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Author Topic: Sculpting around wire/armatures problem  (Read 2698 times)

Ilenora

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Sculpting around wire/armatures problem
« on: November 26, 2016, 04:30:01 AM »
Hi everyone

This is a question for those of you who have experience sculpting figures or using wire armatures. I've been sculpting for several years now using Premo but I've always run into issues sculpting the clay around the wire. I find that it has no 'stick' at all - the clay sits around the wire but doesn't adhere to it because it is too smooth, resulting in it being extremely hard to mould the figure and details without the clay sliding around or detaching or the wire breaking through the clay. I have had some success wrapping the wire in tinfoil, however for very fine parts eg. thin limbs, the tinfoil can make it too bulky. Wrapping thicker wire with a spiral of very thin wire has worked too but can have the same effect as the tinfoil where it is too bulky, or the thin wire can stick out in certain parts.
I have seen tutorials where sculptors put their clay directly on to smooth wire and it appears to adhere with none of the above issues - is it a problem with my brand of clay? Is there some special kind of wire I should be using?

On the same topic, I always run into the problem where the wire pops through the clay at the bottom of the feet or whatever part of the figure is grounded.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, it's very frustrating!
Tellurian Creatures - sculptor of fantasy creatures and animals!
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ejralph

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Re: Sculpting around wire/armatures problem
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 03:09:08 PM »
I am no sculptor or modellor, so what I am saying might be total guff...

but I have a memory of seeing people wrapping their wire armature in foil first, to bulk out the shape and then wrapping that with a layer of plain masking tape first, then adding the clay.

So maybe that is worth toying around with?

Hopefully someone with more modelling experience will come along soon though and give you a better answer

Emma
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Ilenora

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Re: Sculpting around wire/armatures problem
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 02:59:24 AM »
Thanks. I do the tinfoil bulking but for spindly bits like legs it often turns out too bulky (I like to make really thin delicate figures, animals/creatures mostly). I have also tried just wrapping the wire limbs in tape but had issues with the tape unsticking. Maybe I just need to find a stickier tape :P
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Beadbug

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Re: Sculpting around wire/armatures problem
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 10:29:08 PM »
I've been thinking about your question and like Emma I don't know much about sculpture but it seems to me that you're looking for a key to help the clay stick. How about ordinary bandage? It's thin and can be easily manipulated, and won't be very bulky.