Make an Armature for Sculpting!





Introduction: Make an Armature for Sculpting!

Hey All!

Thanks for visiting my instructable! Today we are going to learn how to make a wire armature for adding clay on to. Lets begin!

Step 1: Acquire Your Materials

You will need:

1: Floral wire or any really flexible thin wire

2: Aluminum Foil

3: Clippers

4: Hangar wire, OOK wire from any Home Depot or you may on occasion stumble across actual armature wire in the various arts and crafts stores.

Step 2: Make the Wire Cuts

Now we need to cut our pieces from the Hangar wire or OOK wire for the armature (skeleton). The cuts should match the proportions of the cuts in the image shown. The longer wires are about 9 inches long and will end up making a character about 7 inches tall from head to toe.

Step 3: Wrapping the Shoulders and Spine

Next you will take a long strip (at least 2 feet in length) of floral wire and hold the two longer pieces of hangar wire parallel with a shorter piece between them for the neck.

Step 4: Wrap the Core Together

Take the floral wire and begin wrapping 3/4 of the way up the longer hangar wires along with the neck in place as shown. Ensure that you wrap it as tightly as possible. This may be a little tuff on your hands and you may want to wear gloves.

Step 5: Add the Shoulders

Now add one of the shorter pieces across the top at the base of the neck. Be sure to wrap completely around the shoulders and off onto the forearms to ensure that your armature will remain sturdy.

Step 6: Add the Feet

Now to take the last two smaller pieces and bend them 90 degrees about 3/4 of the way down.

Step 7: Wrap the Feet

Now wrap the feet towards the bottom of the legs while leaving some of the legs hanging out the bottom so we can mount the armature to a base.

Step 8: Begin Adding the Tin Foil

Begin wrapping strips of tin foil around the parts of the body that require bulking. I typically wrap almost all of the armature in the foil because I've found that the clay sticks better to it. Bulking also saves on material costs of the clay.

Step 9: Cover the Armature

Step 10: Pose Your Armature

Now you can use the Wire coming out the bottom of the feet to stand your armature up while you work on it. A wooden or steel base with holes roughly the same diameter as the wire will hold them up nicely while you work on it.

Step 11: Voila! Begin Adding Your Clay!

Now the fun really Begins! You can begin adding Super Sculpy, chavant or any other clay you prefer to your armature! Below are examples of what can be made! Have fun!

Step 12: Examples

About me:

I am actually a 3D artist by trade and have spent a few years working in both the video game and film industries. During my time making characters for games I started to realize that there was a real desire to step away from the computer screen and do something truly 3D. So I drove to the nearest arts and crafts store and bought me some super sculpy modeling clay. Ever since I've been hooked! I have since been continuing my career as a 3D artist and selling over a hundred of my likeness sculptures and custom wedding cake toppers on the side. Although I love traditional sculpture I am well aware that times are changing and I have always wanted to get in to 3d printing to see all of my 3D models come to life. Thanks for playing!

To see more of my work head on over to:

Want to Learn how to make a mold of your sculpt? Check out my other instructable here:



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    Thanks for a great instructable. Do you have a website? The links on your article do not work. I would love to see more of your work you're wonderful!

    Hey wacky pup! Sorry bout that! It's been forever since I've been on here but I just updated my link in my bio. It's now and it contains more of my vfx type stuff because I've been working in film and tv. Thanks for your kind words!

    The website is and the entire process is explained in depth there. Thanks!

    Once you make the mold it is pretty much individualized for that person correct? Have you ever done the sculpture without the head so you can duplicate the body but personalize it for each customer with different heads? If so do you think attaching a clay head to acrylic body would work-of would you mold the individualized head and attach an acrylic head? Final question I you hand paint or airbrush yours? I have sculpted since high school as hit or miss hobby-but would LOVE to make a few of these for my kids and family, so am SUPER excited to have seen this!!!!!

    Hi Lauren. In my opinion It was advantageous to have a default generic head on the model incase the customer didn't require a custom head. For me it was about offering different price points. It's easy enough to remove the head and then add a sculpey or fimo head and cook that. I've actually poured the resin cast, lopped of the head, sculpted a new sculpey head in place and then stuck the entire resin cast with new head in the oven and cooked the head while on the resin cast and had no problems. Smooth cast 300 resin from holds up nicely in the 275 to 300 degree temp.

    Also I do a mix of hand painting and airbrushing. Molds are definitely the way to go if you are looking to mass produce a figure quickly but the rubber itself can be pricey so you have to have a high cost initially to cover the cost of the rubber molds and then subsequent pours can be significantly cheaper for customers. I've sculpted over 100 of these for people completely by hand and wished that I had learned molds sooner than later. In the end it's a ton of work and never made me rich, but it's fun being allowed to be a part of peoples special occasions and get paid for it.

    Do you have a website where you sell the pieces? I would love to order one.

    Your sculpting ability "is over 9000" (dragonball frase).

    so was your comment! Thanks ninjanody!

    Not to be a stickler, but shouldn't this be posted under >Living>Art ?

    This isn't a Technology and it wasn't made on a 3d printer.

    Don't get me wrong, you are apparently extremely talented and it's a fantastic looking sculpture you've made, it just seems like on so many of the boards I'm on these days, nobody posts thing in the correct classification and I can't tell if it's from ignorance or indifference.

    Great 'ible' though!

    Yeah you're probably right!