Mar 21, 2010

Types of Clay

Ok, before we start blocking our sculpture, it;s good to inform you the types of clay/sculpting medium available for you.

They are mainly divided into these groups

  • Water Based
  • Oil Based
  • Oven Bake able
  • Epoxy
  • Wax
Here's some description and pictures for each category

Water Based

Affectionately known as WED clay, these are cheap air dry clay that is used dominantly for large sculptures. Popular in the monster making and FX industry.

Oil Based

Notable brands are Chavant Plasteline. Oil based clay do not dry up, and can be soften with heat and hardened to a degree with a freeze spray.

Come mainly as Chavant Regular ( Sulphur Based ) and Chavant NSP ( Non Sulphur Plasteline )

Used dominantly in the fine art industry for its flexibility and control.

Oven Bake able

Notable brands are Sculpey and Fimo. Popular amongst amateur craftsmen and professionals. This clay hardens after baked. allowing you to sand, paint and finish your work. Due to this bake able feature, this clay is rather expensive RM 65 - RM 75 per box

Sculpey regular is a beige+cream colored clay which is softer than it's cousin, the firmer grey colored Sculpey Firm.


I briefly showed the usage of epoxy putties in the previous armature post. But putty can be used to sculpt as well. Milliput is a popular brand of high end epoxies, but you can get cheaper versions of epoxy from your local hardware store.

Used dominantly by customizers and miniature artists. Epoxy dries after its two part are kneaded and is capable of holding good amount of fine detail.


Wax is the most professional form of sculpting material, it comes in various densities and brands. A notable brand is FUSE Wax. Dominantly used in high end figurine and statuette sculptures by industry professionals. Wax is the most versatile sculpting material known, allowing the artist to create the most minute details.

It is also the most challenging to pick up, as it's workflow is very unique. Pliable with heat, artists use heat guns, Lamps and also wax pens (picture above).

Honestly, most of my knowledge of these materials come from reading forums and research, i have never worked with wax and chavant personally. So if any of you would like to try FUSE, WED, etc , do tell me. We could definitely learn together!

As for me, my favourite clay so far is 50:50 mix of Sculpey Regular and Sculpey Firm. I will mix the two until it's a smooth blend and store them in plastic tupperwares to keep them from becoming crumbly.

Happy Sculpting!

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