View Full Version : looking for some guidance

03-19-2001, 09:27 PM
i am a homeschooling parent of 2 teens. my daughter is very interested in sculpture. she has been working with a small amount of an oil based clay i purchased at dick blick. she uses a sgriffuto (sp?)tool and some household 'tools'. she is wanting to learn more about sculpting and gain more materials with which to sculpt. i have 2 questions: being on a limited budget, i would like to find a sculpting tutorial online free for her. books from the library are good but can only be checked out for so long. it would be ideal for her to have something she could refer to from time to time. second question: i know that one can obtain one's own clay from rivers, etc - but HOW? another son of mine did this several years ago when he was in school. where is the best place (we live in st. louis, MO), best time, how do we 'purify' the clay, what do we look for, etc.? so many questions. i want to support my children's investigative natures and allow them to express themselves artistically - but i simply can't afford all the tools and materials needed for an exploration of all the different media that interest them. private email would be greatly appreciated (jdwln@aol.com). thanks so much, in advance, for any information you can provide. jd

03-21-2001, 10:41 PM
Here's some general info: http://art.sdsu.edu/ceramicsweb/

Here's a basic description about how somebody in Oklahoma tests and prepares clay: http://www.hppottery.com/About/RedClay.asp

Here's a mailing list about using natural clay: http://www.topica.com/lists/NaturalClay/?cid=141

Hope these help!

-=- Jen "Claymore" de la Cruz

03-26-2001, 11:04 AM
I am an art teacher and I am always finding cheaper and newer sources.. I would love to help email me and I can send you some info on instuctions and tools..
other materials that are good for beginers and cheap are bass wood.. and a small knife.. and plaster which can be carved with a butter knife and painted with paint or stained with kool-aid.. There are many ways she can experiment cheaply.. you can get plaster at your local Lowe's or home depot..
even going to a bee maker they can give you blocks of wax that she can carve for just a few dollars and she can carve that with a small kitchen knife that is no longer being used.. Rox

everywhere I see art!
my pages..brag..brag..brag

03-26-2001, 11:05 AM
Hey Pixel my birthday was March 24... !!

everywhere I see art!
my pages..brag..brag..brag

04-03-2001, 09:36 AM
just letting you know I got your email and I will work on getting those instructions scanned and mailed to you.. also check out dickblick.com for some good prices on different types of clays.. there is an airdry clay that is good for sculpting and a oven bake clay.. hope you will post some of your daughter's work.

everywhere I see art!
my pages..brag..brag..brag

Gary B
04-26-2001, 09:06 PM
I was in the same boat as a budding artist in grade school.

I made paper mache'....

Boil shredded (the finer, the better), newspaper in heavily salted water until it falls apart and becomes almost a paste (important). Add flour, stir and let cool. The measurements are intuitive, but more is not necessarily a bad thing. Amazing what you can do with paper mache'. My mother still has a bust of her I did in the fourth grade.

This is not the ideal medium, but with the rough, loose style that it forces on you, the results can be immpressive.


"First you get you a pen and a ink."

06-05-2001, 02:30 AM
ArtVoices from ArtFaces is an Online Magazine jam packed full of tutorials. One of the chief writers/editors, is Lynda Sappington, a well known Equine Sculpturess. She has many tutorials up, from Plastiline clay, through Fimo (Additive sculpture) through Cement (subtractive sculpture) by her and other contributors. Type in sculpture in the upper left search box. http://artfaces.com/artvoices/index.shtml

WC has a few tutorials as well. There's a new one recently submitted on Armatures that will come in handy for your daughters.

Hope this helps. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
Stella Adler

06-06-2001, 01:11 PM
Hello fellow homeschooling family!!!!!!!!! We homeschool too. Four children, ages 7mos to 13 years. We have used, I know it sounds weird, day old bread with off-brand white glue. It is strong and fine grained - and cheap. The finished product, when dry, is strong and takes acrylic paint very nicely. My guess is that you can add the paint right in to get a colored clay as well.

Around here pecans are a common agricultural product, I have heard that if the shells are ground to a fine powder and mixed with white glue it makes for a great casting material with beautiful, wood-tone color. I have never tried this one.

06-28-2001, 01:25 PM
jd.... This demonstration may be of help to you.


They can learn about the artist while having fun.
Vermeer's Girl with Pearl Earring, and Whistlers Mother would be good to do also.

max nelson
08-09-2001, 01:33 AM
Hi jd..I'm a new member and since I primarily sculpt, naturally, I went to this section first and saw your post. Information on sculpting is rather skimpy compared to what is available on painting. It looks as if you have received quite a lot of info already so this may be redundant. I know that when I started it was a task to get good info on the subject. 10 years later I am still looking. You mentioned that there was clay available in your area. Although it would be inexpensive, it is very labor intensive to properly prepare. "Wet" clay is relatively cheap and would permit your daughter to get her hands dirty quickly. Inspiration can dull somewhat with too much prep work. I work in plastilene when doing a complex subject but much prefer wet clay and believe it is a better medium for a beginner. I would recommend that you purchase one of the best books that I know of to help her to a good start. It is an old book reprinted by Dover press by Edouard Lanteri, who taught Rodin at the turn of last century. Is available at most book stores or thru Amazon for about 10 bucks. Also, Bruno Lucchesi, a very good sculptor with international recognition has several books out. I have studied with him and learned much from his methods. If you need more info I have many sources for materials and would be pleased to share any tips that I know with you. Good luck and happy sculpting to your young artist.