Clay For Sculpting And Casting


New Member
Hello, just before i start making my Predator head, i wanted to get a question out of the way. Im in Australia, and my parents dont like buying things online, so I have to find a type of clay in stores. I was thinking of getting this Earthernware Stoneware, but wasnt sure if it would be alright for sculpting and then casting,
Any type of help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)
My experience and opinion...
It can work if you're up for it. There are drawbacks. When I just picked a pottery clay I found it had too much "grog" in it. Apparently some clays simply use sand as a major ingredient. That wasn't going to work for what I had in mind. The sand left a gritty surface texture. I ended up using it for my mold part lines only. Another drawback is that it will dry out. If you're not a quick sculptor you will need to treat it right by covering it and doing things to keep it's moisture content up when you're working with it or not. That's why most people recommend the Laguna brand "Wed" clay (EM-217 Wed Clay).

I don't think that you can easily get the Wed Clay, I recommend considering that store's Plastilina. It will be pretty much the same thing that most of 'us' use when sculpting.
One drawback for 'oil' clays include being harder to work but can be heated and hold great details. Also, they will be harder to clean out of stone molds.
Another major 'oil' clay is Chavant, if you can get them also consider the NSP series. I use J.F. McCaughin Clay(J-MAC® Classic ® Clay) in all of my sculptures. I'm trying to migrate to Super Sculpey(bake able polymer type clay) for my small sculptures but yet to do it. The Klean Klay that was recomended is out of production. It was among the cheapest 'oil' clays.

Ultimately, if you decide to go with the Plastilina then you can reuse it. The going rate here in the US for the counter part is roughly 3.5-4.5usd so if a 350gm block is less then 3.5aud then you'll be in good shape comparatively. If you can stick with one color, it will be easier to see your scupture. I don't think Plastilina can be melted and mixed like some other clays.

Of course, I think I just over answered your question. What's your goal? A latex or resin/plastic piece?

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Wow, thanks for the reply! Um i was hoping for a latex piece. The only reason i didnt look at the plastilina was that I've used it before, and i found it hard to work with, but as you said it does get easier. So thanks alot, because now i'll go up today and get some!
Another question, because im 14, i have a smallish head so how much clay do you guys use? Because i see it vary's, some people use 20lbs and others use 10lbs?
The plastilina will be harder to get out of the stone but the small stuff left in should come out with the first cast. Heating the clay up will help make it softer.

The predator head is bigger than most people realize and latex shrinks too. Generally make the head 5-10% bigger then what you need to allow for that. I -think- I used about 15-20lbs in mine with a custom armature...

I would recommend getting the most you can. Or 15 lbs if you can easily get more when you want.

Ah thanks for all the help! This is making things alot easier for setup. Your mask moulding steps will come in super handy.
Thanks again for all your help :)
*my mold was done for a silicone mask, not a latex one!

This is not the best way to do one for a latex mask. There are actual tutorial on making a stone mold that would be perfect for you.

This is Tonks Tut... It's also shows you the scale of a full size pred head too. Note that his part line walls are made with Wed Clay.
Oops my bad about the silicone part! Thanks for finding this for me, god's now i wouldnt be able to find it myself. This tutorial is going to make things heaps easier.
Thankyou so much!
Your welcome. (y)

Keep in mind this is just the techniques we have used. There are plenty of other ways to do things. If you look up generic latex mask making, you should find many other resources that will help.

Also, does the SEARCH button on this website work? Can questions such as these simply be typed into Google for immediate answers? Could new members take some time to visit and watch their videos to gain a better knowledge base? Are there threads already in the forums that deal with these questions that new members could possibly hunt out and read to gain knowledge prior to starting new threads with such basic topics? Could new members spend the hours reading the old threads like those of us who actually took the time and didn't expect to be spoon-fed in order to gain knowledge prior to starting new threads that clutter up the thread feed?
Im sorry, i want ask anymore pointless questions, i'll use the searchbar and google from now on, i just thought that you guys had more experience with these kinds of things than going and ask questions to people that i wasnt sure if they knew what they were talking about or not :(. Once again, i apologise.
It's not just you. There are waves of new members from time to time and when there are, these threads start popping up. You're not the first to be enlightened this week. Most of us don't mind offering direction, but we do get a tad irritated when thread after thread start popping up regarding clay, tools, basic knowledge stuff. Many of us have spent months reading thread after thread. Now, granted, there is a grey area as to when to start an inquiry thread, but if it feels like a basic knowledge question, chances are, it has been answered. At any rate, just keep reading, using Google, utilize the advanced search, and you will gain a lot more knowledge than you think. Happy hunting!
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