Aves Apoxie Sculpt Beginner’s Guide

Rebecca Schumacher

Here’s a Beginner’s Tutorial for using Aves Apoxie Sculpt, the two part ambient set epoxy putty I sculpt with.  I work in layers with my pieces and will be writing this up to suit my methods. This is in no way associated with anyone or anything else, just the way I like to work with this material.

To start, I like to take a very small amount of Vaseline or a dab of olive oil and rub all over my hands. I  then take equal amounts of parts A and B, say a quarter size ball of each and mix thoroughly for a few
minutes. Once it’s completely mixed and uniform in color I set it aside.  Always ensure your material is thoroughly mixed or you’ll have a never curing mess on your piece.

Next I wash my hands, scrubbing off any residual material. This will make the sculpting work more smoothly. I wait about 10 minutes or so, avoiding the stickiest stage. One can wait longer once one has learned the cure stages, as about 20 minutes into the cure for me is the optimal sculpting time. I also mix my clay very well, to ensure a quick and hard cure.

My Dryad piece in my gallery at deviantart along with many others were sculpted with nothing more than a pencil, using the nib and the eraser on the relief piece. I used, of course, my fingers and hands as well. I love pencils. So versatile. Starting out just mix a little at a time and perhaps work a small relief piece. Flatten a piece of Aves Apoxie Sculpt onto a surface of perhaps aluminum foil, or a thin piece of something you’d be able to mount to the wall. We can worry about the back of the piece later.

Take that piece and work to press into the clay, pull over clay, draw into the clay, add clay and build up
a face, or make leaves and vines, just something to get you familiar with the material, and to sit there with it for a minimum of an hour while it goes through the cure stages.

You can work it like earth clay, and some people use water, but I don’t. I only use Vaseline or olive oil. This gives the ability to work in some fine detail, and to polish the surface if you wish. I dip the pencil
tip into the Vaseline jar and then go into detail work and use the eraser for smoothing. I do as much
with my hands up to the detail part. If hesitant just work one part of the face at a time. Experiment.
I sometimes use paint brushes to smooth and pull and give effects to the curing clay. Items can be pressed into the clay for patterns and texture.

This material is perfect for building up armatures for full sculptures. I love it.  It adheres to glass, metal, plastic, wood, your eyeglasses, your fingernails, tools, etc. so always be sure to constantly and thoroughly clean your hands and your tools.  I work now exclusively in Aves Apoxie Sculpt, with a few other materials on the side like air dry LaDoll and Gapoxio (another 2 part ambient set epoxy direct sculpt putty).

Remember as well that this material can be popped in the freezer to halt the cure for up to three days
, so sometimes I mix three or four little balls and immediately pop all but the one I’ll work with in the
freezer. I’ve had times where I’ve had to dash out whilst sculpting and put the entire piece in the freezer and worked on it later. Be aware, however, that if the clay is too far into the cure prior to being frozen, you may have little or almost no time at all once the material thaws.

Your imagination is your only limitation with this stuff. I need to get busy but have been nursing an injured finger for a month, but am close to being able to sculpt again.  Take care and Happy Sculpting Everyone!


61 thoughts on “Aves Apoxie Sculpt Beginner’s Guide

  1. kyra says:

    are you using gloves when working with this? I used another brand and it smelled so toxic I was afraid to use my bare hands. That being said I have an awful time doing detail work while I have disposable gloves on my hands

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      We do recommend wearing gloves for mixing all of our products – it is up to the user to continue to wear them (we recommend a new pair after mixing) to sculpt in them. We started carrying an EXCELLENT sculpting glove – when you get a tighter fit they are easy to sculpt in you can check them out here: https://avesstudio.com/shop/nitrile-gloves/

  2. Laura says:

    Will apoxie sculpt adhere to resin (such as those quick cast resin products that can be used in silicone molds) and do this without causing a chemical reaction months later and thus destroying one’s creation?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Apoxie Sculpt would be a great choice to adhere to a quick cast resin material, Apoxie Sculpt is sulfur free and will not damage your piece over time. no problems there ; )

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      no you do not. but with acrylics we do recommend priming first OR painting and sealing to protect your paint according to the paint manufacturer directions ; )

  3. Colleen says:

    If I create an art piece with apoxie sculpt how many years will pass before it begins to break down on its own and require restoration? I am thinking about the expected longevity of the finished piece after it is cured.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Our products are designed and tested to be permanent, they do not break down over time….check back in 100 years ; )

  4. penny says:

    Do I have to wait the full 24 hours for a complete cure or can I begin to paint with acrylics after 12 or so? The piece seems really firm but I don’t want to mess it up 🙂

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      this would work prior to baking or firing the PMC, I would check with PMC for the type of release agent they would recommend with their product to ensure success. I would think you could press and pull PMC from an Apoxie Sculpt mold if its not too deep and a proper release is applied.

