodin, master fine art figure sculptor had very poor eye sight and used his hands extensively to make up for his "infirmity" and look what he sculpted!

B: Tricks of using Assymmetry On Purpose: Once good symmetry is acheived, much realism and spontainous life can be added to any sculpture by creating minor assymmetries in your sculpture. Why does this work? Nothing in nature is in balance, but always in a dynamic flow from one side to the other (like a sign wave on a graph).
1. Effects like contraposto of body pose give a casual motion to the sculpt which are more naturalistic. This is all about weight distribution and balance working in an assymmetrical manner on a biological being. One leg taking on more weight pushes a tilt to the pelvis (in humans) and the shoulder blade as well (in animals). The body, in its attempt to create balance with assymmetry, will tilt the human shoulder group in an opposite tilt from the tilted pelvis. The neck will then attempt to keep the eyes and inner sinus and ear balance centers level by tilting the neck back again in opposition to the shoulder tilt. The spine and neck vertebraes take on graceful curves (when viewed from the front) in humans to tie these tilts all together. Muscles such as abdominals, spine , neck, buttock and thigh muscles will be slightly assymmetrical in these pose conditons as well.
~2. In faces I will, after achieving symmetry, purposely introduce imperfections in this balance to get a more interesting look. Likenesses of people can be greatly enhanced, if one observes the subject's personality reflected in facial assymmetries that all of us habitually express. Examples are tilted smiles or heads or eye brows.
NOTE: By using careful observation of natural beings in movement, (walking, talking, running and leaning) many purposeful assymmetries can be introduced to a sculpture for more naturalism.
Sincerely, Wayne THE DANE Hansen

Creating Smooth Sculpts
1. Speed: Slowing down your speed of tooling and shaping is essential when working with this spongy clay. 2. Roughing vs Finishing: I think to heavy handed shaping used during rough in of clay has to be lightened A LOT when you are approaching the time for accuratizing these same surfaces. This will perhaps eliminate the need to prebake the sculpted body. 3. Practice Being Blind: With years of experience, I've found that to "read" surface flaws (bumps and depressions) acurately, a light touch sense with the finger tips more than the eyes will help a lot to find these flaws. 4. Water and Rubbing Alchol: My finger tips and a little water on them are my secret weapons for smoothing broad body surfaces. To avoid print marks from fingers on clay, use fingers in up & down (not side to side). Always gauge finger pressure while rubbing the clay down. At the end, a very gentle slide motion will really refine things to a great degree. If you are not painting the sculpt and want the clay's surface to show, water may create "moons" , flawed translucent crescents. In such cases, substitute Rubbing Alchol for water. 5. Good lighting: A harsh side light will (help to) show many flaws as you work. 6. Just before baking: This is the time to really look at the sculpt slowly and ruthlessly for flaws. Flaws can be fixed easier while the clay is raw! Spend time & patience at this point and DON'T RUSH to get the thing into the oven! Rubbing alchol and a soft brush will take care of finger prints and soften flaws in recesses. 2 strokes at most or you get brush marks! You should have no deep flawed errors before baking! High spots (moderate ones can be sanded. 7. Post bake: Sand, sand sand! I use Sand paper instead of flexible sanding pads to really true up the baked surfaces of body sculpting. I use 300 grit wet dry. I use it dry so I can easily see the lighter high spots from sanding and the darker low unsanded spots. 8. Now you can use #0000 Steel wool to get everything perfect! 9. Final Refridgerator tip: Polymer clay heats up the more you handle it. Overworking (overheating) makes clay very sensitive to pressure than its firmer beginning stages. Stop work! Let the clay cool. Do a little and stop. Many sculptors do an exaduration of this concept by refrigerating the sculpt (not freezing) for a 1/2 hour and working the sculpt cool to refine surfaces while the condensation is helping to lubricate your fingers and tools. 10. Softening too sharp or harsh detail and getting rid of clay balled on high detail: Just before baking, I take a soft small brush and vegtable or mineral oil on the brush. One or 2 strokes to flick out clay balls and reduce harsh edges (especially if paint is to be applied). Wayne THE DANE Hansen

````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````put in Armatures??

From: figuredane@aol.com

Here are some tips that might help when sculpting figures that you want to last:
1. Building a tough understructure for sculptures:
a. Use a good wire "skeleton" scaled in wire diameter to take the weight of your figure. I use 1/8th inch aluminum for figures that stand from 8 to 12 inches high. If a figure of this size has long horizontal pose distances (like a horse or four footed pose) I will use steel 1/8th diameter wire on those horizontal runs or even switch to a larger aluminum diameter wire, making well wrapped leg, head and arm connections with small brass wire (jewelry gauges). Running the leggs and arms into a large twist down the spine also will work well in these horizontal runs.
2. Don't use glues to make wire frame connections 9they might melt when baking polymer clays) or just break during poseing adjustments while sculpt the rough in stages. Make thse wire connections with small gauge wire wraps or other mechanical means such as durable epoxy putties or both!
3. Epoxy Putties:
Hardware stores will carry some very tough plumbers' 2 part epoxy putties that, when mixed together (so the two colors are an indivsiable single color by twisting equal "snake coils" amounts until mixed) will give you a working setting time anywhere from 10, 20, 60 or even 120 minute cure rate. Don't feel intimated, ask the guy at the counter! These putties, if they are really fine grained and take good detailing, are often used as the only clay by miniaturists who sculpt in scales that are very small, like 25 millimeter (1 inch) to 120 millimeter (4 inch scales). Putty can be used to reinforce leg and shoulder joint connections of larger figures. Once your figure's pose is set you can epoxy putty the entire wire frame in a "skinny body" sculpt as well for greater durability. Just make sure you leave enough future thicjness space for anywhere from 1/16th to a maximum of 1 inch of polymer clay for total thickness baking curing.
4. Good Clay Assembly Habits:
Earthen clays that are to be fired in high temp kilns always need to be religiously hand built with good adhesion between clay balls. Polymer clays , while made to give the sculptor lots of fool-proof leeway, need a similar attention paid to its clay balls.
. Minimize the amount of air pockets in the clay (especially between the wire frame and the clay) by using direct pressing clay motions always PRESSING INWARD toward the wire frame during all stages of sculpting.
b. Always spend time CONDITIONING your clay by kneading it in your hands before applying it to the rest of the clay figure. Don'y apply polymer clay straight out of the box to the sculpture. This is the only time you should be using smiring motions is blending clay parts. Otherwise these motions can loosen the bond between the wire frame and create air pockets. Without this careful conditioning of clay parts and good bonding of them, you may find cracks and even sculpture parts popping off after baking as they sit on your self. Seems like a mystery when it happens, but this is the preventive cure.
5. Taking the Wieght OFF of the main clay body sculpt:
a. Most simple wire frame figure armatures are simply attached to a wooden board at their feet by drilling holes for the feet wires or smaller holes to each side that will allow small wire wraps to be twisted underneath the mounting board. If this is the only mounting support for your 8 inch or larger sculpture, you are asking for stress cracks to develop.
b. Polymer clay developes these cracks in the soft stages, but cracks won't appear until the sculpt is fully cured! Who Knew!
c. Mounting the sculpture frame on a support rod that takes the main weight of the clay will releave this knee and ankle cracking situation. You use two different hardnesses of metal to make this rod system work. Aluminum sculpture wire for the figure and a steel THREADED support rod. Why? You can create an easy "home made nut & bolt" connection with a triple coil (tightly wrapped) of aluminum wire crimped around the steel threads of the rod. It becomes instantly adjustable and removeable by unscrewing! The rod can be placed in the classic back of the figure's spine on the horizontal (like Chuck Needham's armatures) or place the rod between the figure's legs at the crotch (like Wayne THE DANE's armatures). Chuck's system requires an extra vertical threaded rod with a drilled double plated wingnut assembly attachment for the two rods. Both rod systems require a drilled hole in the wooden base with upper and bottom nuts for the vertical threaded rod mount. Go to Chuck's website to see wonderful photos showing his armature support set up and sculpture staging at
http://www.globaldialog.com/~twobit (then click on Sculpture) You can buy THE DANE's "Total freedom Armature" rod support system kit with instruction (lesson)s and anatomy charts for $15.00 PPD website: http://www.waynethedane.bizland.com
. Grades of Polymer clay (bake at 250 to 270 degrees F with lots of ventilation in a nonfood baking oven!):
a. Sculpey: Cheapest cost, color: white, Lowest Grade, very mushy, cures to a soft leathery hardness. For Kids.
b. Super Sculpey: Next Expensive ($10.00 for 1 pound box), Colors: Tranluscent Flesh (hard to see finish surface-mix with a little black or white to reduce transparency) and white, Middle grade, Harder to sculpt with has bouciness to it, Mineral Oil and rubbing alchol solvent (but can be smoothed also with water like all its polymer clay relatives) cures to very hard leather hardness. Good for main figure body not thin extension parts.
c. Premo: Most expensive, Colors: opaque flesh, white and black, Top Grade (has some fexibility when baked good for extension body parts), cures to a semiflexible hardness.
d. Super Elasticlay: Most expensive, Color: opaque beige tan, Specailized uses, cures to a latex flexibility, great for thin extension parts like wings, protruding delicate parts.
e. Cernit: moderately expensive, Colors off white, better duraibity than super sculpey. used extensively by professional dollmakers. must be baked.
f. Paper Clay: Cheap Cost, Dry Dries, Colors: Light Grey, Water Based Very User Friendly, Inferior surface finishing to Super Sculpey clay, but sands out fairly well. Works like a cross between paper mache and earth clay.
