What is the best type of clay for learning sculpture?
Although “water based” clay is a much loved, traditional sculpture medium, I prefer oil-based clay for professional work because it does not dry out and crack, and it keeps its workable consistency over a wide range of temperatures. Oil-based clay is also ideal if you plan to make a mold on your sculpture (for later casting in plaster, resin, or bronze) because it will need to be cut up into sections for mold making. The clay brand I especially like is made by Chavant.com, and specifically, I like their “Clayette” clay because it is great for both professional and student sculptors. It comes in hard, medium and soft consistencies, but I prefer the hard. Why? If you heat the hard clay gently (not too hot, just warm enough so you can still handle it), it will be soft enough for you to create the primary forms quickly. When it cools down, now it is firm once again and you can carve fine details. I use a foil-lined, old Crock-pot on warm or low and check it often. Visit Chavant.com to learn more about fine art scupture clay like Clayette. I purchase my Clayette from SculptureDepot.net.