Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Casteline Hair Sculpting Tutorial by Andy Bergholtz

All words and pictures Andy Bergholtz.

First, I warm up the Castilene in a microwave and work it in my hands like clay, applying the warm Castilene to the sculpture (Fig. 1) 

After I achieve the basic form using just my fingers, I'll then heat my sculpting tool and smooth the surface (Fig. 2, Fig. 3) 

I will continue to heat the tool during this process every few seconds, holding the tool very briefly over the flame. I will continue to refine the surface with this tool until I get a basic flow of detail that I like (Fig. 4, Fig. 5) 

Next, I will gently heat a small loop tool over a flame (Fig. 6), and will use this to carve some deeper detail into the form (Fig. 7). I will do this briefly, just to add a bit more depth to the form (Fig. 8)  

Next, I will very briefly heat a sanding pad over the flame (Fig. 9), and use this to smooth the surface a bit (Fig. 10). 

For this stage, you must heat the pad over the flame for only a half-second or so each time, VERY quickly or else it will begin to burn. You'll need to do this every 3-4 seconds while you work, and lightly drag the heated pad on the surface of the Castilene to smooth it. It sounds tricky, but it's quite simple. I'll do this until the hair is generally smoothed and ready to begin detailing (Fig. 11). 

For detailing, I heat my metal tool over the flame once again (very very quickly this time, only to warm it up a little... you don't want it to be too hot, only warm enough so it doesn't "stick" to the Castilene). Then I will use the edge of the tool to "press and roll" detail into the surface of the Castilene (Fig. 12) 

This "press and roll" method is the most important step in my detailing technique. I will continue doing this until I've achieved the level of detail that I want (I try to avoid dragging or 'scribing' detail in this stage, as that is what often causes the unwanted "crumb effect"). For smaller curves, I will use a smaller tool and even a round loop tool sometimes, but the "press and roll" method still applies (Fig. 13, 14, 15) 

Finally, sometimes I will lightly brush down the surface with lighter fluid (Fig. 16). I do this VERY little, as using too much will make the surface grainy and mushy, so use it sparingly (Fig. 17) 

Just make sure to only brush lighter fluid on Castilene when you are completely finished with the sculpting, as it's very difficult to re-sculpt any area that has already been brushed. The hair is finished! (Fig. 18) 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Tips on Smoothing Casteline

Some tips and advice on smoothing Casteline from professional sculptors Adam Beane, Keith Kopinski and Ray Villafane. 

...swiped from an old thread on the Clubhouse Forums...

Lighter fluid (Rosonol for a Zippo type lighter) works GREAT!

Only use it dead last! 

I think people over-use it and the sculpture gets a very soft, melted look on the high points and is still rough in the crevaces.

For the 5 years I've been sculpting, I've used soley the "hot sponge" method. This also can turn a good sculpture into an indistinct blob if over used.

Basically, try to get your sculpture as good as you can with hand tools. Use the hot 3m sponges very gently to smooth out small sections then finally use lighter fluid on a 3m sponge or brush. The sponges will "load up" so I cut them into small managable strips and throw them away when necessary.

Solvents will also only dissolve the binders in the material, leaving filler, which can result in a "grainy" look.

You can also use an alcohol torch, but I find these to be not very useful.

There is no short cut to a GOOD smooth sculpture other than time and effort. If something on my sculpture is to be smooth, it will be INTENTIONALLY smooth, not the result of some process (like melting) that I cannot directly control. Does that make sense?

Hand tools
Hot pads

Another good way to heat the sanding sponges is to buy a cheap coffee mug warmer and/or candle warmer. It doesn't really scorch the sponge like waving it over open flame.

As for needing to wash a sculpt after brushing it with solvent because it will continue to eat it... I don't think so...

I try to stay away from solvents all together on castilene and just employ Adam's "hard work" theory and let the tools and effort be the guide. (Well the sponges too)

I think the castilene more so absorbs the solvent and can get kinda gummy which isn't very desirable to me...

Elbow grease.

It just takes a lot of sanding. Solvent at the end does more to simply uniform the surface finish than anything else. In other words the solvent creates a nice uniform sheen is all. It does very little to actually "smooth" the piece out. For a true smooth finish it will take many layers of sanding. 

Over using the solvents more than a simple one shot brushing AFTER THE PIECE IS SMOOTHED BY SANDING will only break down the make up of the Castilene causing it to expose the fillers and in the end be less smooth. 

Use the solvent to obtain a nice uniform sheen, not as a way to smooth the piece out or else you will screw up your piece. If you use too much solvent not only will the fillers start to be exposed but you will also find that as you go back and try and fix it that you have changed the properties of the Castilene into some gummier material that is near impossible to fix. 

So, the moral of my story...sand, sand and sand some more. No way around it

Chavant Tutorial and Video Demos by Cyril Roquelaine

Sculpting a Vampire Bust - step by step picture tutorial.

Added to the Oil Based Clays and Wax Related Page

WED Clay Creature Bust Video Demo by Jordu Schell

Added to the Water Based Clays Page

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Sculpting Afro-textured Hair by Mark Newman

This tutorial was originally posted by Mark Newman on the Clubhouse Sculptors Forum. Demonstrating his technique for sculpting afro-textured hair, in this example with Super Sculpey.

You can see more of Mark's masterful work here

All photos and words Mark Newman...

These are the basic tools I use for this. A few ball end tools different sizes and a tool I made out of steel wires bunched together and soldered into a piece of brass square tude. Basically it's a small steel wire brush.