7. Baking to MINUMIZE CRACKING of polymer clays:
a. Put finished sculpt in cold oven making sure all parts are well supported (clay reaches a semi-solid/liquid state of cure where some seemingly stable extension parts will stress crack). Rods, props with moistened kleenex tips will keep from marking the sculpt and be flexible enough to accomadate shrinkage factor with polymer clay dimensions.
b. The real key to a good bake is very gradual increases in heat temperatures. Bake piece at 100 degrees for 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the mass of clay you have. Bring heat up to 180 degrees for 15 minutes to half hour. Bake at 225 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover any extension parts like fingers, etc. with aluminum fiol (shiney side OUT). Bake at 270 degrees for 3 to 15 minutes. Turn off oven, without opening door or removing sculpt until oven temp is completely back to room temperature!. Smaller sculpts take less time to bake than larger ones, so develope a feel for the timing of different size polyme rclay parts bakes by trail baking different sizes and thicknesses of "throw-away clay chunks!
8. Sealing the finished polymer clay or paper clay sculpture: See manuafcturer's instruction (lesson)s for sealing your cured sculpture with coats for sealant. Many thin coats is better than one or two thick coats.


Bill GirarD's sculptures w/ armatures http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=zaaxs
--I start with 14 or 16 ga. wire (I use brass from jewelry supply stores) and make a wire frame in the shape you want the figure to be and the right size. (armature) Then you can just start adding clay till it looks like what you had in mind.
--You can add aluminum foil to the bare wire then it won't take so much clay, but I seldom do it cause where ever you don't want the armature to come through the finished piece it will.(another law by Murphy).
--I make a large footing out of the wire that I bury in the base, to give the figure more stability.
--Most of the time I make the figures nude and then add the clothing or accoutrements, but not always. If hey have flowing robes I make them as I make the figure.Then I add the final details to the figure.
--I smooth the finished piece with my fingers and sometimes a little lighter fluid. I use a very small artist paint brush and lighter fluid to smooth out areas where I cannot fit my fingers. Use lighter fluid sparingly. Always let it dry before baking.
--I prefer Super Sculpey polymer clay for figurative work that has been conditioned for months between paper sheets to bleed out (leach) the oil so the clay is quite stiff but not crumbly. Bill G.

THE BEST BAKE GUIDE IS BY COLOR CHANGES no matter what the oven type or condition: Color changes in clay are the only sure way to govern your sculpts. Prebaked translucent pink color as the one I know about.
1. Bake color turns yellowish biege. If you are going for the unpainted prebaked flesh color biege is undesireable. Biege is good for optimum strength.
2. Brownish biege is still OK, as long as pimples (raised circles of clay that you did not sculpt caused by expanding air pockets under the surface) don't develop.
3. Purplish brown danger, Will Robinson, Danger! You will definately get pimples at this stage!
4. Deep Purple means you have ruined the piece! Large sized raised welts will have deformed the entire surface!
Different based colors of polymer clay will exhibit yellowish to brownish to purplish changed tones of whatever color you started with. The Dane


FARP's various lessons and tips on sculpting, drawing, writing, etc. http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/farp

Peter Konig's excellent and thorough lesson on making a creature from a drawing
... very detailed photos of creating an armature from wire (joints are wrapped with Devcon solid epoxy for strength bec. he makes large sculptures) ...techniques for creating very wrinkled skin
...good tip: in one photo, he shows using a cardboard "stencil" of his (same-size) drawing to create the exact size and shape for the body of his clay sculpt (while creating it on the armature, by continually holding it over the clay he's put on so far until it's large enough
....he also suggests using gray clay (a little black added when using the plain white Sculpey) so the winkles and texture can be seen better
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showt)hread.php?t=18287 (5 pages)

see many more in Websites below

DB: merge

I will help you out as much as I can from here. Of now I suggest you find yourself any type of clay and begin sculpting 12 inch (1/6th scale) figures. You might want to begin sculpting a head first.

Toy sculptors often make the first draft of a model in polymer clay, then make a mold off that and cast that in the hard wax. Sometimes with a resin casting step in between. That hard wax model is what gets refined and submitted to the companies. I, for one, was fascinated to see this formula and have saved the message. Helen

Hasbro's Wax Formula (for Toy Sculpts)
Thanks to nontrade secret guys like myself and Digger President of Art Asylum in Brooklyn, here's rthe mix. Ingredients: carnauba (33 light tan):-75 grams....Affects Hardness Paraffin (KC-278-D):-345 grams (amber) SW-12 (micro crystelin):-57.5 grams Victory (KC-278-P):-42.5 grams (white) Pure Talc Powder:-400 grams....Lower if it presents problems Colorant:-15 grams (or to desired color)...(Kenner Flesh Pink) TO MIX: In wax pot (or crock pot is OK), combine elements starting with Victory & SW-12. Then add Paraffin & carnauba. Add Talc last. Stir in coloranr. Make sure all elements are mixed COMPLETELY! Pour melted wax into teflon cookie sheets or cupcake tins. Make sure as you pour wax, you use a fine screen filter. Stockings work well. (nylon hosery). FILTER, FILTER, FILTER! POINTS TO REMEMBER: 1. When pouring castings: The cooler the wax, the better to cast in. Pour wax when it looks gelled or has a skin. Ideal castings temp. is 150 to 175 degrees/Pozywax at 190 degrees. Use hair dryer to preheat molds. Let sit for a few hours before pulling out of mold. (Remember the middle (core) of the casting takes a while to solidify) This formula has a 4% shrinking rate! 2. SOME TECHNIQUES FOR CASTINGS: Use lamp oil, citrus shine, wax shine to buff castings. Apply with stockings. Invest in various dental tools and an electronic waxer (specially made for wax temperatures with digital temp readout and a variety of interchangeable shaping pens. Use water ALWAYS! The overall process: 1. clay roughin of all separate parts 2. Make silicone molds of each part 3. Do wax castings from molds. 4. bring wax castings to the finished stages. 5. Make silicone molds for prototyping into resin for painting and presentation of product. Note: Toy comapnies want WAX masters to use for their production tooling! Ain't no undercuts for metal production molds! God knows what process MacFarlane Toys uses! Sincerely, THE DANE figuredane


(see more reviews & info at Books on Polymer --move there??)
(also see reader reviews for most books at amazon.com)

more whimsical or humorous figures

Yes! The best tip I can give you is to get a copy of Maureen Carlson's book, How to Make Clay Characters." This is an excellent book on sculpting all kinds of characters and covers faces in pretty good detail. Also covers clothing, facial expressions, using armatures, hands, feet and a lot more. Maybe you'll get lucky and find it in your local library as I did.
…instruction (lesson) make Clay Characters. … I think its great. It shows in great detail step by step each figure. The first part of the book deals more with "character" faces on figures and the second part with "realistic" so yes, to your question. How to get those great faces. I love the end of the book on problem solving. One of the problems is "face it this little darling is just not cute" and then she procedes on how you can smoothe and shape the feature to make it "cute". NF

~I just received the (later) book from Maureen Carlson, entitled "Family and Friends in Polymer Clay". Wow! If you enjoy making figures as I do (or want to learn), this is the book for you! In a nutshell (and as the cover describes) "it covers techniques for creating caricatures of the people you know." She covers everything including the basics of facial/ body proportions; instruction (lesson) recreate moods; capturing a persons "likeness" for realism; doll construction techniques... and on and on! This has to be my favorite of all of her books so far. Amy
She's very thorough and even though the subtitle refers to making caricatures of people you know, she has a lot of stuff in there that leans toward the 'classical' kind of sculpture. I think it'd be a terrific book for a brand-new beginner to intermediate sculptor, and even advanced, if the person wasn't advanced in the area of creating "human" figures. Haven't read it all, of course, but it looks very comprehensive, and I've already picked up a few tips in just the quick skimming I've been able to do. Elizabeth
Cindy's explanation & review, in Polyzine http://www.pcpolyzine.com/february2001/bookreview.html

Clay Characters for Kids, by Maureen Carlson, North Light Books
...I just got this book today and it's really terrific - I think kids are going to love it, and I think that a lot of adult beginners are going to want this book, too. Maureen creates characters that range from simple to quite complex. If sculpting is a mystery to you, this helps you see how easily a complex figure can be broken down into shapes that are easy to form. After you get the basic figure done, then you can take it in your own directions. She even shows you how to accomplish different moods with pose and facial expression. Tons of beautiful pictures, very clearly written directions and fantastical stories told along the way - she's amazing, she is! Elizabeth
...has a color wheel made up of little sculpted fish... http://www.pcpolyzine.com/0203march/hia.html

Creating Fantasy Polymer Clay Characters, by Dinko Tilov: step by step Trolls, Wizards, Dragons, Knights, Skeletons, Santa, goblin, a generic guy and other weird characters
...I have been working on a how-to book on sculpting funny characters......It's due to be published in March 2004. There will be about 12 projects in it, very detailed, I've tried not to skip anything . . . . Dinko Tilov
http://book.dinkos.com (should be a great book... his peole and animals definitely appeal to kids and he's a good teacher)

Modeling with Polymer Clay, by David Kracov . . .(should have at least a little experience with sculpting) cartoonish but not cutesy style

Making Animal Characters With Clay, by Sherian Frey ... it starts out with really simplistic animal figures, but the ones toward the end of the book are more realistic... Her German Shepard police officer is the best dog head I've seen yet. Dawndove

Dragon Magic Sculpting Booklet 1, by Ria van Son (DragonMagic Sorceress)
30-page booklet in color. Begins with easy project lessons for DinoDragons, DinoHatchlings, a Real Dragon and a Wyvern. ($8 + $3 shipping) http://www.dragonmagic.nl (click on photo of booklet at the Dragon Magic Store)
.....I just received it today and I have to say for her first booklet it is terrific. What great step-by-step instructions for us new at the dino & dragon thing. Barb

shorter books re sculpting... by Design Originals http://www.d-originals.com/polymer.html
# 5107 Clay World, by Kris Richards (whimsical bugs, critters, ocean dwellers, barnyard animals, zoo babies, etc.) $11.99
# 3331 Babies & 'Bums' by Michelle Lott (cute, rounded figures with accessories, interesting bases, etc.)$7.99
# 3327 Clay Creations, by Becky Meverden (34 characters... babies for every month of the year, sock monkeys, cats, frogs, mice, elves, ornaments) $6.99
# 3333 Professional People, by Michelle Lott (standing figures: computer guy, lawyer, tai chi, teacher, doctor, nurse, etc.) $7.99
# 3334 Special Seasons (cute characters with theme of birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines, etc.: mummy, rag dolls, pilgrims, Native Americans, birthday clown, etc.) $7.99
# 3332 Holiday Happenings, by Michelle Lott's (cute Christmas character ornaments: mice, snowmen, reindeer) $7.99
# 3268 Clay Cut-Out Kids (mostly bas relief,
ornaments using cutters, clay gun and craft knife) $6.99
# 3301 Clay & Wire Whimsies (all ages; birds, people, animals, holiday decor, spooky characters; mostly with clay bodies and long wire legs, some wire accessories) $6.99

more-realistic figures ...also doll house figures

Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay (by Katherine Dewey) .. how to sculpt realistic human figures... plus much more --selecting clays, making your own modeling tools, proportioning the figures, ethnic and gender subtleties, facial expressions and posing, costumes in clay, finishing touches, etc.