  5. S LARosa says:

    Can Epoxy Sculpt be sanded once cured? Also is the material suitable to be recast in Bronze by the rubber mold process

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Apoxie Sculpt sands really well – it also takes heat when fully air cured to 350 degrees F. use your discretion with the rubber mold process.

  6. Kaitlin McKeown says:

    What kind of release will stop epoxy clay from sticking to carved wax? I only want to pick up the carved detail and then work on the epoxy clay alone without the wax.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      I would a silicone release spray or if you are just going to make an impression coconut oil works great!

  7. Rikki Glen says:

    I have some epoxie sculpt I bought over a year ago but just recently opened. It seems harder than what I have seen in tutorials. Can it be softened?
    Thank you

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      YES! it sure can. we find that gently heating the PART A only is effective. Remove the lid, place the container in the microwave for 15 seconds, you can repeat this 15 seconds if needed. Remove with caution. Allow the product to cool completely before handling or mixing with part B there can be hot spots when you heat the product. ***PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE when handling hot and sticky products*** note that heat accelerates working time so allow it to cool before mixing. (There is no need to heat the part B. DO NOT HEAT PART B).

  8. Megan says:

    After letting it cure and painting the epoxy sculpt, what can I seal it with? I don’t want it to get wet or rained on and the sculpt to get damaged.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Apoxie Sculpt itself doesn’t require any sealing it will hold up outdoors in all weather conditions. If you paint it however, you will certainly want to protect the paint. we recommend priming then painting followed by sealing for best results outdoors. I simple Krylon Spray for outdoors works great. if you didn’t prime – that’s okay…just be sure to double coat the sealer ; ) Happy Finishing Everyone!

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      any basic sealer will do…Krylon outdoor/indoor spray is what I usually use, or an art resin or even like a shalc if something is really going to be high traffic and handled excessively.

  9. Sandi says:

    Does the black cured apoxie sculpt turn grey when scratched? I use it for jewelry and ruined a few pieces because the scratched and the lines never went back k to black, but rather stayed a light grey, like cement.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      If the Apoxie Sculpt is not fully cured it sure can behave like wood and scratch – you could use any type of sealer or art resin to help keep that piece much more scratch resistant from the start. Full cure for wearing apiece or shipping a piece is 24 hours. you could try just a little bucher block oil, or scratch guard for wood to fill that scratch.

  10. Emma says:

    I have a small sculpture I made using apoxie sculpt and I’d like to make a mold of it. I was planning to use Smooth-On’s Mold Star 15, but their instructions warn that epoxy can cause cure inhibition. Would it be safe to use or do I need to find a different silicone mold maker?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Great question Smooth-on has some great mold making products, I would ask them what they recommend from their offerings. I have not heard any issue with Apoxie and that mold system. We like to use a product here called Knead-A-mold…we also have Brush-a-mold (neither are Aves products) but we do carry them and they work great for mold making and stamps but these would be flexible molds.

  11. Catherine says:

    Hi! Do I have to wait the full 24 hours before spray varnishing apoxie sculpt? I know you said you can paint whenever you like – wet or dry — but just wanted to check that that applies to spray varnish (specifically MSC) as well. I want to complete my project as soon as possible tomorrow, so it would have been curing about 16 hours by then (hopefully you can reply me before that haha). Thank you!

  12. Henry Puckett says:

    I have a styrofoam head that I thought about using to create a Halloween decoration. Will Apoxie Sculpt melt styrofoam?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Parts A and B MUST be MIXED together to activate the product so that it hardens/cured. using the components separately will NOT WORK.

  13. Kirk Foster says:

    Does Apoxie sculpt stick to expanding foam or should I first put air drying clay on the expanding foam, then put Apoxie sculpt on top of the air drying clay?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      As long as the foam is done expanding then yes – you should have no troubles going right over that with Apoxie Sculpt.

  14. Deb Freeman says:

    Can you use Apoxie sculpt to make a kitchen canister? If so, do I need to spray the inside where food would be? What type of spray would I need to use in that case and could the canister be washed from time to time?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Apoxie Sculpt is inert once it has been cured. There is no measurable leaching of any kind in all of our laboratory testing- thus in its cured state it is very safe for skin contact, and making utensils handles, mug repairs serving trays etc. I do avoid soup bowls or anything overly hot just because it lightly scratches a little when using utensils like a Apoxie bowl and you use a fork in it…. – for that stuff I use a food grade sealer. It is however dishwasher safe and temperature rated to 350 degrees F. Apoxie Sculpt has not been rated or approved by the FDA.

