64. How to Sculpt

My sculpting medium of choice is FIMO clay. Well, really it’s dirt but I’ve just recently written about our garden as sculpture in a recent post. FIMO clay comes in small blocks that are a couple bucks each. It is a small amount but I find that making small sculptures are more “useful” in terms of display possibilities. I just really don’t have the room to display a sculpture like this:

Venus de Milo
Venus de Milo

Well maybe I do…

Just not indoors.
Just not indoors.

Working with FIMO clay is pretty straightforward. The heat from your hands starts to soften it up and then you form it into whatever you want. Then you bake it for 5-10 minutes in a 325 degree oven. If you overbake it, it will brown a little, so watch it closely. FIMO comes in many colors. But I like working with the white. Because then you have the option to paint it. And if it browns, it doesn’t really ruin the color.

Roll, pinch, squeeze and rub the clay into shapes.

If you need inspiration you can start with some drawings (see How to Draw):

Drawing by the Spy
Drawing by the Spy
Drawing by the Spy
Drawing by the Spy

Wait…aren’t these sort of figures far too distinctly two-dimensional to be translated into sculpture?

Voila!
Voila!

The back of your sculpture can be flat. Then you can affix it to a heavy paper or matte board and frame it!

Or just display the sculpture as is around your house.

Sculpture in a chair.
Sculpture in a chair.
Sculpture on a window sill.
Sculpture on a window sill.

Of course you can go full on with the three dimensional and make more solid and fluid forms. Comme ca:

Baby’s first sculpture.
Baby’s first sculpture.
The other side.
The other side.

We haven’t painted these yet. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t.

I made this cat.
I made this cat.

Cats make me sneeze, but I can tolerate a clay cat. It is very small. A perfect cat for a dollhouse. When I was a kid I made tons of tiny dollhouse food (and other things) from FIMO clay. Bunches of bananas, tiny roast chickens, little toys…plates, cups. FIMO is absolutely perfect for making dollhouse accessories (Dana you should try this for your refurbished doll house!)

If you don’t want to work with clay but still want to sculpt, have no fear.

You can sculpt with wood.
You can sculpt with wood.
This is going to be a totem pole.
This is going to be a totem pole.

I can’t really express how excited I am that we have a totem pole in the works.

Sculpt with dirt. Or chicken wire and dirt. Snow. Sand.

Really in any medium:

Deconstructed jack-o-lanterns by the Spy
Deconstructed jack-o-lanterns by the Spy
Ze Artiste. HAHAHAha
Ze Artiste. HAHAHAha

Or you can just take an object, set it on a shelf and call it found object sculpture or a “readymade” and channel your inner Duchamp:

Duchamp with Bicycle Wheel 1913
Duchamp with Bicycle Wheel 1913

You can sculpt with your hands. You can sculpt with a chainsaw.

You can sculpt your glutes.
You can sculpt your glutes.
Or sculpt someone else's glutes.
Or sculpt someone else’s glutes.

If you really don’t care to sculpt, how about just appreciating the sculptural qualities of things?

Three trees.
Three trees.
Two trees.
Two trees.
One tree. Deconstructed.
One tree. Deconstructed.

Or visit a public sculpture. Climb on it if possible.

Happy sculpting!

5 thoughts on “64. How to Sculpt”

  1. Mr Duchamp appears to have the suitable degree of French disdain for his creation…I prefer to sculpt in butter…at least you can revel in your results and as you remove from your sculpture, you are adding to your tastebuds. I found HEAPS of “clay” recipes on Pinterest. No need to buy expensive fimo any more :). The dog picture is priceless. We haven’t managed to capture Earl stealing the Grey shrike thrush’s cheese from the kitchen window ledge yet, he climbs up in the wheelbarrow and snarfs the cheese and if you catch him in the act he looks you straight in the eye as if to say “you lookin’ at me?” in his most menacing Al Pacino manner. Steve has sculpted his glutes completely away…no ass man :(. Might be time for me to pick up that chainsaw and get ME some glutes methinks ;)

    1. I forgot about gingerbread, that is some good sculpting. Royal icing might as well be superglue…or concrete. Though maybe that could be more of a “How to BUILD” vs sculpt. Strangely, in writing this post it did not even occur to me to make my own clay. I’ve made play dough before, but never actual sculpting clay. I’ll have to think about that and see what recipes I can find. Though like I wrote, I am drawn to the small, neatly packaged amount of white FIMO clay for $2.50 and don’t know if I am ready for a big bucket of gloppy homemade mud…er clay. As I am more of a painter than a sculptor, one little square of FIMO can usually fulfill my sculpting urges. I put the dog on the woodpile for the picture haha. As for my husband’s glutes, that picture followed by the David made us laugh and laugh haha

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