...see more reviews ...plus some of the actual pages of this wonderful book at:
(click on "See More Pictures")
...Sep 2004...the Art Institute of California has added Creating Life-Like Figures to its list of text books and will be teaching a course based
on the book

Making Babies, (a workbook by Katherine Dewey) ...(a companion to her Creating Life-Like Figures) ...covers proportions, begining with the face, followed by the torso, the legs, and the arms...proceeds with patterns for modeling these parts of the figure, similar to the patterns in Creating Life-Like Figures, but proportioned to the infant. ...patterns are in the 1/4th scale and produce an infant sculpt roughly 6 inches tall (and includes instructions to create infant figures in smaller scales) . . .no step-by-step photos but there are photos that illustrate important steps where there's variation from the companion book. With the adult figure book as a guide for specific modeling techniques -- how to blend appliques or use specific tool strokes -- readers should have no problems creating a life-like infant. There's a scale chart for producing smaller infants as well.

DVD (and molds) for babies & baby face molds (and older)-- CherylTrottier (cherylamie at eBay)
http://ctrottier.tripod.com ..... http://tinyurl.com/ymkc2v (bottom)
(see more baby molds below in Molds)

Cheryl's babies & baby face molds, and older figures

lovely book on sculpting children in Cernit brand clay ( by Rotraut Schrott)
. . . Marleen Engeler has one too, also concentrating in Cernit. Karen

For older faces, try Jack Johnston's books. Karen

(pretty faces and bodies)...Sculpting a Polymer Mermaid ...(DVD) by Patricia Rose
....I just bought the best polymer clay DVD ....her face instructions are great... . has the best detail, yet is simple and in small scale ...her web site is http:.//www.patriciarosestudio.com . Beverly . . . she has also other DVD's ($40-54):
...Learn to Sculpt Detailed Faces ...Learn How to Make a Polymer Baby ... Sculpting a Polymer Fairy

And if you are looking for a general sculpting book, Hildegard Gunzel's is just the best!:) Karen

Sculpting The Figure In Clay by Bruno Lucchessi (sp?). . . I've integrated lots of their techniques into my own approach to sculpting. Leslie

Human Anatomy Online is a nice quick resource to jump to if you are sculpting the human body and can't find your copy of Fritz Schider's Atlas of Anatomy for Artists. You don't have that book? (shame on you it's less that 10 bucks from Amazon.com or your local bookstore!) http://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html

I reccomend the book, An Atlas Of Human Anatomy ( or Atlas Of Anatomy For The Artist? )by Stephen Rogers Peck. This book makes make drawing, but has wonderful tumbnail sketches and explainations about how the body is designed. If you have no other book, get this one (Oxford University Press $17.95 softbond at Barnes & Noble).
Animal & Human (?) (the sculpture books of Edwourad Lantieri )
Dynamic Anatomy by Burne Hogarth;
Drawing Dynamic Drapery by Burne Hogarth;
Drawing Hands by Burne Hogarth;
Drawing The Head
by Burne Hogarth . . . . . Wayne the Dane Hansen

The best book I've ever come across for anatomy is 'Human Anatomy for the Artist' by Eliot Goldfinger. It's a little pricey (it's HUGE), but it's AMAZING. There's even a section on facial expressions! danielle

Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy, by Christopher Hart. Review of this book by Tommie Howell at
http://polymerclayhaven.com/reviews/human_easy.htm (. . . Christopher Hart has written a book that I think finds the perfect medium between showing not enough and showing far too much where anatomy is concerned. . . )

Good places for doll books are http://www.hobbyhouse.com and also Scott publications, but sorry I don't know their webpage address. Karen

The best book that I know for polymer clay dolls is Susanna Oroyan's Fantastic Figures... If you find it somewhere, GRAB IT! Bob McKinley's book is also superb...
In Fantastic Figures, she concentrates on unique dolls made from polymer and paper clays, especially those that combine sculpted clay with cloth bodies. Emphasizing innovation rather than imitation, she provides lengthy and detailed information on the clays themselves; on sculpting the head, hands, feet, and legs; on finishing medium and painting methods; and on constructing the body, clothes, hair, accessories, and even display stands and tableau settings..."
(see reviews at amazon.com)

......"In Anatomy of a Doll, master dollmaker Susanna Oroyan gave us a definitive work on cloth dollmaking. . . .

Check out dollmaking references. One very good one with realistic faces is Bob McKinley's book. His faces are incredible.
... One of the classic books on making dolls is "Dollmaking - One Artist's Approach" by Robert McKinley. It can be *very* hard to find, but this site just got some in and I finally got one! :) Not cheap at 29.95, but a *used* one went for $43.00 on ebay last week. Pat
. the book shows him using Super Sculpey but Robert stopped using Super Sculpey because he was experiencing too much breakage... and he switched to paperclay!!? Sadly he wasn't around long enough to try some of the newer and stronger clays that we have today.. . . you might try writing to Bill Nelson- to see if there are any remaining copies. He's available at: 107 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219 Kathndolls

Making Miniature Dolls with Polymer Clay: How to Create and Dress Period Dolls in 1/12 Scale, by Sue Heaser (also shows how to make clothing, etc.) ... click on cover to see larger version

my favorite... "1/12 Scale Character Figures for the Dolls' House" by James Carrington. My favorite thing is sculpting dolls and figures, so that's part of why this book ranks so "off the scale" with me. Very clear lessons for creating dollhouse scale figures with tremendous life and humor and vitality to them, all presented with clarity and thorough explanations.
New material, here, including how to make molds for your basic figures, so that you don't have to start from scratch every time you want to make a doll. How to wire the doll and pose it and wig it for the effect that you're wanting to acheive. How to make the facial expressions that you seek. And it's all written with so much of the personality of the author coming through that you really want to have him over for tea. (Very British.) Elizabeth (see also his series of videos below)

How to Make Perfect Dollhouse Figures, by Kitty Mackey . . .figures for scenes and displays....armatures, hands and fingers, facial featues; how to use sculpting tools, maintain body-facial proportions, and how to paint figure realistically

Het Grote FIMO-BOEK van A Tot Z (Tjitske van Nus-de Zwart), in Dutch but many diagrams... "Dutch Darlings" figures (accomplished, ruffly, flowery little girl/boy/baby figures with many accessories, holding alphabet letters, etc.)
see photos, contact info, and more links at http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/bookrev3.html

Most of the text of Mimi's New Clays for Dollmaking is available on-line and free at:
http://www.mimidolls.com in the Techbook section. There are over 500 pages of free information for dollmakers, but not all of it applies to polymer clay.

The mimidolls website is probably the best one I've seen for how-to make dolls http://www.mimidolls.com.
...There are not a lot of doll-making tutorials that I've found, besides that, but there is an excellent list of links to doll artist's pages at http://everink.com/eve-da.html ... It helps me a lot just to see what others have done.

Way of the Doll: The Art and Craft of Personal Transformation, by Cassandra Light
ISBN 0-8118-0698-7, $18.95 Chronicle Books, San Francisco …uses a dollmaking workshop as a way to explore the maker's inner self, childhood issues, and so on and to express aspects of this in the doll form. Most of the dolls are realistic (more or less) and you may or may not feel resonance with the approach, but the concepts addressed in the book s are motiovational and the pictures are gorgeous…Sherry

Creating Life-Like Animals in Polymer Clay, new book by Katherine Dewey -- getting great reviews!
