How to Make Mud Sculptures

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Mud is a term that refers to a wide range of materials including soils, clay and plaster or a combination of them. The material can be used in art projects to make free-standing sculptures or relief patterns on walls. Mud has similar properties as clay, but it doesn't require firing to harden it. To make a resistant sculpture, make a wire frame and apply the mud on it.

Things You'll Need

  • Coarse-grit sandpaper
  • Concrete base
  • Wire/ wire mesh
  • Nails
  • Chalk
  • Fine clay soil
  • Sand
  • Lime putty (optional)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Palette knife
  • PVA glue
  • Water-based colors
  • Wash the wall to prepare it for the mud relief sculpture. Sand the wall with a coarse-grit sandpaper to create a rough surface so that the mud sticks to the wall.

    If making a free standing sculpture, choose a base for the piece. A concrete base works best.

  • Sketch the design for the sculpture and make a wire frame, also known as armature. The armature holds the sculpture together. If you plan to make a relief sculpture, draw the shape of your sculpture on the wall using chalk. Insert nails in the wall following the outline of the sculpture. Add a few nails inside the outlined area and tie wire around the nails.

  • Prepare the mud using fine clay soil, sand and water. Add equal parts of soil and sand and mix with water to obtain a homogenous paste. This way there won't be cracks in the sculpture once the mud dries.

  • Apply a thin layer of mud on the wall or the free-standing wire frame. Use a palette knife or your hands, while wearing rubber gloves. Allow the mud to dry.

  • Apply a thicker layer of mud and shape it according to the desired design. Allow the piece to dry.

  • Seal the sculpture using diluted PVA glue.

  • Paint the sculpture using water-based colors. Color the relief sculpture in the same color as the walls or choose a complementary color.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
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