30 Aug 2013Mont Marte Blog

Make Dad a trophy for Father\'s Day with air hardening clay

How to create a Father's Day trophy

Step 1. Creating the Armature.

We must first create an armature to support the clay while it dries. This can be thought of as a skeleton for our sculpture. Cut 1/4 of a 2 kg block of Mont Marte air dry clay, smooth the sides flat and place it on your modelling base. Now take a foam brush and with scissors, cut the foam part of the brush off and unscrew the plastic connecting base. Next, take your chosen cup and with the point of the scissors make a hole in the middle of the base of the cup to the diameter of the plastic connecting point. Poke the point through the cup and reconnect it to the handle. Once this has been created push the handle in to the clay block on the base.

Step 2. Building up the clay.

In this step we build up the clay over our armature. To do this, roll clay into long consistent sausage shapes. Starting from the bottom, wrap the sausage around the armature. Once the clay is on the armature, smooth it so the joins are not visible. The best way to do this is to dampen your hand with water as you smooth. For the handles create 2 rolls of clay about 20 cm long and tapered at both ends. Attach one of these to each side of the sculpture in an S shape. The drying time of air dry clay is dependant on the ambient humidity, but remember that it can be dried with a hair dryer.

Step 3. Filling the gaps.

You will notice that there will be small cracks in the clay. This is normal and it happens because the underlying armature is rigid and does not allow the clay to shrink. To fix this, mix a small amount of clay with water using the ratio of 1 part clay to 1 part water. This should be to the consistency of cream cheese. Use this mixture to fill the gaps and cracks. Smooth it with your hand. Let this dry.

Step 4. Undercoating. Squeeze out some Paynes Grey Silver Series Acrylic paint into a Mont Marte deep

well plastic palette. Paint this onto the sculpture. Use a # 24 brush and ensure a nice smooth coat of paint over the sculpture.

Step 5. Top coating.

Squeeze out the Gold and Raw Umber Silver Series into the palette. Coat the sculpture with a thin coat of Gold. Paint the base with Raw Umber and let this dry.

Step 6. Sign writing. 

The last step is to sign write the base of the sculpture. Use Black for this and apply it with the fine round brush. I have written Dad but you might like to personalise yours.

Material List

  • Artist Acrylic Brush Taklon Round 6
  • Artist Brush Taklon Flat Long 24
  • Deep Well Plastic Palette Discovery 6 Wells
  • Air Hardening Modelling Clay Premium 2kg - White

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