(from Katherine Dewey) The cat is the most difficult animal in the book, the mouse the easiest. Begin at the beginning. Every animal teaches. Each successive animal relies on previously learned techniques while it teaches a new technique. So, put the cat aside and go back to the beginning. The mouse teaches a lot about assembly and texture, but is small enough so that lessons are learned quickly. The rabbit and seal introduce foil cores that reduce baking times, and creating a compact sculpture as well as working on a larger scale. The bear and basset expand on foil core shaping, working with greater amounts of clay,and forming limbs. The fox and fawn take the limb techniques further. The frog and bird are two examples of very different animals made over similar foil cores and with similar armatures in the toes. They expand on texture techniques as well. After all of this, you're ready to tackle the cat, a very fussy creature made with slightly softer clay (it's that Granitex/Premo blend). Kathy, who wishes she'd written "Begin at the Beginning" in big, bold letters!
( For those who've bought "Creating Life-like Animals", I've posted a special page at
http://www.elvenwork.com/bookerr.html that should prove helpful. There are 4 errors in the book. One is a typo, and the other three are pattern drawings that were printed either too large or too small. Print the page directly from your browser to get drawings that are just the right size and the typo correction. Katherine Dewey)
.....Katherine's long lesson on making her lifelike mouse on the HGTV site:
.....Christina's examples
.....(see some examples at Marsha's site) (website gone)

...Also, I love the paperclay books by Robert McKinley. . . . he is no longer alive but his two excellent books are still available...esp found used on ebay. Dianne C.

magazines & e-zines

Gremlins in the Garage (webzine) ... dedicated to figure kit modeling including coverage of science fiction, horror, fantasy, and anime from movies, books, comics, and cartoons. There are sections for reviews, articles, finished kit pictures, garage kit companies, and more.

The best resource for armature-making that I've found was an article in Modeler's Resource magazine, a publication targeted at "garage kit" model enthusiasts. Leslie
...I received a copy of Modeler's Resource in the mail today...In all, if you build garage kits, this is a great magazine. If you sculpt, it's also a great magazine, reflecting a very different stage where polymer clay plays a large part. If you're a sculptor, you might be interested in this magazine. If you paint your sculptures, this is a must have magazine. Katherine Dewey
.. "garage kits".... a grassroots, fan-based, international bunch of sculptors and painters whose passion is media-related scale figure model kits


Mark Sawicki Sculpting Characters with Clay . . . Hollywood clay animator Mark Sawicki ...creating your own crazy characters. Very easy-going . . . variety of techniques for making cartoon folk, using simple tools and basic shapes. ...goood for beginners as well

1/12th Scale Characters in Polymer Clay Basic Body Blanks and Mold Making with James Carrington ...imaginative and detailed figures in this small scale. In the first tape,... make the basic body shapes...also how to make two part molds...don't have to start from scratch every time...actual size diagrams to help you shape your doll blanks and proportion charts for the male and female figures
...1/12th Scale Characters in Polymer Clay Facial Features, Hands and Feet with James Carrington . . . "best miniature doll-making video I've ever seen. Very detailed and thorough -...start with the basic body blanks from video #1 and progress through four variations, two female and two male. .. no bland little dolls, here - these dolls are full of personality and expression.
1/12th Scale Characters in Polymer Clay Assembling, Painting and Wigging with James Carrington ...makeup and wigs ...... really makes this look easy and provides tons of information along the way http://www.polymerclayexpress.com/videos3.html (long tapes)

Jack Johnston has a 4 video series on doll making with polymer clay http://www.artdolls.com
I have those videos and they are excellent, J Johnston takes you through each step of dollmaking and makes it look so easy...his hand armatures are terrific as is his tape on soft body sculpture. . . . . . However, the videos that I like best are Richard and Jodi Creager's videos. They currently have one on Making Heads and another on Making Hands. They are the best that I have seen. I am impatiently waiting for their next two, which they have in production right now. Dianne

The Creagers have two (now 3) sculpting tapes (head and hands and legs-feet) out on creating very realistic figures. They go into EXTREME detail... and they do show instruction (lesson) apply the wool hair.
...My favorite (lesson) resources for sculpting so far are the Creagers' videos on sculpting heads and hands … Leslie.
the Creager's Heads and Hands videos….. I'm sure I'll own them soon but I want to wait till the legs video comes out (do you know when it's expected???) What is the fourth video from the Creagers? Becky
...I just purchased a set of sculpting tapes from Creager Studios (head, hands and feet). With purchasing the set, I received free a study they offer on both the left and right ears. Since the ears came free with the tapes, I also ordered the Caucasian nose and an elderly eye. Now I have an eye, a nose and both ears to work from while sculpting. I've been watching tapes for two days and can hardly wait to get my armatures ready to begin sculpting again!!! Jean/PA
...I received two of these videos as a gift and I absolutely loved them. Jodi is calm and confident on camera, and explains everything so thoroughly. And of course, their dolls are some of the best out there. Lots of personality, beautiful costumes, realistic gesture and expression. Just gorgeous! Elizabeth
...One place to order them is: http://www.cely.com/shop/mainshop.html
... The Creagers can be reached at creagers@aol.com for order information.

I spent last year exploring and learning about dollmaking. . . .I liked J Johnston's vids ok, but found Jodi and Richard Creager's series so much more helpful.
...I also was able to look at videos by Lisa Lichtenfieldt (she works with fabric) and her video was extremely helpful if you are interested in lifelike fabric dolls.
...You can do a web search for any of these dollmakers online websites. Dianne C.

~I've got the videos on miniature doll sculpting by Evelyn Lenz Flook... ...- you would now have to change the color mix of the clay, because you can't get Friendly Clay, but other than that, the videos are very comprehensive and perfect for beginners. I don't do everything the way she does, because she's making dolls, and I think of dolls as being "posable." A few points don't translate to one-piece figures. And I also don't have exactly the same tools she has. But, it really helped me figure out the steps and how I could do the armature and bake in stages..... You learn how to make 1:12 scale dolls, and there is a chart for making half-scale dolls included, too. You just slide it into a page protector, and you can check your doll against the scale chart periodically to keep it in proportion...It really helps to see different ways use tools, different sequences in how faces are built, etc. Elizabeth

Margene Crossan (?) showed us instruction (lesson) use the armatures. But she also went a step further and cured the dolls at several stages. That helped her keep the doll from slumping or from messing up one portion while working on another. btw, that was in her latest video announced here last week - Sculpting Characters :-) http://www.mindstorm-inc.com

Several videotapes...Maureen Carlson's Faces Faces Faces, lots of stuff at Mindstorm Videos, and my fave, Jody Creagers one on sculpting faces. You can email the Creagers at creagers@aol.com for more information. Check out Dolls Magazine or Contemporary Doll Collector , as the ads in the back can be very helpful for resources. And Dollstreet (just search on Dollstreet) has at least one on line class involving face sculpture in I think paper clay.

Wayne THE DANE Hansen (Figure Dane).... . . figure sculptor and teacher in this crazy hobby of monsters and movie characters….the human form has always been his focus. Renaissance sculptor, Michelangelo is his life long mentor ..he has a standing reputation as "The Dick Smith" of the figure kit hobby, freely disseminating his knowledge to all who approach him. THE DANE's two biggest highs are figure sculpting and turning others on to their own creativity through his videos, articles and at shows. His motto is "talent is secondary to desire."
...Wow! i wish they had that stuff when I was starting! Alas, that's why I started my teaching videos for other newbees! ...spent last 9 years enabling other sculptors to vastly improve their figure sculpting skills with my videos.
... I also offer free critiques and tech answering services. ..just e-mail me at figuredane@aol.com . Wayne
...Wayne's product descriptions http://waynethedane.bizland.com/index.html
...pricing for video (fig.sculpting+modeling) and for, orig. figure kits, etc. http://members.aol.com/modeldane/page2/index.htm
... Ebay now has my videos kits too . . . search siegaard seller name. Wayne
...his work is exceptional, and he is most kind and helpful in answering the often dumb questions asked by the newly sculpture-obsessed (like me!). Check him out! Bonnie
instructional videos on figure sculpting in polymer clay, and also tapes on building & painting figure kits... presents the entire instructional process almost uncut to the viewer... tapes run from 4 to 16 hours per each title in his line of over a dozen subjects.
...I just got two 8.5 hr video courses today from Wayne the Dane who does garage kit sculpting. I haven't had a chance yet to sit and watch them, but the are supposed to be very comprehensive so I'm hoping it will improve my skill. If they are as great as I hope, he's got a couple more I'm gonna invest in. Elise
... (I also sell) soft-edged steel spoon and bent conical shaper (not offered anywhere else and hand made by me--or see his instructions in Sculpting-Tools). .... I also offer the world's only POST BAKE Polymer Clay Smoothing Fluid.

Garie, have you ever thought of doing video tapes of the things you do, kid and otherwise?? I think they'd be a *great* success! Diane B.
