Making Figures with Polymer Clay (Sculpy)

Q: I want to make some figures in Sculpy. Can I use a wire armature, and if so, what gauge is best? Can I add new clay to a part that’s been baked? And will it take paint?

A: You can use a wire armature to stiffen the extended parts of a Sculpy (polymer clay) figure, and bake it without the piece cracking, unlike the way ceramic clay behaves. The thickness to use depends on what type of wire you’re using. Aluminum wire needs to be heavier than copper, which is less stiff than steel, for the same gauge. Try 16 gauge baling wire, 14 gauge copper ground wire, or 12 gauge aluminum ground wire, they all will work. (Obviously you must use only bare uninsulated wire.) For extra stiffness, twist multi strands together. For thinner areas, of course, you will need to use thinner wire.

You can add on to pre-baked parts successfully. Sculpy is fairly non-porous when baked, so it can be painted. Some paints might adhere better over a primer, however.

by Andrew Werby