Adding Clay To The Armature
Clay doesn’t always stick to non-clay surfaces, and so it can be a tricky process adding the first layer of clay to a foil armature. Once again, this was made easier by using a softened mix of polymer clay and TLS (translucent liquid sculpey.)
I covered the armature with clay ‘pancakes’ till the foil was no longer visible. I created a basic body shape to ensure that I had the right amount of clay. Given the clays softness I fully expect the body to disfigure as I work on the other features.
Sculpting the Pre-Limbs
I added small blobs of clay to the lower hand wire to form the basic hand shape. This was much more difficult since the thin wire makes it too easy for the clay to slip off.
I then added to ‘logs’ of polymer clay for the thighs.
From this point forward I feel like I’m in fully uncharted territory. I have sculpted a similarly shaped baby once before but I didn’t push much focus into the limb details. I pushed, pulled, and manipulated the clay for over an hour trying to get the buttocks to look ‘just right’. Alas, the soft clay was proving too tricky and the fingerprints were appearing faster than I could wipe them away.
Another big issue is the accumulation of lint and fibers. I purposely wore a white t-shirt, yet the colored fibers kept finding their way into the clay. I won’t let this bother me too much right now since my focus is learning the skill rather than creating a perfect sculpture. One day I will learn how to eliminate fibers from the clay…
In the future I will use less TLS in the clay used for the body so that it’s stiffer and harder to disfigure while working.
Another challenge I uncovered is sculpting the legs next to each other without them attaching to form one big blob. I chose to leave the upper legs for now, and inserted a small piece of baking paper between them to prevent sticking.
One final detail to address before starting on the limbs.
I formed the supporting arm wire to the full arm length. But now that I think about it, it’ll be tough to sculpt the fingers of the wire. And so I removed the temporary ‘mitten’ where the hand will go, cut the wire. and added a fresh mitten.
Alas I once again ran out of sculpting time. I don’t know where the time went… this session took a good few hours. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun.
I set the baby to nap on my sculpting glass, loosely covered in saran wrap for protection.