Magic Wheelchair

Archival sculpting mediums?

I'm working with a client that has fragile and valuable items they want to put inside a sculpted case. Some of these items are old letters they want displayed within a sculpted framework. I'm looking for suggestions on archival mediums. I know fine artists who use archival masking tape over wire frames that they then paint with acrylics but if there is a type of lightweight clay that is archival, that might be best. I'd like to be a bit more detailed. Any suggestions for a way to make a sculptural work that is fairly sturdy, can withstand some wear and will not damage paper over time I'd love to hear them!!


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    Sounds like a very interesting project!

    I'm not familiar with any sculpting mediums that are listed as archival.  I would imagine you would want something durable, long-lasting, not prone to damage via UV or temperature change, and does not leach out anything over time.   To me, that would suggest something like a sculpting epoxy. You may want to reach out to a company like Reynolds Advanced Materials to see if anything in their Smooth-On line (like freeform air) would work for archival purposes.   

    I'm curious what material they would recommend, and how your project turns out!

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    Thank you Chris, I'll let you know what they say, I actually asked them right after posting.
    I've done a bit more research and it seems like Activa La Doll stone clay, with wire armature and mesh reinforcement covered in Golden archival spray varnish may be the best I can do. That seems to be what fine artists use, however this is only after one day research. I'm interested to see if this is the best way to go for the long haul. Sometimes the only way to know is to do ; )
    It is an interesting, challenging and highly creative project combining a few different skills. Pretty exciting stuff.
    If you think of anything else or come across any more possibilities, I'd love to hear them!! Thank you!
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    Reynolds suggested FreeFormAir but they have no data on the archival properties. I found a place that has archival epoxies so I'm looking into that... we'll see.
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    Freeform Air is what I figured they would suggest since it would seem to meet most of these needs pretty well.  (and is probably what I would use, especially over more fragile stuff like the stone clay)  I guess the only question is the long term archival properties.  I would expect it would be a good fit, but more data would be nice.

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