Because there are variables beyond my control (clays, papers, water, mixing errors and etc) always pre test fire what you have before a big project. No guarantee can be offered that 'alternative" commercial paperclays now on the market will meet the all the performance advantages of my high performance trademark P'Clay® brand only available from licensed manufacturers/distributors.
Shown above were bone dry paperclay folded slab armatures at bone dry and hard. With a sponge of water, re-wet the areas you plan to add to , then apply p'slip and soft p'clay in successive layers over top.
Contour fresh wet soft layers up from the support of a bone hard dry set frame. Place in position on torso after.
Paperclay castings pick up all the detail imprint from plaster molds and can be pulled from the mold sooner.
More about this in my book.
armature support for figure sculpture
Paperclay can be it's own aramture.
A bone dry properly balanced recipe of paperclay support armature allows the sculptor all the hardness and flexibility benefits of the traditional armature materials like wire frame, and mesh or wood PLUS allows possibilities such as but not limited to:
1. Chances at the bone dry stage to carve down and build up, add and subtract, alter and rearrange, assemble and take apart, move arms, legs, attach and detach these as practical. With paperclay, a leather hard state armature or its parts should be dried totally first.
2. No need to cover in plastic to slow the drying out.
Now you can model a face contours wet over a dry layer in your lap where angle of hand, arm and eye is comfortable. When finished, assemble dry parts such as the ears, back of the head and neck parts with soft wet p'clay/p'slip as putty and adhesive between. Its easy to preview possible orientation of the head on the torso since temporary joins are possible.
Paperclays of course are also castable in plaster molds. Cast and and handbuilt parts can be improvised together. Biscuit fire clay molds however will stick to paperclay slurry so are not advised.
And with latex rubber molds, that do allow undercuts, bone hard paperclay is hard enough to peel off the latex from without fracturing the bone dry paperclay
3. Though metal armatures are not needed, artists of the "chicken wire school" of paperclay use them as part of the work. The metal or wire are fired with in the paperclay intact. Do not try this at home: fumes from metals firing are toxic and need ventilation.
Figurative works here by Anjani Khanna (India) and Carmen Lang (Mexico) and Rosette Gault, all fired paperclay with permanent glazed surfaces