....Garie Sim is interested in making some videos of his unique and traditional uses of polymer clay if there is anyone willing to share the business with him. I hope someone can take him up on his offer! but he is in Singapore and I don't know if he ever travels outside of it. Maybe someone travels out that way or has some suggestions for him. Take a look at his many inventive things in various categories at http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/index.html

I found a link on James Carrington's site to the Dolls In Miniature magazine that I didn't even know existed. That magazine is a fabulous resource for doll-makers! I ordered a bunch of back issues from Viola Williams and subscribed to the latest incarnation just recently. There is a third source of back issues of the magazines on the 'net, too - it's had three owners. There are always good ideas and lots of patterns for miniature dolls. Elizabeth

(for books on flowers, see above)


Cheryl's baby face molds
..... http://tinyurl.com/ymkc2v (bottom)

Millie's 2-part molds ....for 6-6.5" tall whole women (one wide hipped, one not) & man & 3" baby (+ 5" baby faces)

(for more molds just for faces, look in Faces)

Online DISCUSSION GROUPS (all these are FREE)

I get a lot of emails from people asking about sculpting techniques and I do answer them. Oft times the questions have been asked before. Because this is so often the case, we've opened a forum on Elvenwork where people can ask questions about techniques or share ideas. To get there, got to http://www.elvenwork.com/tips.html and click on the question mark. In no way is this a substitute for any of the polymer clay or sculpting forums; it's simply an adjunct that easy for me to access. I'll still spend a part of my day here and at every other related forum on the web. Katherine Dewey

(new sculptors -- "This group is for novice, small-scale sculptors and experienced sculptors who are interested in mentoring. The goal is to create an atmosphere in which beginners feel comfortable asking questions and showing their work to others. Mentors will be there to give advice, share techniques, and offer constructive criticism.) Wayne the Dane?
join and then spend a couple hours or so perusing all their files ..... the mentors on the list are professional model artists and garage kit enthusiasts who offer their expertise to beginners. those folks know multiple mediums and figure sculpting ....sunni
... 90% of the members are beginners... but very talented artist members offer their help to newbies
...very active group... but note that they do now allow lurkers more than 30 days (keeps the group smaller, but very relaxed and chatty)

MEMBERS: anyone playing with polymer clay is accepted as a member, but:
...most members are polymer clay fairy & fantasy figurine makers
...also some baby makers, and some more-abstract statue makers
...also a few who make something else (like beads, ornaments, etc.)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/figuresculptor (sculpting figures of all kinds! Our goal is to promote and share the art of figurative sculpture and crosspollenate information and share artworks and questions about artwork execution, artist marketing and have fun! The only resriction is (no) hard core pornography! Sculptors in polymer and other clays, waxes, wood and stone are welcome! ) Wayne the Dane
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FigurativeSculpture (intermediate-level small-scale sculptors and advanced to professional-level sculptors who are interested in mentoring....no longer novices (have completed several pieces and feel somewhat confident about their abilities), but still feel that they have a lot to learn. Mentors will be there to give advice, share techniques, and offer constructive feedback. Please don't join with the intention of permanently hiding in the shadows!... Mediums include, but are not limited to: polymer clay, paper clay, wax, plaster, plasticine, epoxy resin, metals, stone, and so on. Genres include, but are not limited to: small figures (human, animal, other), models/kits (horror, sci-fi, comics, fantasy, military, etc.), dolls/art dolls (mixed-media figures), action figures, decorative figurines, abstracts, and so on. Wayne the Dane.)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArtisticAnatomy (includes all topics that might be relevant such as: form, composition, light, color and dynamics of movement,etc. as well as discussion of contemporary and classical Figurative artists and techniques)
Figure Sculpting Anatomy Group Class with Critiques. copy & paste into browser http://pub57.ezboard.com/fthemonsterlabfrm3.showMessage? topicID=442.topic
(gone?) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/figuresculptingandanatomy... (this Yahoo group will help you with bodies. The crew there is a bit zanny but ever so helpful. We don't have "chats" ..... we have group therapy (*rotflmao*) There are some very talented generous people there. Come join the fun. Deb S.)

... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/figurekits (sculpting, building and painting resin, vinyl and styrene models of figures --hosted by Wayne)
... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/garagekits (for fans and collector's of resin model kits aka Garage Kits.We will discuss new tech's,review kits and shows,video's related to the topic.To make it brief we WILL be an online magazine devoted to the hobby)
Gremlins in the Garage (webzine) ... dedicated to figure kit modeling including coverage of science fiction, horror, fantasy, and anime from movies, books, comics, and cartoons. There are sections for reviews, articles, finished kit pictures, garage kit companies, and more.

CITY-o-Clay ...polymer miniatures, sculpting and gen. polymer techniques ..used to be MSATClayArt
....polymer clay artists from beginners to skilled professionals... all polymer clay techniques are discussed: color mixes, raising cane, sculpting figures, replicating things from nature, for jewelry and household accessories, in flat designs or 3D... miniatures and scenes.
....the moderator Nora-Jean Gatine takes a very active role in posting, teaching, etc ......she likes to encourage beginners (and others)
....Nora Jean also gives twice weekly, online, polymer clay webcam demos (free, accessible by Yahoo members with YahooMessenger), where miniature polymer clay techniques are reviewed and new techniques of all kinds are attempted as live experiments
...We also have hundreds of tutorials online.....We are chatty. ....(now over 1000 members, 26-100 messages per day)

http://pub18.bravenet.com/forum/show.php?usernum=1505510207&cpv=1 Katherine Dewey's sculptor forum
news:alt.sculpture (newsgroup) some moldmaking and casting whizes there)
bit.listserv.clayart (earth clay newsgroup…) ADDRESS?????

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/polymerclayfigurines (we share marketing ideas, wholesale information, tips on successful displays at shows and much much more....most of us on the list are figuine artists making whimsical characters and critters )

DOLLS and Art Dolls:
email list at http://www.dollmaking.org. There are about 750 members, with about 20 posts a day average. It's a great place to pick up information on dollmaking and related arts. . . . "including everyone from beginners to some of the most famous dollmakers working today. Topics of conversation include marketing, supplies, costuming, and everything related to dolls. We discuss every type of doll, from toys to art dolls, in mediums including vinyl, cloth, polymer clay, porcelain, and even vegetables.."
(for makers and collectors of fine quality Artist Dolls. The purpose is to bring doll artists and doll makers together with discriminating collectors who are searching for the beautiful, the unique, the best dolls available today. Porcelain, resin, polymer clays, cloth and all other media are welcome. You are welcome to buy, sell, trade, search for or promote your latest creations or dollmaking materials, such as SFGW and doll molds. Exchange of dollmaking information is also welcome)
(polymer and air-dried clay doll artists. doll swaps, shows, tips on dollmaking and doll sculpting classes)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AGDolls (American Girl dolls, history, old crafts, antiques, fine sewing, period costumes, unique doll accessories and modern finds to start interesting discussions with other doll collectors. The emphasis here is on making doll clothing, accessories, and crafts for your 18" dolls. )

Where can I learn about clay modelling, clay animation, and... shooting?
...just type claymation (in a web search engine like google or yahoo... all kinds of sites will come up. :o) Lynda
....Here are some links that might be of help. Try the newsgroup rec.arts.animation . . . of course this newsgroup deals with all types of animation but just ask about claymation and I'm sure you will get some answers.
Also take a look at some of these websites. They should get you started.

http://www.pwc.k12.nf.ca/projects/claymation/whatisclaymation.html Robert H.
http://lordjonray.com/film/ (LJR Productions & Toby Bear claymation)
Van Aken's home page is http://www.vanaken.com/clay.htm ...If you contact them, they could let you know if there is a supplier in (your part of the world. Dona
...Garie Sim used polymer clay food with faces for an animated TV commercial in Singapore

(not completely organized or turned into links . . . sorry!!)
(DB -these copied to Sculpting/Body Parts too)


YouTube.... http://www.youtube.com..... (or other free video sharing sites)
Many clay demos of all types are being uploaded to YouTube, etc.....yay!!
....to find them, enter significant search terms into the search box at the sites, such as these bolded ones
, using YouTube:

(and here are some good ones to check out) à
*many excellent explanations of sculpting (realistic) at Katherine Dewey's site:
*Dan Perez' Sculpting 101: body parts & skin textures
http://www.danperezstudios.com (look esp. in Workshop and Model Shop)
PolymerClayFan's realistic he-man, muscley figures + animals... + some lessons
http://www.polymerclayfan.com/gallery ... http://www.polymerclayfan.com/sculpting-tutorials
many many lessons on sculpting & molding
many many lessons on sculpting, molding and painting after baking
many lessons by various people on sculpting, painting, etc.
