What is Plasticine? (4 Ways It’s Used in Art)

This is a guide covering everything you need to know about plasticine.

What is Plasticine?

Plasticine is a soft clay-like substance often to make models.

Plasticine is putty made of petroleum jelly, salts of calcium, and aliphatic acid. Although it was originally a brand name for the British version of the product, it is now commonly used in English as a product category in some genres.

Plasticine is clay(model). It is a brand name, as the name Kleenex. We use it to identify any similar product as both were the first on the market.

plasticine molding
playing with clay

It was William Harbutt, the English art teacher who founded it a hundred years ago.

Plasticine is known as clay(modeling) made of synthetic materials instead of natural clay, which is made of soil, minerals, and oxides.

Is Plasticine the Same as Clay?

There are a different number of similarities and differences between clay and plasticine.

Plasticine and clay are identical in that they are both used to model the fixed images, and both contain the finest mineral particles held together by the binder.

The difference is that different oily substances make plasticine while the clay is bound by water.

Plasticine remains warm, and it does not affect air while clay becomes dry.

Plasticine gets burned on heating after melting, while the clay is insoluble in water and becomes rigid.

What is Plasticine Used For?

1. Engraving, Mask Making, Animation

Plastic clay is a vital art material used for engraving, mask making, mold making, special effects, and clay animation.

This clay is not dry so that the clay can be modified or re-used. Roma Plastolina is a popular choice for professional sculptors around the world.

Roma Plastilina clay comes in several degrees of hardness in almost any application.

Items such as plasticine are attractive to animators because the material can be easily used: they are flexible enough to create a character, flexible enough to allow the surface to move in many directions, and dense enough to maintain its shape easily when bonded with wire armature, and do not melt under hot studio lighting.

2. Design and Crafts

Plasticine clay is commonly used in the design and crafts industry. For example, industrial plasticine clay is a model used mainly for automotive design studios.

The most widely produced product is Chavant. Industrial plasticine clay usually contains sulfur, however.

However, sulfur prevents the formation of various silicone molds.

3. Play and Structure

Plasticine is also used for children’s play and as a model for formal or permanent structures.

plasticine use example
structure made out of plasticine

Due to its non-stop location, it is a popular selection of stand-up comedy outlets, including several Nick Park Oscar-winning films.

4. Sports

Plasticine is used in the long jump and triple jump competitions to help officials determine if rivals are officially jumping. Clay-like plasticine is also used in commercial party games such as Barbarossa.

To further explore plasticine and see its uses in action, we recommend checking out this video:

Alexei Mikulin uses plasticine to create art forms | What is plasticine | English news

Is Plasticine a Plastic?

Clay is also called plasticine. But it is not plastic.

Plasticine is a product making modeling clay with calcium salts, aliphatic acids, and petroleum jelly. So it is called plasticine.

Plasticine and plastic that plasticine model clay while plastic (expired) is a sculptor potter.

Plastic is a broad term, while plasticine is derived from plastic.

How is Plasticine Used in Art?

Plasticine is used in art in various ways:

Due to its quality of molding and changing forms, it can be easily used to make different shapes of different sizes.

1. 3D Art

Plasticine is widely used to create 3D art, but it is possible to draw with it by pressing a few fingers at a time on paper. People do not realize how beautiful a plastic painting can be.

2. Pottery

Plasticine is widely used to make pottery sculptures and make temporary models for mold molding from (throwing other objects) and for children to play with.

3. Animation

Plasticine clay is used widely to give special effects to shapes and clay animation. The best benefit of using plasticine clay is that it can be used repeatedly and turned into any form as required.

Final Remarks

Plasticine has so many uses and benefits. It can be turned into anything and renewable. Artists have been using it for so many years and making new shapes by using it. Other than that, children and people of all ages also use this to create conditions of their wish. It is very easy to use, and there is no rocket science in using it.


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