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The idea of me is better than the reality of me. - Verity

Monday, July 27, 2015

Common Household Materials as Sculpting Tools for Cold Porcelain

modelling tools [photo from lazada.com]

I've started working with cold porcelain without any clay sculpting tool, which, I admit, makes it more challenging and yeah, most of the time kind of frustrating. I told myself to purchase a set of these sculpting tools but as I looked around in various bookstores/hardware shops/craft stores, I realized that they are quite hard to find and when I found a set (a sculpting set for cake decorating in the bakery section of a department store), they cost higher than I expected.

Since I don't want to pay for something that I'm not sure will work for me (and I don't want to take the risk of ordering online either), I just settled with my 'reliable' plastic knife, courtesy of my toddler's kitchen set. Aside from the plastic knife, I browsed the internet to look for things that I can use in sculpting my cold porcelain without spending.

Well, this post is not going to teach you how to create sculpting tools from scratch (that would be later). Basically, I am just going to show you common things in your home that can serve as sculpting tools for your creations.

plastic knife
Plastic knife - toy or the one from your fast food takeout. This is what I use everyday, in everything.


Toothpick - Its pointed tip is perfect for creating intricate details such as lines and dots. However, make sure to dip it first in oil before using to prevent the cold porcelain from sticking. And it is very helpful in putting glue into your cold porcelain during assembly especially on really small pieces.


Cutter - since it's made out of metal, cold porcelain may tend to stick to it so what I did was I covered the metal blade with scotch tape and voila, my simple and cheap cutter was turned into a non-stick cold porcelain cutter.

knitting needles/sewing pins (photos from lazada.com)
Sewing pins (the one with the head)/knitting needles - for round details i.e. making indentations for the eyes, etc.

toy rolling pin (courtesy of my daughter)

Round plastic bottle/plastic rolling pin - I am using my daughter's plastic rolling pin. Just make sure to coat it with cornstarch to prevent the cold porcelain from sticking.

nail cutter

Cuticle pushers/nail cutter - they are a cheap alternative when it comes to detailing.

It is essential to be resourceful when it comes to finding sculpting tools especially if you are just starting with the craft, like me. Try looking around the house, rummage your old drawers and even your kid's boxes of toys. For sure, you'll be able to find something that you can use in your cold porcelain sculptures. Personally, I prefer using things that are made of plastic as my tools to prevent sticking.

I must admit that these alternative tools aren't perfect and they tend to limit the things that I can do with cold porcelain. There are times when I wish I had those 'real' ones but since I still can't find time to purchase a sculpting tool set, I have to improvise for now.

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