Tools of the trade

I’ve been asked a couple of times about the tools I use on my sculptures. The main tools are my hands, that sounds a bit patronising, but it’s true. I’ll roll, push, poke, prod and generally mash Sculpey or clay around with my fingers to get the shapes. As for tools, heres some of my commonly reached for with the most important on the left and descending in order to the right.

tools

First off is a couple of wooden tools that are I would struggle to be without as I use them not only for building forms, I tend to use them for detail work as well. The top of the far left one is the one I use for hair a lot.

The next one is a home made one which is a brass tube with a bent jewellers saw blade in the end. I’ve had this for about 15 years as I made it at uni. I honestly have no idea how I bent it as these blades are tough but snap easily, all I can think is I heated it and bent it. I hope I never snap it. Anyway, its a rake, the fine teeth on one side help to shave the top layer of material to make shapes in the clay.

The three together are ball stylus ended thingys. Technical I know. They’re good for forming folds and indentations.

The five black handled tools are silicone tipped sculpting tools. I had some cheap ones once and they lasted about a month. Seriously c**p. I bought these ones from a Spanish website called green stuff world for about 10 euros and they’re amazing. They’ve lasted for about 2 years and show no serious degradation. Shipping to the UK was a bit of jolt but worth it. I’d shop around if I needed new ones now but at the time I was too narked off at my cheapness and didn’t care.

The small silver thing is a Zirconi Zahle 4 Wax Carving Stainless Steel Instrument and will gut you like a fish. Good for sharp clean edge work.

The next bunch of tools are a mix of sculpting tools I’ve collected and dental tools given to me by a dentist a long time ago. Yes, they are second hand… I cleaned them. Many times. The lone brass tube in the middle is a home made pokey thing build from a bit of stiff wire and stuck in place with putty. It comes in handy now and then but not that much.

Red handled tools are silicone paint shapers from a cheap shop. They come in useful now and then but theres nothing the wooden tools can’t do.

Some paintbrushes round off the photo but only because it stopped the shapers from rolling out of the shot.

Not shown are a load of wooden tools that get used on big things, knives, loops (very useful items) and bits I use to make texture like sandpaper and sponges. I also use wooden balls for eyes as I’ve got a selection of sizes although Cthulhu used some glass beads we had in the garden. Pin heads for rivets or buttons. Guitar wire for pipes.

Any questions then drop by the Facebook page and ask or leave a comment on here. I’ll try and make sense with any replies.