Sculpting Archive
Page 2

Table of Contents:

WED Clay in the UK?
Oil Clay Too Soft
Clay Pour Procedures
Making Horns
Metal Pipe Sculpting Armature

WED Clay in the UK?

Hey, does any one know of a good supplier of WED clay in England? Called Tiranti's and they don’t do wed clay so... what is the best alternative?

The best alternative is to use a nice water based clay that is grog free and has a low shrink percentage. You can possibly have your local clay company mix up a special batch of clay to fit your needs. I did research for that and I would have had to provide my own recipe, which I didn't have.
One of the properties of WED is that some of the water was replaced by glycerin giving the longer working time and a smaller shrink percentage.

The best alternative to WED is probably "Earthstone" clay, you can get it in Originial,Smooth and Extra smooth textures.Its nice and plasticky,and retains moisture a little longer than the usual buff body stuff.We have been using the Original for a couple of years and its very pleasant to work with.Dont forget that WED is simply a water based clay with a little glycerin added.Its not essential for fx work,in fact, I have never seen it used in the UK,or even seen it here.I would think as it was developed for the entertainment industry,for Disney to be precise,that you wont find it for sale in the UK.I had a quick look around the net and cant find any reference to it in the UK.
Earthstone is manufactured by Scarva:
Remember, its all just mud.



Oil Clay Too Soft

I bought this beige plasteliene crap a few years ago, it's real soft. It was cheap, so like an idiot I bought loads of the stuff...... so here's the thing I don’t want to throw it out I want to try and firm the stuff up. They use this crap in OZ for everything I guess because its cheap, but its a nightmare when it gets hot.
I reckon if I stick the lot in the oven for a couple of hours I might be able to cook some of the oil or what ever is there out.... thus making it bit firmer, hopefully allot firmer. Any one got any thoughts??

If it's sulfur based and you reduce it to a liquid state, you're going to run the risk of burning off the sulfur, and i would imagine, diminishing the clay. Monster Makers clay, which is wax based like the Chavant NSP, doesn't seem to mind being repeatedly melted and cooled, but it doesn't seem to change the properties at all. The NSP will actually get real hard and crumble if it's melted down too often. I believe it has to do with oxidation.
I'm not sure what to recommend if you're intent on making use of it for sculpts. You might be able to melt in some hard Chavant NSP. Any clays I have laying around that I don't have sculpting use for, I just use as utility clay for plugging leaks in master molds and the like. You will find a lot of uses for disposable clay if you look hard enough.

Try melting some hard wax through it.
Weigh some plastilene off, then add your wax so many grams at a time. 20 Plast >> 1 wax ratio maybe, to start with.
Keep note of wax grams added till reached sufficient firmness you want. Now just use your amounts but stepped up a whole load if you know what I mean.
I'm sure you can count and weigh things, didn't mean to be condescending.
(throw in some Vaseline if it gets too hard again)

If you don't want to melt anything down, try mixing talc into it a little at a time. Knead it like dough, adding small amounts until it firms up.
I learned this trick in high school while reading some John Dodds articles.


Clay Pour Procedures

I'm a first-timer clay-pourer.
In leafing through the threads and literature and I come up with many varying opinions on the execution and medium for the clay pour.
I hear, "Use pure Liesure clay." I hear "Use a Liesure Roma mix." I hear "Use Chavant NSP." I myself find the chavant very hard and would imagine not very pliable to work with.

Then there is the method of melting and pouring. Some say the double boilers the way to go, Some say that's stupid. Some say cook it in the oven. Others say toss it in the microwave. Needless to say. filling a negative head cast is quite a bit of clay.
It seems you would want to slush mold the cast w/ clay and then fill the core w/ polyfoam or plaster.
Another idea that seems great but scares me a bit is casting a plaster mold in an alginate negative for a reliable fall back and then reusing that alginate mold for a clay pour.
I'm gonna frickin' do this thing, It just would be great to have a little more confidence in the actual execution. Anyways everyone on this board has been an invaluable help. If some one could sound in on the subject that would be great.

Youre right, there are many ways of skinning this cat. Pick a method and try it. I use a double boiler with a 50/50 roma, leisure mix. Roma gets stiffer when melted and the leisure tends to take care of that. I then pour in plaster to back it up. Ive never used foam simply because the stuff I get stinks to high heaven. Its all a personal choice.


Making Horns

I was just reminded recently of a technique that I've used for years and I thought you all might be interested. A little back story first:
Many years ago I was working on a scare attraction and we needed some mummies. I immediately thought of plastic skeletons and cotton and latex, but we had no real budget to work with. I finally ended up carving the forms out of bluefoam and I coated them with cotton and wood glue. The teeth were made of peanuts prepared the way Dick Smith made dentures on his kids video about monster makeup. We then stained them with wood stain which of course brought out all of the rich texture. The surprising thing was how durable they turned out to be. They couldn't bend, but that was OK since they were static props.
Several years later a student of mine wanted to make some large horns for his makeup project. He had no time to sculpt, mold and cast horns, so I told him about the bluefoam, cotton and wood glue thing, and he tried it for horns. I have since used the technique as well as several more of my students. The really cool thing is the texture that you automatically get from the cotton and the sheer durability of them. You can also, of course, make a mold and cast as many as you like. One of the makeups on my website features horns that were originally made out of blue foam. I have since molded them and the ones in the photographs are hollow Silcast urethane resin.
Let me know what you think and if you try it.

Another cool way to do it is to unravel a paper towel
roll and form it to whatever shape you want it to be
with hot glue or tape . then build up a cotton and latex
form around it. You can come up with some pretty crazy shape horns that way


Metal Pipe/Plaster for Sculpting Armature

I was just wondering if plaster of Paris will work as the plaster for the armatures? I heard you use plaster on a pipe to get the bulk and so it helps the pole from sliding through the clay. Is this right? And is there more to it then just adding plaster to the pipe? Any info on this is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys

All I did was just to make a plaster ball like thing on the top of the pipe but the top of the ball was flat so that the clay will stay put!! The bigger the sculpt you can add a few down the pipe! and I just used plaster and burlap but you can use plaster bandages

Yeah, easy as some plaster of paris, casting plaster, pottery plaster or hydrocal applied to the top of the pipe. It helps to build up the bulk of the plaster if you use a bit of hemp or burlap. You could also just use some plaster bandage.
The only other thing you might think of doing is to seal the plaster with shellac or varnish. This helps to keep the plaster from drying out your WED clay. Although, the ball of plaster will probably not be big enough to really dry it out too much.
The shellac thing helps more when building up a mask on a plaster bust. If your sculpt is going to be pretty thin on a plaster bust, try sealing it with shellac first. It will certainly help keep it from drying out.

I went a head and tried figuring this out. Anyway I took a plastic pipe you use for sinks and toilets. I covered the top with cheese cloth (folded it) then I made me up a batch of plaster of paris (man this stuff thickens up REAL fast, it was a solid in 10 min not no 20-30 min) but when it was still pretty runny I applied it to the cloth/pipe to wet it all down good so the cheese cloth wouldnt go anywhere.

Just a thought. Has anybody tried using a Styrofoam wig form as an armature. Mount the head on the end of your pipe, give it a nice coating of plaster (or not) and then just seal it up with shellac or varnish.