Best Sculpting Clay – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

The idea of sculpting clay can be intimidating if it’s your first time. Especially when you find out there are different clay types available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we steer you through the decision-making process and explain what the different types of clay are and give you our top recommendations.

At a Glance: Our Choice of the 5 Best Sculpting Clay For Beginners On the Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Buyer’s Tips: Key Considerations

There are quite a few types of sculpting clay and for a beginner, it can be overwhelming. There are a few types I would consider the best for beginners as some of the more advanced ones need materials you wouldn’t need unless you were a professional sculptor.

  • Plasticine: Oil-based so will not dry out. Most are non-toxic so great for playing with kids. It can be expensive, so this is best for smaller projects or for testing out your skills.
  • Polymer: You add liquid to make the clay more pliable and then bake in the oven to fix the shape. It requires a bit of work to shape the clay, so children will find this more difficult.
  • Air Dry: Versatile material that can be used to make high-quality creations without the use of a kiln.

Best Sculpting Clay For Beginners – Product Round-up and Reviews

1. Aurora Sculpting Clay

Aurora Sculpting and Molding Air Dry Clay - 5lb

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

This is an extremely pliable clay which is widely used in special effects for films! A great clay that can be used professionally but is also accessible for beginners. You gain 5lb of clay for a great price, allowing beginners to have a play around with several smaller or one large project. It is a water-based clay that is soft and smooth and safe for children to play with.

PROS

  • Good price for the amount you get
  • Very pliable, easy to work with
  • Easily buy bigger amounts for good prices

CONS

  • Slow to dry, make sure there is somewhere safe to put your project
  • Only color is gray

Let’s take a look at this product…


2. Amaco Air Dry

AMACO 4630-3C Air Dry Modeling Clay, 10-Pound, Gray

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Amaco is the perfect clay for beginners to try out some smaller projects. The clay is relatively pliable and can be worked in many methods including coiling, slab work, and sculpting. This particular buy is half the price of the Aurora but also has double the weight. This clay is ready to use, non-toxic and easy to work with on smaller creations.

PROS

  • Great budget product
  • Easy and ready to use
  • Lots of clay to make mistakes with!

CONS

  • Not great for bigger creations but for beginners, it’s best to start small anyway
  • It gets hard quite quickly, don’t leave it unused for hours

Let’s take a look at this product…


3. Polyform Sculpey Original

Polyform Sculpey Original Polymer Clay, 1.75-Pound, White

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

The Polyform Sculpey is one of the best clay types you can buy for beginners. It is soft, pliable and won’t dry out if left out. The only drawback is you have to bake it in the oven to allow your creations to keep the shape. The Sculpey is perfect for children and beginners to use as it is pliable enough for you to make mistakes, correct them and make mistakes again. A great product that is perfect for jewelry, ornaments and small projects.

PROS

  • Very pliable
  • Easy to use
  • Great for smaller projects

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Have to bake in the oven

Let’s take a look at this product…


4. Monster Clay Premium Grade

Monster Clay Premium Grade Modeling Clay (5lb)

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Every list has to have the item for those with higher budgets; this is it! The Monster Clay is perfect for any beginner clay enthusiast who loves the horror or sci-fi genre and wants to create something a little fun. It is oil/wax-based with high plasticity, it is a little harder to use than the other makes here but to get great creations, this is the clay to use. Any beginners out there who have a little more to spend and want something that feels professional, this one is for you!

PROS

  • Excellent quality
  • Perfect for sci-fi lovers

CONS

  • Expensive
  • More difficult to use

5. Activa Plus Natural Self Hardening

ACTIVA Plus Natural Self-Hardening Clay White 2.2 pounds

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Activa has produced this self-hardening clay which has a premium feel for a relatively good price. This set comes with 2.2lb of clay whose strength and durability is amazing for beginners and professionals alike. Its high plasticity is excellent, which allows beginners to play around and make mistakes without too much worry.

PROS

  • Premium quality
  • Self-hardening
  • High plasticity

CONS

  • Low weight in clay for the price

Let’s take a look at this product…


Which is the Best Sculpting Clay for Beginners?

Overall whichever clay you choose to buy is up to you, it entirely depends on which method you want to use and what type of budget you have.

I would say my winner for the best sculpting clay for beginners has to go to the Amaco Clay. It’s price and easy to use pliability makes it the perfect clay for any beginner to pick up and give sculpting a go!​


Image Credits:​

Featured image: ​deposit photos

https://www.amaco.com/t/clays/air-dry

https://www.sculpey.com/original-sculpey/1-original-sculpey​

http://modelshop.co.uk/Shop/Cast-Mould/Clay-Sculpting/Item/Monster-Clay-2-3kg/ITM5294

https://activaproducts.com/collections/air-dry-clay/products/2-2-lb-package-of-white-plus-clay​