A nice pastime activity for children, clay sculpting enables them to exhibit their creativity in the best possible manner. The clay sculpture ideas discussed below, would help children and even grown ups, about how to make these artworks and learn a few clay sculpture techniques.
There are many clay sculpture ideas that one can choose from, for a school project, college term work or just for fun. Making clay sculptures is an activity of interest among children. They enjoy creating different forms out of clay. Children can handle clay with ease and therefore, find it easy to pour their creativity in these sculptures.
What is Clay?
The tiny particles that are obtained as a result of the weathering process of rocks form a substance known as clay. This substance has been used in the preparation of sculptures for a long period of time. The most common application of clay sculptures that we see in our day-to-day lives are clay pots and other earthenware. One can create many decorative designs and items (for example flower vase) through the use of modeling clay.
Clay Sculpture Ideas
Different ideas can be applied in the activity of preparing clay sculptures. Nowadays, most of the clay making takes place in art schools and colleges. With the traditional occupation of clay making left with no takers, these schools do a good job of preserving the rich tradition of clay sculpting. Different sculpture ideas can be tried out and experimented in the field of clay sculpting. Clay animal sculptures are especially popular among children. There are however, many different ideas that kids can make use of. They can make different cartoon characters, toy shapes, flowers, etc. Creating puppets out of modeling clay also is one of the interesting ideas to consider.
Before you get on with the activity of clay sculpting try to understand that an artwork can evolve in the process of its creation. You can't always have a perfect idea in the beginning itself. Choose a topic for clay sculpting and let the ideas flow in while you 'chisel' out the artwork. It is important to note that you may even come up with a better idea than the original one in the course of time.
How to Make Clay Sculptures
For creating any kind of clay sculpture, the first thing one should do is to prepare a framework that supports the structure and shape of the sculpture. Framework of these sculptures is generally created with the help of aluminum wires. The clay used for making sculptures is mostly polymer clay. Other than just clay and the materials used to build framework for sculptures, one can also use different sculpture clay tools. So, for a project to be completed in a short time, you can make use of polymer-based clay.
It is the art of making pots and different types of containers from clay. Mineral clay is used in the preparation of pots. The pots are made only by hand without the use of any other tools. One can shape the pot in various ways. Clay coils are used in the decoration of pots. Coils are slender and snake-like shapes of clay. After the desired shape is given to the pot and necessary decorations made, the sculpture becomes ready for firing. Firing is the process of hardening a clay sculpture with the help of heat. The oven in which clay sculptures are heated in a controlled manner is known as kiln.
These sculptures help children learn many things about clay sculpting. There is a lot of scope for experimentation in the preparation of clay heads. Along with clay, the materials required to make clay heads are newspaper, a wooden base, glue, wood scraps, etc. At first, one should start making the sculpture with the help of a newspaper. To prepare a basic form of the head, a spherical shape should be created with the help of newspaper fixed on a wooden base. After binding the paper ball with the help of tape, one should start adding clay to the surface. Clay should be added from the top of the paper ball up to the wooden base. Detailing like the nose, eyes, ears, hair, etc. should be done to make the sculpture more human in its appearance. Further decorations can be made with the help of paint, colorful paper and various decorative items.
To build a miniature castle, one would require a wooden platform or tray in order to support the structure. The sculpture of a castle can be made as interesting as possible by means of decorations and by incorporating turrets, moats, flags, drawbridges, etc. into the structure. Before actually starting the activity of preparing castle sculptures, children or students should be asked to ponder over various design ideas and innovative structures they could build from clay. This, short activity of discussion and interaction helps bring out new ideas and instills enthusiasm among children. A clay castle can be created out of a single piece or different components can be assembled together. Items that are generally thrown away as trash can be used to decorate the castle. For example, empty bottles can be used to make turrets and toothpicks converted into flags. Many more ideas can be incorporated in the process of making clay sculptures.
Clay Sculpting Media
The clay used for making sculpture items is of many different types. Clay used in making artworks can be water-based or oil-based. One should select the type of clay on the basis of his specific requirements. For example, oil-based clay should be used if you want to make a shiny-looking sculpture. It is also important to choose the clay, considering the time frame of completion of work. Water-based clay dries earlier in comparison to oil-based clay. Texture is also a factor in determining which clay to choose. Using a type of clay you are comfortable working with is recommended.
The art of clay sculpting allows you to display your creativity in the best possible way. The activity of clay sculpting can be made interesting by applying creative ideas and using the power of imagination. Clay sculpting and making related arts & crafts is a nice way to nurture and develop artistic skills. The ideas pertaining to clay arts for kids listed in this article should help in igniting that spark to do something creative and artistic.