  15. Tim says:

    Do you have samples packs of the gloves? FYI- I did a sculpture directly on the side of a bottle and it seems to have adhered well. To the glass. It also took staining watercolor paints!

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      you can request a sample of the gloves – sure. please note the size and we can send some with your order. we don’t just send samples out ; ) cool project! sometimes there is a coating on those bottles – I find its helpful to rough that contact surface up with a little sand paper – wipe clean and then apply. Also when you make the contact point be sure you are applying it in a smear application to eliminate an air bubble pocket – this can cause it to pop off later on BUT you shouldnt have any troubles if you do though know that you can just always go back, rough it up and reattach with Apoxie ; )

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      YES – GREAT application. Apoxie Sculpt is inert once it has been cured. There is no measurable leaching of any kind in all of our laboratory testing- thus in its cured state it is very safe for skin contact, and making utensils handles, mug repairs serving trays etc. I do avoid soup bowls or anything overly hot just because it lightly scratches a little when using utensils like a Apoxie bowl and you use a fork in it…. – for that stuff I use a food grade sealer. It is however dishwasher safe and temperature rated to 350 degrees F. Apoxie Sculpt has not been rated or approved by the FDA.

        • Erin Gerlach says:

          oil paints are a great choice! a little bit goes a long ways…wearing glove – mix your parts A+B first …then add your color. I say to mix it first to not mask the blending process. when using oil paints it colors like frosting you need little pin swipes of color. To much color and it will be gooey – acrylic paints make it like a chewed bubble gum – I personally don’t care or recommend to mix acrylics into the Apoxie. Also you can mix and match ANY of our Apoxie Sculpt colors to create whatever color you like. There is a down loadable color chart on the Apoxie Sculpt product page.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Great questions! Apoxie Sculpt will adhere to any rough or hard surface. Though it can “stick” to silicone it will pop right off when the silicone is bent and com out really clean with no issues. …this would also apply to most rubber, and soft plastics, even some vinyl, slick fabrics, coated glass (if there is an air bubble under the Apoxie). you get the point ; ) you can also use a release agent to prevent it from sticking to just about any surface…if you are mating parts up a silicone spray will be helpful. if you are using a hard mold we recommend using a good release agent and pressing the Apoxie in and pulling it out right away so it does not have a change to adhere (you can ruin a mold if you leave it sit in there and its a hard mold!) If you are stamping or using a flexible mold I like to use coconut oil spray as its more clear then other oils and is highly effective for stamping all types of textures and surfaces .ofcourse any type of kitchen oil would work that you have on hand. – be sure to wash the surface with a dawn dish soap once cured if you plan to paint it to remove any grease on the surface. When molding general rules say one part must be flexible…Apoxie is not flexible when it cures so that indicated your mold has to have flex…okay way more then you asked for ; ) Happy Sculpting!

      side note….if you want something to stick to vinyl use Apoxie CLAY

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      you should always sand your pieces with a dust mask and away from pets – just like you would with wood ; ) a few swipes here and there with sand paper is no big deal but if you really are going to sand it then yes use recommended sanding guidelines. It is safe for fish….and zoo animal habitats…not sure what you are asking about pets? – please email us for more indpeth or clarification aves@avesstudio.com 😉

  16. Pat Lelie says:

    I would like to use Apoxie Sculpt to fashion a trim on the rim of a gourd. (picture the shape of a pitcher without the spout or handle). I would like to know what I could use to prevent the AS from sticking so I can remove it after it has cured. I would like to use metal leaf, and then seal it before glueing the trim back on the gourd. I was thinking of plastic wrap as a possible solution. I can send a picture if you like, or you can go to patricialelie.com and click on “portfolio”. Undercurrents IV is the gourd in question. Thank you so much, I am looking forward to working with this product.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      I would use a plastic ziplock bag and cut it to the size you want and tape it to the gourd OR silicone spray ; )

  17. Rice says:

    Hi Erin, I would like to use apoxie sculpt to create a sculpture thats around 1M x 1M, how much product would you suggest me to get? (just to be safe) thank you so much!

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Approximate Product Coverage at a ¼” inch thickness, when in doubt Always Calculate High:

      1 pound kit = 0.5 sq ft (1/2 sq. foot)
      4 pound Kit = 2 sq ft
      20 pound kit = 10 sq ft

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