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Making your clay model:
Start with something small. Large clay models require a different technique and can be frustrating for the beginner. A large model also requires an armature to be made. An armature is a frame; usually from steel, which is constructed to support the clay model. A further reason for starting small is that the later casting process becomes more complex. A suggested model is a face or hand or something with simple lines and shapes. Do not try using your imagination to model at first. A more imaginative approach can be used later after the foundations of clay sculpture have been mastered.
Begin experimenting with your range of tools and explore the different ways in which they shape the clay. Remember that the wonderful advantage of clay is that you can wipe out any mistakes and start again. Always remember to keep the clay moist with your spray bottle. If you have to leave your model for a period of time, cover it with plastic, making sure that it is fairly well sealed, and moisten the plastic. In this way one can keep a clay model fresh for working on for weeks.
Once your creation reaches perfection and you feel that you have achieved your aim, then the clay can be left to dry. But this drying process should be done slowly, as they clay may crack if it dries too quickly. Therefore, put your model in a cool place to dry and cover it with a slightly damp cloth. Do not allow it to dry in the sun, as this is sure to cause cracking. Once the model is completely dry you may apply a varnish or a coat of paint. Remember that hardened clay is still very fragile and this process is only suitable for indoor sculpture. There are a number of casting techniques which allow the transformation of the clay into a much more durable material like bronze and fibreglass.