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 Sculpting a toad in polymer clay

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newt



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PostSubject: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 4:48 pm

I have started a life-sized sculpture of an American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) in polymer clay. I will post pictures of the progress here.

Any comments, criticism, and questions are welcome!


STEP 1
Gather reference material.

Fortunately the animal I chose for my subject is abundant and easy to find in my area, and so I am able to use my own reference photos. I even located a live model in my yard, just after I started the sculpture!






STEP 2
Using information from the photos and live model, I sketch out the toad at the size I want the sculpture to be. In this case, it will be 60 mm snout-to-vent, which is pretty average for this species. The important thing here is to get the proportions of the body and limbs correct; I don't need to worry about details or pose yet.




STEP 3
I begin forming an armature from wire, using my sketch as a guide. The armature allows me to play with poses before adding the clay, and also supports the clay; in short, it acts like a skeleton for the sculpture. The basic forms are complete here; I still need to add finer wire for the toes and bulk out the thicker areas with aluminum foil.




More to come!
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LeeAnn
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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 4:49 pm

bounce bounce bounce

This is exciting!
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SUSANNE
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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 5:07 pm

A wonderful choice of model, - even if the one you cought does not seem to appreciate your making him famous and immortal Suspect Wink

Toads are interesting creatures, and very important to the eco-system. They look cute too .
A childhood is a real childhood if you have tried to hold one in your hand  tongue
We used to have one living in the corner of our terrace, his name was "Dad's Toad" alien Laughing

I can't wait to see your progress, it looks just perfect so far cheers

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newt



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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 5:12 pm

Thank you, LeeAnn and Susanne! Yes, my model was grumpy and uncooperative. But I did get some good pictures of him before returning him to the yard. I will hopefully be able to get a lot done tonight and post more photos tomorrow.

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 7:06 pm

Oh, nice

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 9:42 pm

I can't wait! bounce bounce bounce I love seeing a model taking shape and coming to life Very Happy sunny bounce bounce bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 10:11 pm

@newt wrote:
Thank you, LeeAnn and Susanne! Yes, my model was grumpy and uncooperative. But I did get some good pictures of him before returning him to the yard. I will hopefully be able to get a lot done tonight and post more photos tomorrow.

cheers cheers cheers

Laughing Laughing I am sure you are lucky that could not hear what he was thinking about you Laughing Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 10:34 pm

This is very interesting! bounce bounce bounce Applause cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 07, 2015 11:12 pm

@SUSANNE wrote:
@newt wrote:
Thank you, LeeAnn and Susanne! Yes, my model was grumpy and uncooperative. But I did get some good pictures of him before returning him to the yard. I will hopefully be able to get a lot done tonight and post more photos tomorrow.

cheers cheers cheers

Laughing Laughing I am sure you are lucky that could not hear what he was thinking about you Laughing Laughing

Ohhh that is a real toad! Shocked Laughing I was wondering what on earth it was Laughing
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newt



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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Fri May 08, 2015 8:35 pm

Thank you for your kind comments Laura, Karin, and Emma!

STEP 4
I add armatures for the toes using florist's wire. I usually use fine copper or aluminum wire for this, but I couldn't find any; the florist's wire works OK except the green coating shreds off. I'll have to clean it up before adding clay. I also wrapped wire around the limbs; this will help keep the clay in place as I add it.



STEP 5
I set the basic pose by bending the wires into place. The armature is easy to manipulate at this stage. Later, it will still be possible to tweak the pose, but major changes will be more difficult.



STEP 6
Now I bulk out the body with crumpled up aluminum foil, and use more florist's wire to bind it to the armature. This allows me to use less clay, which is important for a few reasons.

1) Polymer clay is a lot more expensive than foil, so it saves money!
2) Polymer clay is heavier than foil, so it saves weight!
3) Polymer clay doesn't bake well in thick sections. I would otherwise have to build up the body a little at a time, baking repeatedly until final size is reached; so it saves time!


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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Fri May 08, 2015 10:59 pm

bounce bounce bounce This is so exciting bounce bounce bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Fri May 08, 2015 11:27 pm

This is extremely interesting, - thankyou very much for sharing flower Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Sat May 09, 2015 9:15 am

@newt wrote:
Yes, my model was grumpy and uncooperative.

Stars are always grumpy and uncooperative, even if they have to pose for the "Musée Grevin". Good luck for the job, I can't wait to see more pics Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Sat May 09, 2015 2:37 pm

Very nice tutoriral Newt :)
Thank you, taht you started....it will be very usefull for many of us cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Sat May 09, 2015 3:46 pm

That's a very interesting tutorial with lots of good recomendations for those who love to sculpt. Thanks for starting it... it is the first time I see a newt sculpting a toad. Laughing
I love lifesized animal figures. These creatures are too small to work in standard scale with megafauna, so they turn much more interesting when in 1:1 scale. I wished Safari Incredible Creatures concentrated more in that scale and that other major brands followed the same example. Looking forward to see your project! bounce bounce

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newt



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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 4:39 am

Thank you all! Here's some more progress:

STEP 7
I begin adding clay. In this case, I'm using Super Sculpey Firm. I knead small bits of clay with my fingers and mash them firmly onto the armature.




STEP 8
Now I begin developing the major forms. I lay in certain landmarks, such as the cranial crests and sacral hump, that let me locate other anatomical forms. You'll notice I left the feet alone; there's no way for me to work on them now without continually deforming them. I'll work on the head and upper torso until those parts reach a point where the sculpture can be cured. Once it's cured, I can work on the limbs and belly. Polymer clay is not harmed by repeated bakings.


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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 5:09 am

Great explanation and great result so far Applause
And you are making your tutorial with wonderful photos :)
Thank you for that Newt :)

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 5:35 am

Funny scratch Thought that I posted already Suspect
Awesome! It is really taking shape now bounce bounce bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 8:26 am

Hurraaay ! A grumpy toad is developing from the clay cheers

He looks marvellous !!! Thankyou for sharing this interesting, wonderful project Applause flower

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 5:51 pm

This is so exciting bounce He already looks great, I can't wait to see more Very Happy

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newt



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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 7:06 pm

Thank you all! I'm glad you are finding it interesting. I should have some more progress photos later this week. In the meantime, here's another photo of a live toad.


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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Mon May 11, 2015 7:16 pm

He ( she ? ) is beautyful , - almost golden Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Tue May 12, 2015 2:33 am

So interesting to see your projectgetting shape, it is like a metamorphosis. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Wed May 20, 2015 2:38 pm

Great tutorial... Enjoying the sculpt but particularly looking forward to see the painting!!
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newt



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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 21, 2015 3:56 pm

Thanks MiniZoo! I've hit some delays - that rotten old real life getting in the way - but I'll get back to this project in a week or so and show some more progress.


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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 21, 2015 5:01 pm

@newt wrote:
...... - that rotten old real life getting in the way ......

I know ! Crying or Very sad This morning that rotten gravity smashed one of my tea mugs Rolling Eyes Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Thu May 21, 2015 11:19 pm

@SUSANNE wrote:
@newt wrote:
...... - that rotten old real life getting in the way ......

I know ! Crying or Very sad This morning that rotten gravity smashed one of my tea mugs Rolling Eyes Laughing

lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:48 pm

We want more we want more Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:27 pm

Hey Dum-my, sorry for the long delay! I've gotten sidetracked by other projects, a new job, and various other things. Also, I found a dead toad and have it in the freezer awaiting dissection; I'd like to do that before finishing this project.

I will finish it someday, though, I promise!


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PostSubject: Re: Sculpting a toad in polymer clay   Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:34 pm

We will wait exited, but patiently Wink

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