Working with modeling clay gives you much flexibility. Because the clay is soft and pliant, you can form it into just about anything you want. To add more depth and realism to your work, texturing tools can be used. As the name implies, texturing tools let you create patterns or texture on the surface of the clay. The end result is a more realistic and interesting piece of work.
Here’s how to use modeling clay texturing tools.
- Determine what you want to make. When starting a project, you need to have a vision in mind of what you want to accomplish. Have an idea on what it is exactly you want to make. Do you want to make a pot, figurine, holder or piece of jewelry? What specific item do you have in mind? Do you want to make an animal, a bust of a person or some other object? This will give you an idea what materials you will need to prepare.
- Determine which texturing tool will be best suited for the job. Once you have planned what you want to make, choose from the different texturing tools available to get it done. For example, a textured slab mold is great if you want to make repeating patterns on an object, such as a scalloped pattern for fish scales, or a geometric pattern on the side of a pot. If there’s a specific texture you want, you can also use a triangular comb. Your other option is to use a textured rib.
- Form the clay. Start molding the clay based on what you want your final product to look like. The texturing tools are used once you have the basic form of the object ready.
- Select the texturing tool you want to use. Once you have molded the clay to form the shape you want, it’s time to use your texturing tool.
- Press the tool onto the clay. To get the texture or pattern from the tool onto the clay, you need to press it onto the clay so that the clay will follow the pattern on the tool. If you need to cut off an edge but want a pattern as you do so, use a textured rib. If you are using the textured slab mold, start on one area. Press down the tool on the part you want to make the pattern then gently lift it off. Move the slab to work on the next area until you have completed all the parts you want to make the pattern. Just press and lift.
- Repeat as needed. In some cases, you will only need to use the tool once or twice, such as an accent texture on a figurine. In other instances, you need to keep repeating it to have the full effect, such as a scalloped pattern to form scales on a fish.
Be gentle when handling your clay and texturing tools. You don’t need to apply a lot of heavy pressure to get the results you need. In most cases, the slightest amount of pressure will do wonders.