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Elvenwork Forum

This forum has been a way to provide a public exchange of questions and answers for polymer clay sculptors. But, as I said in my final post, there comes a time when all things must end. That doesn't mean the forum used as an archive has nothing to offer. Indeed it is still loaded with questions and answers that remain relevant and which are searchable! For that reason, I'm keeping it available, though no new posts can be added. If after searching the forum your question isn't addressed, Join me on Facebook.com to ask it. As always, you'll find me there as Katherine Dewey. Hope to see you there. --  Katherine

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smoothing clay

Hello Ms. Dewery I am very knew to sculpting and giving it a try. I do have your sculpting book the one with the lady sitting to refer to. I am having a dickens of a time trying to get the clay to be smooth. I am using Fimo clay. I seem to be getting ridis in the clay. So I well hang my sculptor in a plastic bag so it will somewhat stay clean. Then came back later and try to fill in the ridis so that the sculpt will be smooth. So here's my question. Is there an easier way to get rid of the ridis then what I am trying to do? Or am I doing something wrong?
Thanking you inadavance. Nancy

Re: smoothing clay

Hi, Nancy. Welcome.
You are using a word I do not know and have not been able to find -- ridis. What does that mean? Can you describe it or upload a picture?
All the best,
Katherine

Re: smoothing clay

Hi Katherine Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I think I spelt the word wrong. The word is ridges. Or when you put your finger into the clay and then remove it there would be a small half circle in the clay. How on earth do you get rid of it and still be smooth? TKS Nancy

Re: smoothing clay

Hi Nancy,
Either the clay is too soft or you're using too much pressure(holding it too tightly, pushing too firmly)or a combination of both.
Does your clay pass the "Fitness Test"? It's described on page 9. If it doesn't, the clay is too soft and you should make it firmer, also on page 9. If it does pass the test, then you need to relax. Don't grip the clay, cradle it as if it were a new born kitten. Surprisingly, you can do more damage and cause more distortion if you hold your work too tightly than if you drop it on the floor. When you blend seams, use many light strokes rather than one firm stroke. Use the "Fitness Test" to become familiar with the clay and with the blending techniques and then gat back to work.
Hope this helps,
Katherine

Re: smoothing clay

Catherine. l was wondering if you could advise me please. l have been working with sculpty living doll clay.. l have just started trying to sculpt a babies head but l am having great difficulty with the clay going to soft and loosing it's shape. Is there anyway to keep the clay more firm. it seems a loosing battle.

Thank you for any tips

Re: smoothing clay

To make a soft clay firmer, roll it into thin sheets. Sandwich the clay between clean sheets of paper and place a weight on top. My book is just the right size. Let it rest over night. The paper will draw or "leach", excess plasticiser from the clay.

Test the clay's fitness for modeling. Roll it into a ball, cut the ball in half, and then put the halves back together and blend the seams by stroking the surface with your finger. If you can create a smooth ball out of
the two halves without pushing the clay out of shape, it's fit. If not, leach the clay again to make it firmer.

Hope this helps,
Katherine

Re: smoothing clay

thank you katherine will try that