Learn about making an armature for sculpting clay when making a terracotta figure in this free ceramic art video lesson.
When you are working on a small sculpture it can be hand held for molding and hollowing. When you are doing a large or tall sculpture you will require an armature. If you attempt a large or tall sculpture without this support it will collapse. You begin making your armature with a block of wood. The block should be big and sturdy enough to support your armature and the clay for your sculpture. The material for your armature can be wood, wire or any sturdy material. The only requirement is that it be tall enough to support your completed sculpture. You continue to add or remove pieces of your armature as needed. When your armature is complete to your satisfaction, you will wrap it with rope. The rope will ensure your clay does not fall or disintegrate. You will secure your armature to the block of wood using nails. Once you begin to sculpt your clay onto the armature you will need to keep it wet. When you finish working wrap a cloth around the piece and wet it. You will continue this process until the piece is completed. The armature should be removed when you feel the sculpture has settled and removal can be done safely. Thank you.