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Hello all! 

I've been an artist for many years, and decided to branch out into other mediums... So, with the proceeds of my birthday, I decided to purchase some air drying clay and tools with the idea of trying my hand at sculpting.

I've always been a fan of dragons so decided this should be my first project - it's a form I'm familiar with and one I'm not overly concerned about being accurate. However, I decided in my artistic mind that said dragon would look better perched upon a rock I'd acquired from my garden... However how would be the best way to approach this? I've built an armature for the piece, but would it be better to attach it direct to the rock and then build upon it, or build the piece and then glue them together? Is there anything I need to be aware of for either approach? 

 

TIA, killstreak

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I've not had much experience with air drying clay, other than bad ones. It eventually chipped or cracked apart-maybe I gave it bad ju-ju somehow. I suspect either approach for attachment would do the job.  That material is not waterproof and you probably will want to use an  effective sealant on your piece.  There are decent books/videos on using the substance for sculptural work (for adults, not kid projects) "google". 

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As long as your dragon won't be living outdoors, a sealer over the finish should be sufficient waterproofing.

I would epoxy the armature to the rock and proceed from there. Watch closely for shrinkage cracks before painting and fill them up with more clay. Cracks will be more likely when drying is uneven, such as where thick meets thin. Cover loosely with plastic to help moisture to even out and dry slowly. 

The more delicate your details - twisty horns, flaring crest, etc - the more chance of accidental damage. But that's true of most delicate work, metal, glass, porcelain or paper.

have fun!

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On 10/11/2018 at 5:55 AM, Killstreak said:

Hello all! 

I've been an artist for many years, and decided to branch out into other mediums... So, with the proceeds of my birthday, I decided to purchase some air drying clay and tools with the idea of trying my hand at sculpting.

I've always been a fan of dragons so decided this should be my first project - it's a form I'm familiar with and one I'm not overly concerned about being accurate. However, I decided in my artistic mind that said dragon would look better perched upon a rock I'd acquired from my garden... However how would be the best way to approach this? I've built an armature for the piece, but would it be better to attach it direct to the rock and then build upon it, or build the piece and then glue them together? Is there anything I need to be aware of for either approach? 

 

TIA, killstreak

I would consider your air drying work prototypes and a way to get some hours into the medium and then maybe move to kiln fired work if you decide to continue. I could be wrong but I don't think air dried work will stand the test of time. 

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About a year ago I attended a workshop with an artists that used air dry clay.  The product she used was Polyform Clay.  It did not shrink and it can be applied over in thin sheets over a well formed armature.    I used aluminum foil over wire as my armture to make a couple of birds.  Other artists at the workshop used small bottles and cups for their armatures.   I finished mine with acrylic paint.

Some day I may try this again however for now I'll stick with Raku.

 

 

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