You can make a life-size statue out of clay with much work and patience. Most statues are made by a sculptor watching a live model pose in the nude, but this isn’t a necessity for all artists. This project may take months or longer to complete.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Many blocks of clay
- Armature wire
- Sculpting tools such as toothpicks, pallet knife, etc. (optional)
- Wood pallet with plywood affixed on top
- Wood dowels
- Chicken wire
- Newspaper (optional)
- Wet towels
- Large kiln
Decide what you want to make and make a miniature model out of clay by bending the armature wire into the shape you desire.
Break off a slab of clay from a block of clay and slam it down on a hard surface over and over to get the air bubbles out.
Sculpt the clay onto the armature in pieces. Use whatever sculpting tools you desire to form your artwork.
Build a life size-armature out of wood dowels and chicken wire. Use a drill and screws to affix it to a sturdy base, such as a wood pallet covered with plywood.
Build an upside down L-shape out of large wood dowels behind the sculpture. Affix the bottom part to the base and the top part of the L to the back of the sculpture to keep it from falling over.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the life-size sculpture.
Apply damp towels to the entire sculpture and allow them to stay affixed overnight to keep it moist until you are able to resume sculpting.
Fire the figure in a large kiln when you are finished.
Tips and warnings
- A clay statue of this size is usually cast into a bronze statue to preserve the art for life.
- You can create a ball of crumpled newspapers and wrap chicken wire around it to create the head, if you wish.
- Make sure you set up your work area near the kiln because the final clay sculpture will be extremely difficult to move due to its massive weight.
- Make sure you know how to operate a kiln or pay an art school or art supply store to fire it for you. It can be dangerous work.
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