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byucelen

Clay For Large Figurative Sculpture

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kind of a loaded question.  depends on a few factors.  since you mention "water based clay" i'm assuming your experience is with oil based clays?  also, what are you considering "large scale"? (like life-size human figure sculpture?)  how are you planning to build? (armatures for support? solid or hollow forms?)  also, how fast are you building? 

 

students in my studio are typically producing large-scale sculpture (2-6ft tall, up to 1-2" thick).  we use a house-made stoneware body that's mostly Lincoln Fire Clay with 5-10% 20m grog content.  most sculptures are built in a week's time, always hollow forms with no support structure/armatures.  typical firing is to ^04 or ^5/6, usually once-fired over a 3-5 day schedule.

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Thanks for your response. My experience is mostly oil based clay, yes.  I would like to make half life size and life size figures, mostly hollow. It takes a few days to finish a half size figure. For smaller sculptures or sculptures with armatures would the same Lincoln Fire Clay work or do you have other recommendations? 

 

Also where do you teach?

Thanks

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Sheffield has S-14: a really nice workable sculpture body (for up to cone 10): also 2 architectectural bodies if it is going to be super thick (reddish for cone 6 and a buff for cone 10) although temp usually not a huge factor in sculpture since they don't usually need to hold water

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based on what you've said, i think ANY sculpture body would work just fine in your application.  you will want something with a decent grog content (fired clay that's ground up) as opposed to something that's smooth, like a throwing body.  if you can find an architectural clay body, that would be even better for the large-scale items you want to make.  the fire clay we use is the base of our clay body because it's local to us and therefore very cheap - unless you are planning to make your own clay, which i'm assuming you're not, then i would recommend you call up your local ceramics suppliers and discuss with them your project to see what clays they stock.  i'm the ceramics lab tech for UCD.

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