Aves Apoxie Sculpt Beginner’s Guide


Rebecca Schumacher
http://rebas-art.com
http://goddessartist.deviantart.com/

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!

Rebecca

94 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

  18. Christopher Butler says:

    I’m thinking of using this to make Kryat Dragon fangs for Lightsaber hilts, how easily does this break when struck?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      its pretty strong if you use pins for your teeth to give them more stability – something to anchor them in – I think t could work – they are hard like rock but if they are thin they will if struck break.

  19. Adriana says:

    Hi! I’m new to the Apoxie sculpt world.
    I was wondering if there are some materials it doesn’t stick to.
    And what about stamps and molds? should I use silicon ones or also the plastic ones (like the cookie ones for example) will work too? Thank you 🙂

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Great question! flexible materials – Apoxie Sculpt will not stick to silicone or rubber…we sell a fantastic silicone craft clay mat to work on for this reason, you can let your pieces cure right on the mat ; ) https://avesstudio.com/shop/aves-clay-mat/
      Stamps of any kind work great. I like to use coconut oil spray as a general release agent – works great because it is a lighter oil and colorless. you can also dip your stamps in water or safety Solvent if you like as an alternative. rubber stamps, silicone stamps, texture stamps of all sorts, plastic, cookie cutters, metal…all work great with the proper release.

  20. Susan says:

    I need to add feathers to a finished fiber clay sculpture. Can I just add a disk of apoxie sculpt to the sculpture and then sculpt the feathers right on the existing sculpture?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      your spot on! yes you sure can – you can add Apoxie onto or to itself in any stage of set up at anytime ; ) feather away!

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      2 -3 hours…that timing is for working and tooling…if you are sculpting and embellishing the workable time is 1 hour + time to tool

  21. Anne says:

    Hi there! I like to work in stages. After Apoxie Sculpt is cured, can I add more Apoxie Sculpt on top of the cured? For example, if I have a cured arm (but no hand), can I add a hand a week later without any issues of it falling off after the hand is cured?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      you sure can! Apoxie Sculpt and ANY of our 2 part epoxy products ( Apoxie Clay, Apoxie Sculpt, Super White, FIXIT, FIXIT Sculpt) can all be used in conjunction with one another in any stage of your working progress and yes even after setup….months later ; )

  22. Elizabeth R Vierich says:

    Hello,
    I have an antique necklace, the earrings long ago lost. I would like to replicate part of the necklace which is a small snake to fashion matching earrings. Is there a safe way to cover the necklace, to obtain a detail a mold from it ? Then using the apoxie sculpt mold with apoxie sculpt to create my piece? I would like to gold leaf it or paint it to get the best match. Thank you! I am new to this product and trying to read as much as I can about it.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      I would use a product we sell called Knead A Mold. its perfect for this – it will not wreck your jewelry if you use it to cast on it. apply, allow to fully cure (20 minutes) and pull it off….simple. or if its a highly detailed piece we have brushAmold.
      use the Apoxie Sculpt in the mold – no release agent needed. (unless you want to press it in a dn pull it out while its still soft…you could do that and finish it too.

  23. susan g says:

    I have purchased apoxie sculpt to make clay letters to incorporate into a mosaic piece. The letter molds I’ve purchased from a baking supply company are made out of a 3-d printer, the manufacturer says food grade plastic – they are not silicone.
    Do you recommend that I spray the plastic cookie cutter first, then cut the apoxie sculpt which has been rolled out? Will I still get a sharp clear cut even with a coconut oil spray on the letter? And if I do that, when do I clean any of the residue on the cut clay letter?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Great question… so you will want to mist spray the mold – just a spritz. Mix your A+B Apoxie…allow it to rest for atleast 20 minutes to settle down and loose a bit of the super stickiness, it will also hold detail better and then do a press and pull on the Apoxie Sculpt…. you can apply that right to your piece if you like the spritz of coconut oil will be on the front side so will adhere just fine on the back…if decide you are laying it out on a surface to dry before you attach them to cut and shape etc…a freezer grade zip lock bag is a great surface for that and it will peal right off (freezer grade is important)you should not have to sorry about the front of the letter being spritzed – that will absorb in the clay and not need further attention. Your mold should be just fine and also need no attention – maybe a little soap and water. Apoxie Sculpt will adhere to itself in any stage of set up so you can certainly attached them later if you like.

