Clay Sculpting for Beginners

With practice, you can make plenty of pots.
clay pitcher image by Leonid Nyshko from

Molding something out of clay can be a great exercise for the soul. For those that have not tried it, do not fear. It is not as hard as it looks. Clay sculpting is a relaxing activity that everybody should try at least once. It’s very beginner-friendly. If you make a mistake, simply wad it back up in a ball and start over.

Beginner’s Tools

It is not important to buy tools specifically used in sculpting, at least in the beginning, because they can set you back a lot of money. Most of the tools that you use in sculpting can be substituted for something else or even made. X-acto knives are practical for sculpting because of the sharp edge of the knife. Dowels and paintbrushes are essential too. The possibilities really are endless. Anything that you can find in your home that has an interesting shape can be used. Just use your imagination.

A Lazy Susan

To be successful at clay sculpting, you are going to have to be able to turn you work of art to shape it. A Lazy Susan is a great tool to do this so that you can sit or stand in one place and just let your hands do all of the work as it spins your clay for you.

Wet Towel

When you are sculpting, you need your hands to be free of dirt or hair. Anything that is on your hands is going to end up in the clay and could ruin your masterpiece. Save yourself the trouble and keep a wet towel or wash cloth within reach to clean them.

Use a Mirror

To determine whether or not your sculpture is lopsided, look at it in the mirror. The mirror view will make it easier to prevent your work of art from becoming the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Pasta Machine

A pasta machine can be used to mix your clay, and it will dispense it in a convenient roll form. Mixing clay by hand can be tiring and time-consuming, which will not leave you in much of a mood to sculpt.

Use a Magnifying Glass

If you are planning on adding a lot of fine details to your work, save your eyes with a magnifying glass. There are magnifying glasses that can attach to your glasses or even be used like glasses.