Clay modelling takes patience, says Tanushree Verma

Tanushree Verma , a software engineer by profession, has loved painting and clay modelling for as long as she can remember. She enjoys oil and glass painting. Here, she tells us how she became enamoured with clay and started creating art with it.

I grew up in an artistic environment.

As a child, I saw my mother taking craft classes. She would make boxes for bangles, stand for audio tapes, lampshades and photo frames. She could create useful things with just ice cream sticks.

My dad is a good artist too, he paints as a hobby. Naturally, I took to painting, sketching and clay modelling.

The best part about working with clay is you get a third dimension to your creativity.

This is not possible in paintings.

Whenever I visited gift shops and saw those lovely but expensive ceramic gift items, I vowed to give it a try.

When I started working with clay it was not easy as I did not take any classes.

Also I did not know about the tools and techniques of working with clay. But I read a number of books on the subject and then, there is always the Internet to turn to for learning just about anything.

A challenging aspect of clay modelling is that it requires a lot of patience.

I have been pursuing this hobby for the past eight years now.

It is such a pleasure to work with clay in my otherwise busy schedule. It is relaxing and satisfying.

Being a software engineer, I luckily have weekends to myself to indulge in my hobby.

I use my art work mostly for decorating my house.

I gift some of my creations to friends and relatives on special occasions.

You can get modelling or sculpting clay from any arts store.

There are a number of brands available in different price ranges. While some are ready to use, others are in powder form and need to be mixed with the correct quantity of water to start with.

Instructions need to be followed to the letter to achieve clay of uncompromised quality. Making clay yourself needs a lot of time and effort and so I prefer using readymade clay. Using moulds is a good idea if you wish to make items in bulk.

There are many tools available — trimming tools, knives, cutters, sharpeners and scrapers in different shapes. Most of these tools are also available as part of clay modelling tool kits.

There is lot of variety in the clay available in the market too — water based, oil based and polymer clay. However, each has its own limitation.

Water based clay dries out quickly.

If you are working on a project over many days, moisten your work gently with a spray bottle and cover it with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. It can't get too wet either. The clay should be left to dry a bit before working on intricate details.

Contact Tanushree at tanushree.prateek@gmail.com. Her work may be viewed on http://worldofoilpaintings.webnode.com

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