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      the thickness does not make any difference because it is from a science point it is a “chemical reaction cure” If your product is not curing there are 4 factors that exhist:

      1.Always make you you have one part A and one part B and have mixed two fairly equal amounts of proudct together. (it will not cure if it is not activated…try and eye ball 50/50 ratio…you can be off 10% even more either way no worries!)
      2.Always wear gloves to retrieve and Mix together parts A+B ….this does a couple of things A) it keeps it off your skin. B) it ensures anything that was not thoroughly mixed stays on the glove not stuck to your skin. C)keeps your hands clean.
      3.When wearing gloves ALWAY change your gloves after mixing…this is important and these are sticky products and they like to stick to your skin even parts that could be not mixed this can be a huge cultprit for the product remaining uncured and tacky 4.When mixing Set a timer and mix mix mix……2 full minutes mix, twist, rub, knead -repeat. your activing parts A +B to cure – this requires some friction…your activation signal is a uniform color, sufficient mixing time and **TIP: Heat coming from the product. No heat keep mixing!** this is especially important when your mixing large amounts OR unequal portions.

      If your product is still soft after 10 hours….something isn’t right and its 99.9% listed here – please email us if you are having any trouble with this – we are hear to help! aves@avesstudio.com

    • Betony says:

      I just wanted to know and I apologise if it’s been answered I did read all the comments and questions above and tried a Google search. I have an idea to create a sort of bead cone (I’ll add color and embellishments as well) to add to my paper beads, can apoxie sculpt stick to paper? Also if I have the paper already sealed with say something like a modge podge or a waterbase sealer? Or just unsealed paper or paper at all lol ? Hope this makes sense

      • Erin Gerlach says:

        Great question! I do not see that answered here! – Apoxie Sculpt will stick/adhere to paper – thicker the better – (the stiffer the paper the better due to weight of the Apoxie not the paper) – if that makes sense. you could use a modge podge or other sealer over the paper and still adhere Apoxie Sculpt to it ; )but Im not sure if the paper would show migration from the Apoxie Sculpt or any water or smoother you might want to apply to the Apoxie… – it shouldn’t but its just a side thought I had.

  24. Judy F says:

    I have been brain storming on a project. I am making a pet urn and am thinking of using Apoxie Sculpt. I need for it to be hollow. My thoughts, so for, are to make a foil base, then form the Apoxie Sculpt around the foil. I need to be able to remove the foil once cured. Would it be best to spray the foil with Silicone spray or wrap in freezer bag plastic? For silicone spray we have a garage door opener Premium Silicone spray – would that be ok as a release? Once I have the foil interior removed I’m going to use Cosclay on top of the Apoxie Sculpt to refine and build out. The maker of Cosclay says it works well over Apoxie Sculpt. Will Apoxie clay hold up over multiple bakes, up to 300 f?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Apoxie Sculpt would work great forth is urn use and great over or under Cosclay and withstand the 300 degree F bakes. freezer bag will be a great option to keep it from sticking – or silicone lined something such as a silicone baking mat – may be costly to cut a silicone matt up like that but it would work great and be reusable…just thought. The other thought is you would use a preexisting ceramic like or wood turned container of some sort and just coat that with Apoxie and then cosclay. then you don’t have to remove it – Goodwill is loaded with stuff like that. Great project – have seen lots of urns over the years and they are always so neat and truly hold that sentimental value and honor it deserves.

  25. Adriana says:

    Hi! I tried to paint a piece using Liquitex basics acrylics but it looks like apoxie does not accept it very well. Should I use a primer? I have tried a kind of “gesso” spray too but it cracks. Thank you.

    • George says:

      Doesn’t look like you had an answer and this was a the question I needed an answer to. Please state what type of primer works best and paints thereafter.

      • Erin Gerlach says:

        You can use a spray primer such as krylon brand, or any primer you like ; )…prime, paint, seal for maximum painting results – always follow the paint brand instructions.

  26. Aishya says:

    Hi, I was curious if the apoxie sculpt will stick to resin. I make resin skulls and would like to use it to add horns to the skull. Would I need to score the resin and apoxie sculpt to make it stick or just mold it to the finished resin skull?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      I would score it just for added strength – but may not be necessary. Apoxie Sculpt in White color, Super white Apoxie, or FIXIT Sculpt would all be great choices and work well.

  27. Nana says:

    Hello! I was wondering if the Apoxy Sculpt (after painting it) can be coated with clear Epoxy Resin to make it glossy . Also, is there a way to make it food safe?

    • Erin Gerlach says:

      Yes it sure can! I have used Art resin, ice resin and also amazing clear cast resin over Apoxie Sculpt with great success. I prefer the amazing clear cast as it doesn’t yellow like the other ones and claimes to be food safe. Apoxie Sculpt is inert once it has cured – it is however not FDA approved for use with food so I cant tell you to do that – I do have many customers that use it for cold food items, utensil handles, serving trays, decorating coffee mugs and salt shakers etc etc. ; )

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