Thursday, 26 December 2013

Chee-Chee Part 7 - Sculpting a base from Polymer clay.

Seasons Greetings!

Having figured out what I'm doing for Chee-Chee's base it's time to start putting it all together. I've decided to sculpt the road and pavement/kerb out of polymer clay. I'd considered using plaster but that can be a messy business and although epoxy clay would also have been a good option I'm allergic to it. I avoid using it too often especially as I will need to use milliput later in the project.

The next issue was the condition of the polymer clay. My super sculpey firm is stored in an airtight container in a cool place but after a couple of years neglect it was woefully dried out and crumbly! A few drops of sculpey softener and a lot of passes through a pasta machine (only ever used for polymer clay of course!) returned the clay to a workable condition but the crumbly clay gave me an idea. I kept back a small quantity of this to use as the top surface of the road. The cracked & crumbly surface helps to give some interest and texture. I then rolled out another, smoother, layer of smoother clay and cut it to shape for the pavement. 

To create a cobble stone texture I first cut a series of lines with a scapel and then set about adding some character and deffenition with a fine point sculpting tool. After that I rounded off the hard edges by working over the sculpted surface with a paintbrush dipped in a little isoproplyl alchohol.

With the sculpting done I cut away the clay where the wall will go so that it won't simply sit flush on the ground surface. I also carved out an indentation ready for an eched brass drain cover. With an oven nicely preheated from roasting the Christmas ham (I kid you not) I then baked the clay to set it hard.

Next I will have to attach the wall and set about ensuring a seamless transition between all the base elements but for the time being I've photographed the first test fitting of the wall and lamp to the new base.


  1. Very nice tutorial.
    Love the step by step you use for the plaster. I#m very bad at sculpting but this is something I think I will try it too. Thanks for this.

    Best regards,Dellolyn

  2. Both the plaster and polymer clay methods use a similar carving technique. Although plaster is very dusty to work with I think it has the advantage of giving a much quicker result. A good tip it to cast up a couple of plaster plaques so you have a spare one to practice and experiment on.