Sculpting material for thin walls - Artist Forum
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post #1 of Old 06-09-2020, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Sculpting material for thin walls

I've been given a beautiful piece of drift wood and I'm hoping to create a sculpture incorporating my children in a white and gold leaf hoop.

I'm trying to create a cylinder about the dimensions of a car tyre but with very thin walls. I'd like it to look like white ceramic but would be OK to paint it white. It needs to be airdray as it's too large for the kiln and would prefer it to be waterproof but that's not essential.

Can anyone recommend a material that wouldn't crumble or be as brittle as ceramic but would give the same look? I have been looking at some light weight foam airdry clays as they seem to be spongy (although regular airdry clays have fibres, they still tend to be too brittle).

Perhaps I could use a wire mesh frame that I cover with the material?

Any help would be appreciated.

Also, I'm in the UK so hoping
Thanks in advance
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post #2 of Old 06-14-2020, 07:06 PM
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Chicken wire is always nice, it can give one heck of a hold "if you got the end piece connected to say the ground area secure. Things like super glue are a no go not enough edge to grab.
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post #3 of Old 06-15-2020, 10:36 AM
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I also think Chicken Wire can be useful in this regard
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post #4 of Old 06-15-2020, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply.
I have mesh like chicken wire that I can use, I'm interested in the material I can use over it to look like white clay / plaster / ceramic.

I need it to be robust and preferably waterproof

I've been looking into polymer clays like Sculpey and Fimo - any thoughts?
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post #5 of Old 06-15-2020, 06:03 PM
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The problem with mesh if it is the kind i am thinking of is limp and not much of a structure.

You need a nice firm structure and the thinner the wall the stronger the base structure needs to be.

But for a clay I would not recommend a clay at all when dried they can be brittle and do not do well with temp change at ALL!! like most are for indoor shelf use only. Same for plaster
I would go with an epoxy, 2 part epoxy like grey stuff or green stuff. The work time is not the greatest but when it air drys over nightish it is like rubber and very strong and durable. there are even plumber puddys that harden by air but do not know any of the top of my head. Oh a quick edit, they can be painted with oil and water colours aswell, which is a plus.

this is the type of greenstuff i mean
I never used this website so i cant give you advice there one way or another but you can get the no name stuff called "Kneadatite Epoxy Modeling Putty" pretty cheap considering some polymer clays can be 20$ a pound or so.
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post #6 of Old 06-16-2020, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Ceramic material

Thank you, that's really helpful - the grey/green stuff looks really interesting, I used something similar years ago called Milliput:

I hadn't thought of it for this!
Could get expensive at the size I need, but better that than having to repair it.

I hadn't thought of temperature change - I was mostly thinking of my kids knocking it!

Thanks for the advice on the mesh - it's actually very strong, almost too strong, more rigid than chicken wire and I'll need to shape it with heavy duty pliers so should be OK.

Thanks again
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post #7 of Old 06-16-2020, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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....just seen that Milliput do a superfine white....I might buy some to try and will report back for future readers
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post #8 of Old 07-28-2020, 10:19 AM
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A clay or plaster material alone would be very fragile. You would have to put some kind of mesh such as the tape used to tape and bed drywall or a coarse cloth such as burlap. Anything to bind it together. In the 19th century they used to make large crown molding by coating a form with layers of plaster and burlap. For such casting I prefer a plaster material called hydrocal.
Steve Neul is offline  

airdry, ceramic, england

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