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Sculpture - Clay
Every sculptor has to start somewhere, and most often begin with clay. This is because clay is a medium that is very easy to work with. Artists who work in materials like marble have only one shot to create the perfect image. If they make one wrong chip, they might have to rework the whole image. With clay, you can continually adjust the class as long as it’s still wet and then wholly fire it when you are delighted with your product. Clay carving is an intuitive process that can be a lot of fun if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
Different Types of Clay
It’s easy to lump all types of clay sculptures together. But the fact is there are different types of clay. The kind of clay used to make a sculpture piece can have a significant impact on the look and feel of the final sculpture work. Oil-based clay substitutes oil for water. Oil-based clay doesn't dry out quickly like water-based clay, and so it can be worked with for an extended period. Oil-based clay is popularly used to create claymation character.
With the rise of synthetic materials, manufacturers can replace natural clay minerals with polymers, creating polymer clays that allow for a more excellent range of possibilities since chemists have a wide range of control over the polymers they create.
Working with Clay
Clay is an excellent and popular medium. It's comfortable working with clay because you can create a sculpture piece by either adding and subtracting materials as you see fit. Most clays dry naturally over time, and as they dry, they harden up, so it’s important to keep the clay damp while working on it. It’s also important to note that even when the work is done, it needs to be fired to make it as hard and durable as possible. If the clay dries merely out naturally, it’s likely to become relatively brittle, which explains why many of the oldest clay sculptures didn’t survive as stone sculptures did.
Famous Clay Sculptors
Auguste Rodin might be one of the most famous sculptors of all time, right up their with Michelangelo. While Rodin’ most famous works are done in bronze, he would usually use clay to “sketch out” forms before creating the final image. Most clay sculptures are made with some ceramic clay, which is a type of water-based mixtures using clay minerals. Picasso often used clay when he sculpted, finding the flexibility of the medium helpful when trying to capture his creative and energetic ideas.