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Posted by goregt On March - 18 - 2007

Using a Q-tip to smooth and detail a sculpture

As strange as it may sound, one of my favorite and most effective sculpting tools is a Q-tip. Q-tips, when soaked in 90% alcohol, are a great tool for smoothing, blending and detailing your sculptures. Before I go into the details on how to use this wonderful little tool, I’ll explain how I cam across the idea in the first place.

My first experience with sculpting was with water-based clay. Now there are a lot of properties that I personally do not care for with water based clays but one of the properties that I absolutely loved is that it is a very fast medium to work with. Another great property is that with a sponge and some water you can really smooth out and blend in different areas of the artwork. In a short amount of time I was at a stage where I could create a lot of detail in my sculpture using a combination of different shapes and sizes of sponges soaked in water. For smaller hard to reach areas I even used Q-tips soaked in water to create the detail in my sculpture. Which leads me into how I started using Q-Tips with polymer clay.

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Using Alcohol on Polymer Clay

Posted by goregt On May - 31 - 2007

Using Alcohol With Polymer Clay

Rubbing Alcohol is a great tool that is used to help smooth and blend polymer clay when sculpting.  Like the Vaseline tutorial, I have several other tutorials where I give examples on how I use alcohol while sculpting (I’ve included a few examples at the bottom of this page).  When I first started sculpting I used water based clay (I had never even heard of polymer clay at that time).  With the water based clay I was able to achieve a smoothing and blending effect by using a wet sponge or Q-tip.  However, when I started using polymer clays, water did not have the same effect.  At first I tried to use water and Q-tip on my polymer clay but the results were pretty poor.  After doing a lot of research on the internet I discovered that rubbing alcohol dissolves polymer clays.  Thanks to other polymer clay artist I was able to learn that alcohol on a Q-tip, sponge or paint brush has the same effect as water on water based clay. I have experimented with different potencies of rubbing alcohol and found that not all are created equal.

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Posted by goregt On March - 18 - 2007

How to make a sword with Polymer Clay

Making swords and other weaponry can be an easy process and there are tons of different methods and materials that can be used for their creation. This tutorial focuses on one option that can be used to make a sword out of clay but it is by far not the only option that you have available to you. I personally find this method the easiest for me. The information below is designed to give you step-by-step instructions on how to easily make a sword out of polymer clay.

Tools Needed

  • Polymer Clay (Super Sculpey in my example)
  • Dremel
  • 91% Rubbing Alcohol
  • Aluminum foil

Making a sword tutorial

** This sculpture is created with Super Sculpey

The first step is to roll out your clay to the length that you want yours sword’s blade. Note: You will want to leave some thickness to the clay. Do no roll it out till it is paper thin.
Cutout the outline of your sword using a knife of some other type of tool
I cut a little notch at the end of my sword so that I have something to insert into the handleI then bake my sword’s blade in the oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees. Let the clay cool for 30 minutes to an hour before moving onto the next step
Using a Dremel I sanded down the edges of my sword and rounded it off to get a basic look. The next step is to roll out individual pieces of clay that I will use to make the sword’s handle (in this example a cylinder, ball and small snake-like cylinder).
I attach all the individual pieces and rollout two more cylinders for the top of the handle
Blend the pieces together
I put a thin layer of Vaseline on the blade of the sword since it has already been baked. This will help the new clay stick to the baked clay.
I play with a few designs until I find something that I like and bulk up the blade of the sword.
After I get the basic design of my sword down I then use rubbing alcohol and a paint brush to smooth out the clay (a Q-tip could have also been used at this stage)
I want to add texture to my sword’s handle so I use wadded up aluminum foil to add to my design (similar example as in the rocky seascape tutorial)
And there is my finished sword ready to be baked again. Remember that the design needs to be added to both sides of the sword.

The entire process of making a sword with polymer clay is relatively easy and I used a very simple design for this example. The key is to take the steps I’ve shown above and expand on them. With a little practice, time and effort a really impressive sword could be created using the techniques above.

Dental Tools

Posted by goregt On March - 18 - 2007

Using Dental Tools for Sculpting

When I first started sculpting with Super Sculpey I went out and purchased a little $5 set of plastic sculpting tools at my local Hobby Lobby. These tools were great for the time and I used them consistently for about a year and half to two years. However, as my skills improved I started to realize the limitations of my starter set of sculpting tools.

Now I had heard through the grapevine that dental tools were great for sculpting. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and best of all are made of metal. I first started by asking my local dentist if they had any old tools that they were disposing of. After a few crazy looks it was clear that I should just break down and go out and buy a set of my own. To my surprise I found a set of 18 dental tools on Amazon.com for a price around $25. I was skeptical at first but thought for that low amount of money it was worth taking the risk.

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Polymer Clay Tools

Posted by goregt On March - 15 - 2007
Polymer Clay tools that I use and recommend

Bookmark this page and check back frequently since the list of polymer clay tools will grow as I get a chance to write about the different tools that I use.


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About Me

Nothing special, just a self-taught sculptor having fun with my art and showing all of you the tips and tricks I use to create my own artwork



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