How To Begin Sculpting

Sculpting is a very relaxing hobby; it allows you to create art with your hands. When creating a piece of art in this fashion you can use several different materials. You can create art with a wire skeleton, or create the whole piece of sculpture with materials from start to finish, without a base skeleton.

When deciding to sculpt an object you first have to decide what type of object you want to sculpt. Then you need to decide what type of material you want to use - some popular choices are wood, paper, plaster, clay or stone. Once have selected your material, you can choose to carve, mould or cast the piece of art. Once you have all of that decided, then you need to obtain the proper tools to complete your masterpiece. Tools for sculpting can be found in any brick and mortar craft store or online craft retailer. You can also check estate sales and garage sales for secondhand sculpting tools. 

When starting a project, always make sure that your hands are clean.  It's often best to work on a smooth surface. The best types of surfaces to work on include marble, laminate, or glass.  There are many materials to use, but clay seems to be the most popular sort of material to use. The first thing to do when working with clay is to soften the clay by kneading and pulling the clay. Now that you have the clay softened, you should shape and contour your piece of clay. The best way to start a project with clay is to make a simple object and create from that object. For example, if you want to sculpt a bird, start with an elongated oval shape and add or take away as you see fit. This is much easier than trying to create the entire object from scratch.

You can also build a skeleton from wire or tinfoil and build your sculpture around it.  Once you have finished with your sculpture for that particular day, you can wrap it in polythene or plastic to prevent it from drying out.

A few tips: a utility knife is very good for cutting and shaping, and a Popsicle stick is great for smoothing and blending. Always clean your surfaces and tools when you are done for the day, as this will keep the clay from hardening on the surface and on your tools. Clay is very difficult to remove once it has hardened overnight. Finally, once you have completed any sculpture, you will want to sand it if it was made from wood - and regardless of the material, you may want to add character to your artwork by painting it.


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