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Armature materials

If you want to make clay figures in life-like poses, you're going to realize sooner or later that you need some kind of armature to support the clay with. It also helps you to save on clay!

With an armature, I mean a basic shape like a wire frame or a styrofoam block.

The armature materials I use:
  • iron wire; this must be thin and quite flexible. use it to make wire frames for your model.
  • package material; this is for filling up bigger models and for creating stocky armatures.
  • tinfoil; you really need this to wrap around your armature, otherwise the clay (e.g. Fimo) won't stick.
  • cardboard; great for making small and flat bases.

You can use almost anything as an armature, it won't burn or shrink in the oven, as long as you wrap it in tinfoil and cover it completely with clay.

There are some exceptions to this rule, but I don't know them all and have to find out the hard way.
I've used wood and cocktail-sticks and the like before without problem, but I recently tried cork which ruined my sculpture. It expanded in the oven, although it was wrapped in tinfoil, cracking up the clay around it.
So avoid cork.

If you've already got armature materials, you can skip this part and jump directly to the chapter on preparation of your model