*wire+ armature lessons for sm. figure & dragon
... also lessons on head, hands, bodies, clothing, etc. (Astralos)
http://astralos.p5.org.uk/index.htm (click on Course>Modeling> Armatures...or others...sequential pages)
*Nora Jean's many foil armature, body, & head lessons
http://www.norajean.com/Sculpt/Index.htm (look around)

Patricia Rose's lessons on wire and clay armatures
(NOTE: more lessons? in Armatures Permanent > Wire and other categories on that page?)
coat hanger? wire doubled over for body, legs are ends, in wood to begin (Jenny P's lesson on sculpting a figure)
(website gone)
Maureen's lesson on head, hand, boots (from molds) and body (coat hanger armature also), and pattern for robe

wire and foil armature for older man & woman on base (with accessories, etc.) (also Jenny P.) (website gone)
Christel's lesson on making a body from by wrapping polyfill stuffing around a wire armature
Nora Jean's visual instruction (lesson)s on alum.foil armature and old man in robe (website gone)
Rick's lesson on wire & alum foil, and alum.foil only armatures & bodies
Linda's lesson on sculpting a simple dragon

Marina's cute dragons in their broken open eggshells
*** look now at? ---> http://www.marieidraghi.itinglese/edraghini.htm
* PolymerClayExpress' lesson on making a cute but complete dragon, completely "painted" with mica powders
Barbara's lesson for dragon (wire & alum.foil armature), and onlaid scales


fireEyes' lessons on dragon shapes (heads, eyes, feet&claws, Eastern/Western style); drawing, but applies to sculpting too (also sculpts and many paintings)
Tommie's saga re testing the new Kato Polyclay for sculpting to make a bird-like dragon (with various media for armature)
*polymerclayexpress' lesson on making a small dragon (powdered, but wouldn't have to be)
harryjohnpursey's various dragons with thicky- veined wings.... + few photos of armatures
Amy's visual lesson on creating a figure with wire armature & Sculpey
sculpting & armature w/ SSculpey --lesson)

sculpting a nude older person
Maureen's older female face
Jenny P's older faces (look around) (website gone)
*the Buonaiuto's casual, uplifting, multi-ethnic older women, children, men, etc., heads and bodies, using realistic bodies for a change! (also look in Bronzes and One-of-a-Kind Clayworks)

many faces, bodies, . . . & dragons, and more
http://pcpolyzine.com/0301january/0301fantasyart2.html (click on all pages)

Celadonia's many lessons on sculpting (all? realistic fantasy faces, etc.)
http://www.celidonia.it/English/projects.htm (under construction)
Jodi & Richard Creager, very realistic, fabulous, ethnic sculpts
http://www.creagers.com ....... http://members.aol.com/creagers1/gallery.html(gone)
June Goodnow's very realistic heads, also Native American

Nora-Jean‘s visual lesson on sculpting mer-people
(website gone)
(find at norajean.com)
Nora Jean’s lesson on how to make leg/foot and shoes
(website gone)
(find at norajean.com)
head ,hands ,feet & basic armature photos (mom)

Sarajane’s hands
http://www.polyclay.com/beads.htm and http://www.polyclay.com/hands.htm
*Desiree's hands
Maureen's hand and b
*Angels Unawares’ lesson on sculpting hand and arm

Karen's very simple mittens
various methods of creating eyes and attaching hair--lessons?
http://members.tripod.com/~manngallery/interesting.html Thalassa
lesson on making a caned eyeball for sculptures

Faun's tiny figures (some with wire hair); lesson on faces, hair, etc. (website gone)
Angels Unawares’ lesson on sculpting an (African) child’s head
Plankspanker’s wrinkly skins (see more in Sculpting-Bodies > Scales & Dragonskin)
Plankspanker’s lessons for dragon head, teeth, etc., & a body form
Plankspanker’s SOD’s: Dragons, Wyverns, Orcs, Demons, Aliens, etc.
fireEyes' dragons, wyverns, grey wolf, etc.
Adrian's sculpting info (lessons)
Jimbob: sculpting with pc (lessons)
artGear's sculpting info (lessons)
*Tommie's darker sculptures & others' work--some "garage" style
http://www.moonlightarts.homestead.com/gallery2.html (gone) http://www.reliquary.homestead.com/ (gone)
Wayne the Dane's fiendish figures
Dawn S's many hags, fiends, ugly characters, etc. (look all around)

Owen's skeletons, fiendish & other figures, wire (website gone)
Adrian's dinosaur and rider, plus other skull, etc., sculptures (realistic)
http://smallmountain.homestead.com/files/dinorider.jpg and http://smallmountain.homestead.com/KleinbergenExhibit5.html


(see more above in Lessons also)

*the Buonaiuto's casual, uplifting, multi-ethnic older women, children, men, etc., heads and bodies, using realistic bodies for a change! (also look in Bronzes and One-of-a-Kind Clayworks)
*Katherine Dewey's sculptures (and some lessons)
Katherine's archives of sculpts
Angela's many realistic bodies (and heads) on fairies, etc.

Oscelyn's animal sculpts based on Dewey book (website gone)
Marsha's animals based on Dewey book (website gone)
Robert Houghtaling's Figgy Mountain Frogery (whimsical but realistic frogs, fish, etc.)

Cheryl's realistic small animals (mouse, otter, kangaroo, elephant,etc.)

*Prue’s character figures
Bill Girard's (strong) mostly women, some ethnic, costumes, etc.
Robert Houghtaling figures...Sculpture and Design-- the bronze "winemaker" pictured on the site is not really bronze. I needed to shoot some pics for as magazine article and couldn't wait for the first pieces to come from the foundry. I colored the original Super Sculpey maquette to look like bronze and that's what you see on the web site.
Toini's Art Dolls (clones of real people)
*Mermaids, M’s in bottles, The Fantasy Within Collection
*Lisa’s sculpture-looking women (fabric)
Bonnie's old world Santas
many Santas! (not the real simple type though). . . click on all the kinds

Darlene’s mermaids, fairies, dolls
Lorie’s women, mermaids, etc.
Kara's many pretty women, children (fairies, mermaids, etc.)

Picklesisters' older characters, Native American, tree spirits
http://www.picklesister.com/dolls.htm (gone?)
Leila's realistic animals & people, (Native Americans, etc)

One of a Kind's Native American, etc., older faces, bodies
http://hobbystage.net/art/misha/ (not accessible?)
Fayette's many figures (older, young, etc.)
James Peacock's sculptures
Ann Cole's women sculptures, clothing, wings, etc.
Ginny L's many figures and heads & mixed media (arty & whimsical)
Jannie's figures and heads (olders too)
Marilyn Radzat's fantasy sculptures (faeries, angels, elves, & bases) --fairly realistic
Barbara's dragons with onlaid scales (...see Whimsical below for many more dragons)
http://home.att.net/~ntwadumela/poly.html (gone??)
Jenny P's dragon, wizard with staff and cave
Marie S's cool wizard
Marcy's wizards with many onlays on robes, stars & moon on hats

Cheryl's babies & baby face molds... and older figures
...Cheryl's mini lesson on making a tiny baby + more babies
lesson on making baby curled up face down by Ann G.
...more of Ann G's babies
http://anniesminis.com/tiny.htm ...http://anniesminis.com/elf.htm
Camille's babies (...also in shells, eggshells)
http://www.camilleallen.com/camille_allen3.htm (also click on For Sale)
Kathy Davis' 4" babies... (Elf and Elfkin)

Marlies' simpler realistic babies (practice models of plasticine)
Millie's photos of real babies' hands, feet and navel to study

(for realistic-babies, see several books/DVD's, molds, etc. above under Books & Videos)
(for more babies, generally less realistic see Gifts > Miscellaneous Gifts ...and also Books & Videos above)

(Art Dolls Webring ..225 websites)

.....for horses and other animals, se Other Items > Animals above


Kim K's page of links to many doll sites
*Mimi's Dollmaker everything page:
many links to lessons and other doll sites (polymer & also fabric dolls)
on sculpting, painting, etc.
All About Dolls --many parts & accessories for sale (eyes, hair, etc.)
*Nellie Everink's character figures, plus
Kathndolls' figures (old, young, etc.)
(website gone)
(most of the text of) Mimi's New Clays for Dollmaking
*(many) dolls & figures --worldwide
Christel's troll dolls & other figures (most with fabric clothes)
Verlene's figures (all types, some whimsical, fabric clothes), plus skeleton & witch
realistic animal head dolls (with fancy fabric clothing)
figures with twigs used as woven cages or in bundles for torsos, other wood/bark, and other mixed media (the rest isn't polymer, but it could be)
http://www.akirastudios.com (look all around)

...for aluminum flashing figures (cutting, preparing and covering or painting) , see Covering > Metal
Art Doll webring (dollart)
http://nav.webring.org/cgi-bin/navcgi?ring=dollart (113 sites 11/99)
National ArtCraft’s photos of many doll faces
Sarajane’s character dolls (& paperdolls)
paper figures (hinged--mostly paper but inspirational)
see also "jointed figures"

faun's mixed media dolls, cone dolls, dog & cat head dolls, etc ebsite gone) (website gone)
Cloth Art site
Shane's angel figures (not exactly dolls, but not whimsical either)



(for bugs, dragonflies, insects, etc., see above in Other Items > bugs)

Dinko’s (lesson) on funny bird with teeth ("boid")
.....birds with teeth swap (based on Dinko's bird)
many simple but creative polymer critters... all kinds
Domicreative's weird little 2-ball creatures --with added metal and wire pieces (for eyes, antennas, etc.)

simple fun & colorful amorphous figures ("monsters" with a heart" by ultimately-his-angel
buttonarcade's simple little 1 1/2" tall "monsters" (screaming with teeth, or with backpack)

Kraugomi's weird little creature heads (often w ith stIcking-out parts), created on the end of a bolt... most of bolt visible, but nut screwed on bottom to make a stand under head (...and one is a chicken body, with bolt for legs and feet?)
http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/kraugomi ...for more, click on http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/kraugomi/page4.html

Karen's Featherbutts ...funny birds made with eggs to which clay feet, eyes and nose attached, and real feathers stuck onto bodies (wings, tail, and crest)

for simple Poke/mon and Nin/tendo/etc. figures see Kids > Robots, Monsters, etc.


*Sculpey's many lessons (mostly medium-simple figures)
various sculpting lessons at Josh's website (animals, xmas, etc.)

