wed clay or sculpey

guys which is better to use when sculpting 12 inch maquettes, wed clay or sculpey?


  • Every artist is likely to have a different answer based on personal preference for working with a material, but my first question is what do you plan on doing with the finished sculpt?

    Is it just a temporary sculpt? Do you want to sculpt it and take a few quick pictures?  Do you want to mold it and cast copies?  Is it to be a permanent display piece?

    After you bake sculpey you are left with something that will last for a very long time.  WED will always be temporary.  The oil in WED clay will slow the drying process, but you are still working against a clock.

    While some artists have no problem getting fine detail in a softer material on a small maquette, you can typically get more detail from a firmer material like sculpey, depending on how you like to sculpt.

    If you plan on sculpting it quickly (before the clay drys out or gets funky) you can go with the WED.
    If you plan on sculpting slowly you can go with the sculpey.

    I personally like using Chavant NSP, as it does not dry out and is available in a few consistencies.  Unlike WED you can't smooth it with water (use alcohol, naptha, or flame), but it behaves more like a traditional clay than polymer clays like sculpey.  

    Every material has its own pros and cons, and most artists just go with what they know they can work with comfortably for their desired final product.


  • i wanted to make a permanent display piece. i have been using sculpey. only reason why I asked about wed clay is because sculpey can be expensive compared to the former. thanks for your comment Chris. Will have a look at chavant.
  • For permanent display Sculpey may be your best bet. (at least the most durable)  You can seal Chavant and paint it, which will make it last for a very long time, but it will always be fragile.  I've never personally kept a typical Chavant sculpture for very long, so maybe someone else can chime in on techniques to make a sculpt last.

    I do have one Chavant sculpt that I've had now for around 2 years that has not had any issues, but it's such an odd piece that it barely counts.  I was working on a low budget zombie film that needed a mutated rat prop that could be torn and eaten by a zombie.  There was not enough time to sculpt, mold, and cast on this project, so I just coated my Chavant speed-sculpt in pigmented latex.  The result actually had a good weight to it thanks to all the clay, and felt very lifelike in your hands.  It's been sitting on the edge of my work bench for almost 2 years, and aside from the hair needing a bit of a brushing it's holding up surprisingly well.

    If anyone else on the forums has any experience coating and keeping Chavant sculpts I would love to hear their methods.

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