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Free Sculpting Tutorials

Tribal Hair

Posted by goregt On September - 3 - 2009

If you have followed any of my other projects then you have most likely noticed that I like to jump around a lot when I sculpt. For me this keeps things fresh and also keeps me from hyper focusing on just one area (the Fiddler sculpting series is a great example this).

In the last lesson I covered how I sculpted the skirt for my African woman, in this lesson I will go into how I created the details for the hair. The hair is actually pretty simple for this piece but once done has a really nice effect. Since I’m adding a scarf around her head I only need to focus sculpting the hair for a small portion of the head, the rest will be covered by the scarf.

  1. Using a small loop tool or curved edge sculpting tool create small half circles into the clay. I like to move from one direction to the other when doing this. So if I start on the right I’ll create small half circles while sculpting towards the left.
  2. I also start sculpting at the part of the hair that is closest to the forehead and work my way up from there.
  3. The scarf at this point is just a thin sheet of clay that is rolled out in a pasta machine. Basically wrap and fold the thin sheet of clay around the head to create a pattern of a folder scarf.

Next lesson – Tribal scars

Previous lesson – Skirt details

Back to Indigenous Allure home

5 Responses to “Tribal Hair”

  1. John R Hughes says:

    I have been looking for somewhere to ask a question but this is the closest I can find so I apologize in advance if this is not the right place.

    I have only recently discovered this sight and have found it really helpful.

    I am using the Chavant NSP product after a that was recommended at a Smooth On seminar I attended after a desasterous experience making a mold of a regular Plastaseen piece.

    Currently I am struggling with the hair of my current project and was wondering if the 90% alcohol will work on the NSP as it does on your medium (Super Sculpey)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks John

  2. goregt says:


    I haven’t used Chavant NSP yet but I do sculpt a lot with wax which I believe it is similar to. To smooth out my wax sculptures I use odorless mineral spirits in replacement of alcohol. I’ve found that the alcohol wasn’t enough. Other methods that work for smoothing out wax are steel wool, a damp smooth cloth (use water for dampening and smooth using pressure) and different thin grades of sandpaper.

    Hope that helps,

  3. John R Hughes says:

    Thanks Gerald,

    That is very helpful, I will try the odorless mineral spirits, I have been using paint thinners but that stinks. I am hoping that I don’t have a problem when I am ready to make a mould.

    Thanks again,


  4. do?a says:

    Hi, Need your information..What kind paint can I use for uncolorfull clay? Akrylic, oil or..??

  5. goregt says:

    Once the clay is baked both akrylic and oils will work just fine. It’s recommended that you prime the sculpture before painting though.

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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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