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The Sculptor’s Apprentice Resources

Two of the hardest things about starting out as a sculptor are the questions “What should I use?” and “Where can I buy it”? We have spent hours and hours doing research to find out which materials we need to use, and where we can source those materials at a reasonable price and quantity.

Because of those difficulties, and because we truly believe in the abundance principle, we share all of the resources that we use at The Sculptor’s Apprentice. This is a constantly growing list, and everything on it you would find in our studio if you visited tomorrow. We only recommend products that we actually use. Personal preference plays a HUGE role in many of these, and we want to make sure we are as helpful as possible.
 

Some of these links are affiliate links, which means that if you buy from them, we will get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you to help with the cost of producing this site. If you are uncomfortable with that, just type the words into Google or Amazon. We only recommend products that we actually use.

 

SCULPTURE REFERENCE PHOTOS:

Female-Anatomy-for-Artist.com - Royalty free photo references

Human-Anatomy-for-Artist.com - Royalty free photo references

One of the hardest, and most expensive parts of beginning a figurative bronze sculpture is quality reference photos. Hiring a model for photos is an intimidating, expensive, and challenging adventure. These two websites make it incredibly easy to find and download hundreds of models in thousands of poses. We have a subscription to both sites and use them on a weekly basis. For large commissioned work we still hire models and usually spend $500-$1000 on the photographer and model, but for all of our gallery work, and even concept sketches, Human Anatomy for the Artist is our best and only resource. They even have free samples that you can download to illustrate the high resolution.
 

Oil Based Clay

NSP Sculpting ClayClay for sculpting is a super-duper personal preference thing. Some people love Brand X, and others swear by Brand Y. So, if you have a clay that you like, and it isn’t creating any problems for you, then ignore this part. BUT … if you aren’t sure, we would suggest starting here. Chavant makes great clays, awesome clays, for lots of different applications (even sculpting full size cars!) We use The NSP Hard, in the color green. Hard is REALLY hard, but it is also offered in soft and medium. For us NSP is just the right combo of smooth and a little sticky.
You can get it here.

Mold Making Silicone

For almost all of our silicone molds we use GT Products 6142 Standard grade Condensation cure silicone. It is the prefect combination of strength and consistency. It is easy to apply to a detailed surface, and is one of the stronger silicones we have used. See it here (call them to order).

It is a tin cure silicone, so you will need a gram scale to measure.Here is the scale that we use.

Clay Sculpture Tools

This is a tough one. We use SO MANY clay tools. We have a mechanics tool chest full of them. This tool chest in-fact. Many of the tools that we use on a regular basis we have made using a bandsaw blade, or some other type of repurposed material. Look for a tutorial on that in the future. But for now, here is a list of the store bought tools that we frequently use.

  • Sculpture House Double Wire End Modeling Tool 8″.This tool is great for roughing in volumes.
  • Dental tools. Almost all of these are super usefull for different details. (maybe not the mirror!)
  • Steel Slicks.Almost every final texture we sculpt is softened with one of these before it’s done
  • More to come! This is a work in progress!