Becky Meverden's lesson on making a snowman figure with cap and sign

Suzy M's tiny figures (animal,etc), some personalized by hobby, message, etc.
http://www.curiouscreations.ca (click on Tiny Giggles)
Becky's lesson on making a sock monkey (using pin armature) (Carol Duvall show)
*Pennydoll's many lessons on making small (baby) figures in scenes (accessories, ruffles, snow, toy train)
http://www.pennydolls.com (click on English flag, then on Fimo Workshops, then on individual photos for lessons)
Becky's lesson on making a simple baby in blanket
Shelly's lesson on a simple angel with dress (made with fabric & clay pasta machined together; Bunca thread hair, glued)
keepsake's simple angel/girl figures
simple figures with kimonos, etc.
Artful's simple figure characters (head and cone body only...sometimes arms-legs, accessories added )
...Harry Potter figures, simple painted faces (no mouths) http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/shiritsu/m3.jpg
...Capt. Jack Sparrow http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/shiritsu/m5.jpg
Polka Dot's personalized simple figures for gifts (pregnant moms, famlies, grandparents, etc.)
Varda's simple chess piece figures (male, female, horse, etc.)
http://community.webshots.com/album/5633878VQRmhdpZjP (gone?)
*Spooky's lesson on making a small simple wizard (beard/face, robe, etc.)

*Dinko’s crazy critters (complex cartoonish figures)
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/dinko2.html (click also on next pages)
...Dinko's story http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/dinko1.html

(Sarajane's bear & star cutouts+, other projects--lessons)
*Karen's lesson on face-and-body wood egg figure (Santa, etc.)
Karen's dinosaur & frog with wood eggs/apples/pears underneath
http://www.clayalley.com/turnings.htm (dino only; the others may be added to pbase soon)

Margie's troll face, body, clothing (lesson) (website gone)
Kristy's kangaroo with baby "nodders" (heads on springs) (website gone)
Gwen's Humpty Dumpty's with wood eggs underneath (website gone)

**Elayne's MANY figures, scenes, animals, mostly on bases (also xmas, fairy tales, . . . . .!)
http://www.aspinningwheel.com/Little-Street/little-street.htm (many categories have multiple items)
*Victoria's cats scene (thumbnails)
Alan V's stylized cats with twist for body
Jean Comport's cat women and woman (and calico cat pins)
L. Osborne (Cath's) underwater scenes (kelp, fishes, mermaids, etc.)

Elizabeth's home-burrow for jackalopes, furniture/ etc. (see ____ for all details)
Mary V's multi-colored-metallic dragon with lo-ong toothed tail, & tiny animals from Dewey book, people
*Chet's Clay Page (lots of items)
*Tamila Darling, figures, xmas
*Holbrook--FaLaLa ,santas, great snowmen, angel earring,more
*Pat R's "Chunky" Santas (& other Santas) (website gone)
*Jan Ohio's snowpeople (for different occasions, seasons)
Sandy's santas, dogs, frogs, figures (website gone)
Jack Schwend's many figures (Little Guys ...elves, Santas, clowns, etc.).. uses a small wood form which is round at the top for a "head," has an indented area for the "neck," and a solid cylinder at the bottom which acts as the torso... he cuts and tapers the bottom of the torso a bit so he can add legs from the upper hip area ... they fly/hang or stand... coated with several layers of Varathane which cause them to look almost high-glaze ceramic
*Marie:letters, animals,flowers, people!
http://www.clayfactory.net/marie/oldstuff.htm (all 6 Old Stuff pages)
*Dawn Stu's figures with accessories, clothing, hair, nursery rhyme figures, etc.

Tracy's Amish figures, old-fashioned clothing and accessories
Janet Ferris' African Amer. figure with apron and pie ("angel")
Linda WP's whimsical figures & animals
M.Reid’s hobbies gnomes

pigsnstuff's hobbies/occupations piggies, xmas, etc. tiny figures
Linda W's penguin, snowman, gingerbread boy
Designsfromtheheart's simple animal minis with diff. accessories (cow, pig, rabbit, cat, dog, bear, hen)
Pat S's mouse and mice, clothing... raccoon....piggie...and adorable, almost-bald little guy with flowers
Christel's animals
many animals (large and small "birds"... octopus, dogs, leopards, rats... many more)
http://www.alexandrablythe.co.uk/contents.htm (look in: Previous Work, Commissions, & Recent Sales)

Megaswappers' many Australian animals
African Critters swaps ...(elephants, hippo, etc. )
Megaswappers' dragons swap (mostly but not all sculptural)
(also click on Previous to see Sunni's various
Ria’s dragons with gourd armatures
(click on Dragon Store)
Omodt's cane slice-covered animals (dolphins, frogs, fish teapot)
Jan Ohio's nativity animals

*Pat-nipntuck's tiny clothed figures (pigs, etc.) (website gone)
Modelina's many tiny figures, animals, winter sports figures
HelenClayArt's riding hobby horse head and hobby horse
Dinko's horse
Koi fish (sculpting in relief), made from canes (lesson)

Jan Ohio's elves (holding letters)
Ria's little wizards (some parts glow-in-the-dark)
http://users.bart.nl/~creation/ (click on Next Page -- Little Whizzies)
*Adorables' cats, dogs, animals, Thanksgiving people, etc.
Meowy's many simple kitties .. all extremeties "pulled"... no joints
bas relief dog on frame (Puppy Paws Frame, at joann.com..made with Model Magic, but same for polymer clay)
Dawn Sch's animals ...critters
Animal Swap on Heather's page
Joanie's lizards, gekkos, and fish
Alan's lizards on leaves with simple ladyugs

*cforiginals' many animals (not simple, but not going for total realism either)
http://store.cforiginals.net/index.html (look all around, and clicking a second time will make photos much larger!)

*Karen's many animals & small figures from diff. countries
Bunny's lesson on making a rabbit and Easter eggs for a basket
Celidonia's wonderful, tinted-translucent bunny (and teddy bears)
Marie's lesson on making a seated rabbit and chicken on a wood dowel (ears glued onto mini straw hats)
many more rabbits & bunnies in Halloween/holidays > Spring, Easter
Tracy's animals
Phyllis' turtle with cane slices on shell
skygrazer's mokume gane cabochon-shaped turtle "shell"

frogs... Joanie's lesson on making her little froggies

Alan's owl eyes, beak
Heather R's kids & animals
many funny, whimsical animals and figures (lampworked, but could be done in polymer)
Eni's student galleries of fantasy structures (interior & exterior) and fantasy critters (not polymer, but lots of inspiration) http://www.3dworkshops.com
Irene & Tara's lesson on making a small simple teddy bear (holding a heart) --two bears
polymerclayhaven's rainforest animals swap (s-snake around limb, lizard, panda bear, Setc.)

Tracie's animals, kids, & seasonal (website gone)
*Marcy’s many figures..... in holiday & other categories
Cathy L's simple figures/clothing & animals in Nativity scene (piggie) (website gone)
HelenClayArt's nativity animals, wedding bride/groom on bottom of stemware
*HelenClayArt's figures
many figures
, etc,
(actually cookie jars or salt/pepper shakers, not polymer but good images--some seasonal)
swap at PCH http://polymerclayhaven.com/PCHSwaps/peng1.htm
Damalias snake, snake collar necklace, and small-snake earrings ...covered with mulit-wrapped-bulleseye canes slices

(Mike B's snakes, covered with cane slices... see above in Sculpted Clay Forms)
Nora Jean's snakes (website gone)
Barb's painted fish & shoes
many ornaments (hobbies, etc.) bas relief sculpting
Lisa's cake topper figures
http://rightbraincreations.com/ & http://www.pcpolyzine.com/2004january/cake.html
Amy's figures with books, etc.
~Emi's lesson for making variegated "fabric" with random tearings of colored clays and a bit of leaf here and there (run through the pasta machine on a backing sheet); she uses this to make a sculptural kimono pendant
Chicago Area Polymer Clay Guilds small kimonos

*Klew's drum&Aspen beads, leaf pods, necklace beads


"What are art dolls? ...Art dolls are not meant to be played with unlike most toy dolls. They are meant to be positioned and displayed as a work of art, rather than used by a child. Most often art dolls are not safe for children anyway since there are often many small objects that can easily harm a child. They are not mass produced like most toys, they are unique and individual so each creation has a life of it's own and generally portray a snap shot of time be they historical, mythological or modern."
Julianne Sizemore http://www.mysticalis.com/aboutpc.htm

(see also Jointed figures just below)

Sue Heaser - Polymer Clay (some lessons?)
‘s babies in various positions
http://www.zigzag.co.nz/Images/NZartists/Femke/femke.jpg (gone?)
Magestic’s "novelties (all kinds of mystical, historical sculptures)
Magestic’s skulls & skeletons
voodoo folk dolls (mixed media, small... amulet)
Julie’s Wise Women figures
's Wild Women (boobs & hair) website gone)
Crafty Michele's spirit women and other figures for pins
Roberta A & others' wild women ... stamping & mixed media

Dayle's various mystical figures (& shrines)
Arizona guild's "doll swap"... all kinds of whimsical figures & amulets (plus Donna H's " paperdoll " with polymer head)
hi- art figures with twigs used as woven cages or in bundles for torsos, other wood/bark, and other mixed media (the rest isn't polymer, but it could be)
http://www.akirastudios.com (look all around)

Cindy's "goddess" (mixed media ...wild women) pendants (gone, find her new site)
"wild women" swap (many many styles and techniques) (website gone)
Dawn Sch's goddess figures
http://members.aol.com/rhaiven/goddess.html (gone
goddess-figure swap (bas relief, other techniques) at Sunni's place
goddess-figure swap, from Chicago Area Polymer Clay Guild

Jean Comport’s The Girls
Jean Comport's Boob-a-la ( full-figured women with mixed media dangle arms, etc.)
