Clay sculptures have been a popular art form since pre-historic times. The popularity of this art form was historically due to the availability of the materials used to create them. Today this art form is used as a fine art form, a therapy art and as a learning art form.
To create clay sculptures you first need the right tools and materials. First of all you will need the right type of clay. Sculpting clay, also referred to as potter’s clay, has been cleaned of impurities and it has a fairly homogenous consistency. Potter’s clay comes in a variety of volumes from 5 pound blocks to 100 pound blocks. After you have bought your potter’s clay you will next need shaping and cutting tools. You can use just about anything for a shaping tool. Some common items used for shaping clay include knives, forks and texture tools. You will also want to get a wire for cutting the clay. In order to stabilize your clay sculpture you will need a kiln to fire your sculpture. These high temperature ovens come in a variety of sizes from small table top models to extra large corner units. The final items that you will need are glazes.
After you have all of the supplies and materials needed for your clay sculptures you will be ready to start. The first step is to figure out what you want to sculpt. You may want to sketch out your ideas so that you have a visual reference to refer to when working with the clay. Next you will want to use your wire to cut off a piece of clay to work with. To start with the clay will be hard to manipulate, however, as you work with the clay it will soften and become more pliable. Work your clay into the shape that you want using your hands, fingers and shaping tools. Common shaping techniques for clay include rolling, balling and pinching. After you complete your sculpture you will want to fire it in the kiln and allow it to cool. You can then glaze the item and re-fire it. This will cure the glaze and finish your sculpture.