A Clay Jay

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make some props to help with my paintings. Birds in particular feature a lot in my paintings, and close-up reference material is often hard to come by (if only I knew a wildlife photographer!).

The solution……make models! Now, clay is not something I have used much of since school (think cat shaped teapots!) – in no way can I claim to be a proficient sculptor, but I am certainly keen to have a go. For a trial run, I got some air-drying clay and had a play……

Clay Jay 2

After making basic shapes, I added pieces to simulate wings and a beak, then used fine modelling tools to add the effect of feathers. I was frustrated with the air-drying clay, as the finer bits dried very quickly and became brittle, whilst larger flat areas were floppy and unmanageable! The result was unsatisfactory, but a learning curve indeed. After a bit of investigation, I found that many professional model makers use a particular polymer clay called Super Sculpey…..it remains malleable until cured in the oven…..some is on its way to me. I intend to make the next model in pieces and construct when baked.

Clay Jay1

Caroline Rudge

I'm Caroline Rudge, an artist living and working in Wiltshire, UK. I specialise in the beautiful and ancient medium of Egg Tempera.

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