Jean Comport's cat women and woman (and calico cat pins)
Google's "Image Search" feature..go to:
http://images.google.com/ then enter the words....goddess clay
Sid's goddess shapes (non--pc)
Rosemary's amulet type small figures ("Little Babies")
flat, ethnic figures made with 2 twigs to which a body is attached in the middle (mixed media)
......Jeanne R. suggests that ethnic, etc. mini-masks make good heads for art dolls, assemblage, etc.
Gabriel Colunga's various contemporary "figures" with mixed media and often multiple legs, heads, etc.(not polymer)
many more small figures from the Mile High Guild
one-piece-body angel with wings

*tiny petal-body fairy, Sue Heaser's lesson
lesson on making flower fairies (using petals from silk flowers for dresses... could be polymer heads, legs, etc., though)
Celadonia's woods fairies...chunkier... some have leaf or flower petal hair or hats

*Mary's expressive faeries and faerie house & simple-realistic body postures
(website gone)
Margaret's many angels (website gone)
Sally H's angel (and another angel) (website gone)
Pat R's simple & expressive girls, angels (website gone)
ninfa's figures, fetish, faces (website gone)
Faun's tiny figures (some with wire hair); (website gone)
Owen's figures (some fiendish), fish, wire, skeleton, etc. (website gone)
Ria‘s dragons and Pooh people
*Michelle’s excellent (many) dragons (website gone)
Nevin's Comic Sculptures 1
Figuredane's sculptures (movies, monsters, etc.)
Faces/sperm, radio bugs (Victoria)

JOINTED, wire, etc.... people & animals... DANGLES with beads, wire, etc.

Sue S's Beople figures... jointed with fancy-bead bodies, beaded arms/legs longer beads for feet, and crazy, mixed media hair

*Cheryl's many fabulous jointed figures (art dolls)... with caning, and lots of mixed media for skirts, hair

moonbaby bead people (many pages with diff. theme figures)
simple lesson on making bead-type people (top to bottom)

lesson on making bead people (bottom to top)
Julie's lesson on making jointed kid figures for pins ("Kidz Pinz")

Loretta's triangle (body) girl pins, with coiled wire arms/legs/hair, polymer hands and shoes,disk heads

Lynne M 's boy and girl jointed figures (cane slices/shapes, jointed with eye pins or curved wire --pipe clearners? or wire-wrapped arms & legs?)
wire and beads figures (some have personality or good-cause accessory)

*Ginny L's wire figures, lots of separate parts attached

Comport’s jointed figure
http://www.nwpcg.org/ravensdale/rave/rave98.shtml (click on A-C)

*wild jointed figures with transfers for faces (not polymer), "Milagro dolls"
Dan's and Tracy's "figures" made with box and other shapes, tube bead arms, etc.
Jean Comport's Ouchie Box( covered metal bandage box) with added head on top and dangle arms on side

Krista's jointed "birds", using beads or wire for long necks, legs (see also assem. fig's below)
*assemblage figures with differently colored-patterned pieces (from wood, but still inspirational) http://www.pekin.net/pekin108/wash/artwood_ud/index.html

assemblage figures (hinged) diff. paper patterns, etc., but still inspirational
Susan B's lesson on amulet-type figure with flat body, molded head, and coiled wire for arms

Beckah's fetish doll with bunches of dangling pebbles on sinew for skirt or legs
Beckah's jointed figure made with a gift box or match box
macaroni monsters (& pipe cleaners?), could be tube beads, etc., though--many jointed

tallmouse's West African figures made with dowel through bead (head), doubled pipe cleaner for arms, dressed in rectangle of fabric (diamond cut out in center for head, then tie around waist and neck, turban) ...these figures often carry everyday items like baskets with fruits/ vegetables/ straw/ fish, buckets, jugs, beautiful boxes, lanterns and filled sacks
Irene C's joints made from embedded snaps (lesson)
http://www.polymerclayhaven.com/lessons/joints.htm (

Gilda's cute dangles with large shoes dangling from long string legs
Josh's lesson for ribbon-dangle cow, cat, apple and snowman

Gwen's dangling Humpty (and jester); note the hole created for the leg jump ring formed by 2 U-shaped clay extensions under body, each with a hole
Merri Beth's jointed arms made from beads and jingle bells, attached to "Roly Poly" formed over xmas ornament or light bulb?
Kris R's lesson on making "Polydollys" with onlaid clay patterns . . .not dangles, but remind me of them...

Judy's lesson on making a toy polymer acrobat figure from diff. baked clay pattern pieces, jointed with wire ---spiraled and flattened outside each join) ...it sommersaults on string when frame is squeezed
few moonbaby animals, bugs, etc., using projecting beads only for legs or hair, etc., around large face or lg. body
Chris Gluck's lesson on making funny, simple bugs (could be people) coiled colored wires for arms/legs

You can make jointed flat figures (like paper dolls or puppets) with button-type polymer disks instead of the traditional paper fasteners at the joints (puppets could be paper or flat polymer clay). Make two holes in each disk, then thread a u-shaped bent wire through the holes and the corresponding body holes of both, from front to back; twist wire in back, and trim off ends.
....here is one template: http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/mirkwooddesigns/images/paperdoll.gif
Christel's lesson on making a "rabbit" hair holder, using elastic for the holding band and also for the dangly feet and hands
http://www.pcpolyzine.com/0203march/rabbit.html (click on any photo to see enlargement)
http://home.online.no/~raje/Web/Rabbit/full/2002_0201_202602BB.JPG (unfinished rabbits with clothing)
*wild, jointed figures (flat).. "paper dolls" (not polymer?, but easily could be)
...& Liz's http://www.libzoid.com/files/polydoll.jpg
(not jointed) polymer head placed atop doll paper body (& colored pencils?)
http://www.azpcg.org/documents/DollSwap.htm (Donna H.)
loads of different paperdoll patterns (or printables) ...(+animals, historic, movie, cartoon, misc.)
...also dress the dolls online http://www.paperdolls.com/pages/dressem.htm
Nancy's legs-dangling flamingo; body is covered xmas ball (website gone)
Nancy's wire springs for legs/necks birds (heads, feet and body/wings made of clay) (website gone)
*Melnik's jointed figures (simple heads) (website gone)
Dawn's Dolly Dangles (website gone)
seasont's jointed dangling figures (website gone)
catbyte's (Hazel) very cute, simple lady-bug with wire legs and antennae (website gone) (wrong site)

(see also Jan Clausen's lesson on making a wired, beaded figure in Beads > Miscellaneous)
(see also Sarajane's jointed marionette lesson in Puppets below)
(see also more ways to make joints in Armatures)

lesson for pipe cleaner people (could have polymer heads) & clothing

...for cutting, preparing and covering or painting aluminum flashing figures , see Covering > Metal

Misc. OTHER . . . refile

Cindy’s characters plus shells, etc. (mermaids, fairies, etc.)

Nora Jean's lessons on making a star fish, abalone shell, kelp, and other undersea stuff
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=1751108&a=13491510&f=0 (okay)
Jan R's mask pendants, formed over small river rocks
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=222109&a=8737905&p=29086124 ---I bet it'd be a great way to make light little insects too.... neat! Joanie
Sunni's onlay silhouette method, using a photograph, computer & thin clay
http://members.spree.com/sip/sunnidaze/me/claysilh.html (gone?)
Tamila's thick flower cane slices on telephone wire in pot
Polymer Clay Shoppe
(esp. the links page)
Sunni’s cat heads necklace
Tamara's animals, basket, realistic fruits,etc.
*JeanneCook: West, fancy & not
Egyptian, Greek, Byzantine, Oriental, Hindu, Pre-Columbian art & objects... at Treasures of Ancients
all kinds of Egyptian objects and motifs... Egypt
Alan's beautiful nautilus shells made from translucent and brown
Comport, multi-media head/hat--Bulbette
Jeanne R's erotic art
echo_brook's character spermies ... http://img99.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img01102yi9.jpg
http://img384.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img01123ei7.jpg ... http://img80.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img01142yj6.jpg
Alice in Wonderland: transfer & allround
Ria‘s dragons and Pooh people

Klee: dragons,heads,flowers,jewelry
tiny sculptures, etc. swap

Nora Jean's basket of landscaping and stream/waterfall

terra cotta figures
http://www.k2net.it/sicilianartisan (gone?)
FAQ-Surface Effects,metallic,paint,rough,antique (info lessons)
Polymer Clay FAQ | Stone Clays (info lessons)

Jen's couches for doll (lesson here or elsewhere... see Miniatures >Furniture)


more lessons and websites with figures can also be found in:
Christmas and Halloween,... also Heads, Armatures, Miniatures

Lori G's abstract creations
http://home.earthlink.net/~lorigles/clay.html (click on thumbnails)
Cassie Doyon's abstract, mixed media clocks (more clocks in Covering)
Sculpey Flex's & Glows

Judith Skinner --blend and JASI slicer (polyannie AOL)


(see also: Safety for barrier creams, Canes/Faces, , Onlay, Covering for clocks and lamps, Other Materials )