Clay Art for beginners: Polymer Clay Sculpting Tools

With the recent controversy arising from the being labelled as non-essentials, this debacle has sparked much disdain among multiple art and craft enthusiasts. In spite of this, we have seen a profound growing interest in the arts sector, with many more young artists picking up a new hobby. Having said that, this week’s article draws attention to Clay Art and Polymer Clay Sculpting Tools to help create a clay art sculpture.

Polymer Clay and air dry clay are the two types of clay usually used in clay art, with polymer clay used as an industry standard for crafts and accessories while air dry clay more for practice and teaching. In general, Polymer Clay Sculpting tools are multi-purpose and can be used for both polymer clay and air dry clay.

Table of Contents:

What are Polymer Clay Sculpting Tools

With the growing interest and demand in clay art, we also saw a rise in corresponding tools to help with the sculpting of the clay accessories. Polymer clay sculpting tools are specialized tools used for shaping and manipulating polymer clay, a type of modeling clay that is used for crafting, jewelry making, and other forms of artistic expression. These tools are designed to help the user create intricate details and shapes in the clay, and to achieve a level of precision and control that would not be possible with just the hands.

Artist Celine Chia shares the clay sculpting tools and their uses that she personally uses in her art studio. These tools are generally standardised across the whole clay art industry:

Polymer Clay Sculpting Tools
Polymer Clay Sculpting Tools

Colour Shaping Tools – It’s to fill the cracks and gaps that may occur during the sculpting process.The main purpose of this tool is to smoothen the surface of the mould.

Dental Tools – it is used to carve out and do detailing. The polymer needs to be cured (hardened) before the dental tools are used to carve out the details.

Ribbon/Loop Tools – It is used to smoothen the corners and curves of the sculpture. For instance, to carve out patterns.

Clay Modelling Tools –  It is mainly used to create smooth surfaces and create patterns.

Clay Modelling Tools
Clay Modelling Tools
Clay Modelling Tool, one of the polymer clay sculpting tools
Clay Modelling Tool (Finishing Tool)

Flexible Blade Knife – It is used to make clean cuts. It is usually used to separate a big lump of clay without leaving any frayed ends.

Acrylic Rolling Pin – it is used to make a smooth and uniform base, so as to create a canvas. The sculpture artist can then design their craft using the canvas.

Acrylic Rolling Pin
Acrylic Rolling Pin

Clay Extruding Gun – It is used to create long uniform strands of clay. Instead of rolling the clay manually to get the desired shape, the clay extruding gun is often used as an alternative to provide greater consistency and efficiency.

Texturing Tools – It is mainly used to make patterns and indents onto the clay to get your desired effects.

Texturing Tools used for clay art
Texturing Tools

Ultimately, a good sculpting artist can make do with minimal use of the polymer clay sculpting tools. However, these tools are a great aid to increase efficiency, and add in more intricacy and details to their artwork. The Polymer clay sculpting tools are of course not entirely for experienced artists, they’re a great aid to beginners starting off with clay art as well.

These tools can come in a range of sizes and shapes, and the specific tools needed for a particular project will depend on the type of sculpture being created and the desired level of detail. Additionally, many artists choose to use household items, such as toothpicks, popsicle sticks, and even their own fingers, as improvised sculpting tools. The key to successful polymer clay sculpting is to experiment with different tools and techniques to find the ones that work best for you.

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