I've been watching aine2's videos since seeing the links on this site. She makes it look so easy! I've actually been practicing for the past few days with play dough. My figures are terrible though. LOL.
How long does it take to really pick up on it?
Is Play Dough a reasonable thing to practice with or is the consistency much different than gumpaste?
Does anyone use clay modeling books as a reference? If so, what are the good ones out there?
I have used the clay modeling books Annie Lang's Polymer Clay Characters and The Sculpey Way and I love both. I have not played with playdough but I think it would be a little different. I use 50/50 gumpaste and fondant and my new favorite molding material is Chocolate clay (although it does not get super hard like gumpaste). Good luck it just takes a little practice. I have made some super cute animals but I still have a hard time with people faces.
I buy wilton with a coupon to "play" with. I like it cause it is so forgiving.
I use Satin Ice for playing with because it allows more for structures like vases, etc. But it isnt very elastic which gumpaste is suppose to be. Playdough is more like fondant to me in consistancy.
Get a good book on gumpaste. And the more you practice the better you will get. It just takes time!
50/50 fondant/gumpaste is great to work with. Also, instead of play dough, use a polimer if you don't want to commit to the gumpaste and fondant. It won't harden for quite some time. Don't be afraid to work with molds either. They really help get you started. Aine, I think, uses a little rounded "holder" to keep the back of the head rounded out. This is an awesome idea. I bought stuff to make my own molds and used a ping pong ball to round out mine. It's so easy now to work on the face while keeping it in the form. That way, your palms are not flattening it out.
Thanks for all the great input! I bought some gumpaste mix from Wilton last night and two of the fondant boxes to play with. You all do such beautiful work that I want to keep up! LOL.
I hadn't thought about using molds before but someone here has a gorgeous chocolate shoe on one of her cakes that she made from a mold. I might look into that as well.....I must admit, I thought that'd be cheating.
I walked all the isles of Michael's the other day (i had no kids with me and was taking advantage of it). In the clay molding area there are some GREAT tools. I did my first person figurine and I am proud of it. I used a face mold. It would great! The person loved it!!