I just smash on the hair form and push it around with the different size ball tools. 
Then I stipple in the tighter texture with the wire brush tool.
I go back and forth with the ball tools and wire brush tool depending on how tight I want the final hair texture. From Jerry Curl to Nappy and in between. 

I then lightly brush it down with Turpenoid and a soft brush to knock out the hard edges. 
I then lightly stipple the surface with a stippling brush.
Especially if I want the tight kinky look.
That's about it. You can make it as tight or as loose as you want.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Magic Sculp Video Demos by Alan Ball

Magic Sculp Video Sculpting Demo
Alan Ball shares some tips and tricks on how he sculpts miniature figures and demonstrates carving a head.

More of Alan's head carving video demos can be found on youtube

Added to the Self-Hardening Clays Page

Sunday, 23 October 2011

How to Sculpt Faces in Polymer Clay by Amanda DeVirgilio

How to Sculpt a Female Face in Polymer Clay
Step by step picture tutorial.

How to Sculpt a Male Face Video Tutorial Series

Amanda also has an excellent video tutorial series on sculpting a female face. Which is already featured in the Polymer Clays Video Page.

And if you're interested in the art of doll making check out Amanda's official site for more tutorials, tips and tricks.

How to Armatures for Polymer Clay Sculpts by Amanda DeVirgilio

Added to the Armatures Page

Modelling a Face in Polymer Clay by Sarajane

Modelling a Face in Polymer Clay

Step by step picture tutorial.

Added to the Sculpey and Polymer Clays Page

Sculpting Facial Expressions by Wayne Hansen

Sculpting Facial Expressions

Step by step picture tutorial from Wayne 'The Dane' Hansen.

Added to the Related Tips and Techniques Page

Sunday, 12 June 2011

DIY Bronze Casting Manual - Cast Your Own Small Bronze

Bronze Casting Manual by Olivier Duhamel 

A step by step tutorial on how to produce small bronze castings using the lost wax, ceramic shell technique.

Available as a paperback book or as a downloadable PDF file.

A series of short video clips accompany the book.

Fixing a Crack in Sculpey and Polymer Clays

Fixing a Crack in Sculpey and Polymer Clay by the Shiflett Bros.

The Shiflett Brothers demonstrate in a step by step picture tutorial how they fix cracks in baked polymer clay.

Added to the Sculpey and Polymer Clays Page

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Wax Carving Tutorials by Josh Murray

A series of step by step picture tutorials by Josh Murray on working with jewellers wax.

Pendant Tutorial 

Skull Ring Tutorial

Belt Buckle Tutorial

Josh also has a DVD on wax carving available from the Gnomon Workshop.

Added to the Oil Based Clays and Wax Related Page

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Mould Reducing Technique

Mould Reducing Technique by Alex Dumas

An article on how to make a mould that shrinks.

Added to the Moulding and Casting Page

Sculpting a 12 inch Scale Doll Head in Polymer Clay - Video Series

Working with Polymer Clay by Martin Canale

A step by step picture tutorial on sculpting a bust in polymer clay by Martin Canale. Includes armature construction.

Added to the Sculpey and Polymer Clays Page

Monday, 25 April 2011

How to Mould and Cast a Resin Figure Kit

A series of videos by Jayco showing how to produce a multipart resin figure model kit.

Jayco's Youtube Channel

Added to the Moulding and Casting Page

Sculpting Hands and Feet in Polymer Clay by Deb Wood

Step by step picture tutorials by Deb Wood showing a simplified process of sculpting hands and feet in polymer clay without the use of armatures.

Hands Tutorial   Feet Tutorial

Deb Wood's Official Site

Added to the Sculpey and Polymer Clays Page

The Making of Doctor Who Action Figures

The Making of Doctor Who Action Figures

A behind the scenes look at Designworks Windsor, makers of Character Options Doctor Who action figures series, with Director of Sculpting Edmund Barnett-Ward.

Designworks Official Site

Added to the Related Tips, Techniques and Processes Page

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Water Based Clay Video Tutorials by Joanna Mozdzen

Videos include a demo on tools, making an armature, sculpting portraits, mask making, preparing a sculpt for firing in a kiln, and constructing a sculpting stand.

Added to the following pages:
Water Based Clays
Related Tips, Techniques and Processes

More videos on Joanna Mozdzen's Youtube Channel

Joanna Mozdzen's Official Site

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Casteline Compendium

The Casteline Compendium

An excellent guide by Max H on working with Casteline. (PDF File)

Added to the Oil Based Clays and Wax Related Page

Superhero Action Figure How to Videos

A series of timelapse videos by Julian Khor documenting the process of sculpting an action figure in Super Sculpey.

Added to the Sculpey and Polymer Clay Videos Page

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Blog Overhaul

Just to let you know that I have made some changes to the site. You will find each section now has its own page which should make it easier for me to keep you informed of updates and other things.

I've also gone through and taken out any dead links, unfortunately there was quite a few. I'm hoping most of them have just been moved to new addresses so I will have a hunt about to see if I can find them elsewhere.

With the pages I have added one for Books and DVDs leaving room for one more page which I was thinking could be used to list links to suppliers. Would anyone be interested in that or should I use it for something else? Please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions with regards to that or anything else about the blog. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I don't know if there is anything specific you would like to see. Tutorials for certain clays, techniques or whatever.

I have a stack of links that need adding and I will begin doing so over the next few weeks here and there when I can.