My clay molded head is cracking as it dries. What can I do?

First, a few photos of it three days after molding. 
Then, a picture of it cracking for 3 days. Please explain to me what I’ve done wrong here and how to move forward?

I am thinking 20min a/b epoxy would fill the cracks and harden it, but I’m worried it will continue shrinking and somehow be worse. I wondered if there was something to be done with aluminum foil in the cracks?

I believe the issue stems totally from the oversized bust I used to build on. I went very large to reduce the amount of clay I’d need to build something so big, but maybe I should’ve used a different material. Any help is appreciated. Sooner the better!

Best Answers


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    Hey Keith :-)
    Is that a water based clay? You know, that the Water vaporates out of it, if you dont put a bag over it?

    Maybe you could bring back the water and it starts to quill back to its older form. 

    You need to spray lots of water over a long time over it.
    Wetting the surface with water, put a wet towel over it and put a bag over it and make sure, that no air can come to it. 

    After 6 hours, take a look what happened. At this stadium you may be able to fill the gaps with fresh clay.

    If it helps, make sure that you mist your waterbased sculpture with water and bag it tight, so that no air can come to it the next time.
    If you leave your sculpt alone for a longer time, do misting it with water all 5 days to keep it wet and make sure, that no air can come to it. 

    I hope it helps.


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    Hi, thanks for responding. But I don’t think you answered the question. Are you saying there’s a material I should have used? Are you saying I should NEVER let the clay dry because that’s ridiculous. 

    Yes, it is water based. I knew it would dry and evaporate, that’s what I wanted. I thought it would maintain its shape. Instead, it shrank and cracked. 
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    I absolutely did use a hard core. So 97% of the time the clay cracks ? How unfortunate ! I used a hard foam core that doesn’t compress. If I had used some other rig it might have had a different result? What about chicken wire?

    It seems like plenty of people mold a mask from clay then let it dry before casting it with silicone or some other material. If the clay is always breaking, are they mold casting the clay before it’s dried, or just using it in a way that allows the clay to shrink over a compressable core as it dries ?

    hmmm. You think I should add the water back to the clay and mold over a new core ? I was just going to fill the cracks with a quick hardening epoxy. 
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