Newbie Sculpting Questions

Commodore Spark

New Member
Hello, RPF! I've been lurking around these forums for a couple of days now hoping to find a thread which answered some of my basic newbie questions but my search-fu appears to be really weak.

I'm really interested in the technique of sculpting from clay, making a mold, and then casting it in a tougher positive (fiberglass/resin/whatnot) - however there seem to be so many routes/materials/tricks that I'm finding myself completely cross-eyed and confused.

I figured I needed to just bite the bullet here and ask you talented folks what you'd do or if you could offer any advice.

- Clay? I've heard Roma Plastina and WED clay are both pretty popular, but it sounds like the WED clay has a more limited lifespan. Also am not sure what the best place would be to purchase it? At least Roma Plastina comes up on froogle search...

- Mold? I've heard that generally you use a hard mold for soft things and soft mold for hard things. I've also heard/read that smooth-on's products are fantastic... I've been wondering if it's possible to make a fiberglass mold over this soft clay (wanted to start with something that didn't have any undercuts) or if that's a ridiculous idea. It seems most people are using some sort of silicone/brush-on mold base with harder support shell for their mold making over clay...?

- Positive/Final? I'm sure it really depends on what it'll be for and all. I've been messing around a bit with fiberglass and was hoping to be able to use that for final pieces but wasn't sure how it would work in various mold types.

I'm sorry, I realize these are all really general questions and I'm sure you guys get them all the time- any advice would be really appreciated. As I mentioned, I am a complete newbie when it comes to molding/casting - In the meantime I will continue practicing my search-fu. :)


Well-Known Member
Roma contains sulfur, stay away from it if you want to make rubber molds (it is possible to do with some rubbers but can still be technically challenging) Go with Chavaunt NSP as a good choice for sulfur-free oil clay, it comes in degrees of hardness... watch and look at our media gallery for some good mold making ideas... will help the learning curve (Mold Making Videos and Photo Tutorials presented by Smooth-On, Inc) .... feel free to ask if you need anything
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