What is Plasticine (And how is It Used in Art?)

This is a guide covering plasticine.

Ever heard about plasticine? It is a putty made of petroleum jelly, salts of calcium, and aliphatic acid.

In this article. We will talk about plasticine, its definition, its uses in art, and how it is different from plastic.


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 a soft clay-like substance used by children to make models.

what is plasticine

What is Plasticine (Definition)?

Plasticine is often defined as:

Synthetic materials such as clay but which is always soft; used instead of clay or glue in modeling (schools especially).”

what is plasticine

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.

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.

what is plasticine

Is Plasticine the Same as Clay?

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

  1. 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.
  2. The difference is that different oily substances make plasticine while the clay is bound by water.
  3. Plasticine remains warm, and it does not affect air while clay becomes dry.
  4. Plasticine gets burned on heating after melting, while the clay is insoluble in water and becomes rigid.
what is plasticine

What is Plasticine Used For?

Plasticine has many uses:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Plasticine is also used for children’s play and as a model for formal or permanent structures. Due to its non-stop location, it is a popular selection of stand-up comedy outlets, including several Nick Park Oscar-winning films.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
what is plasticine

Is Plasticine a Plastic?

Differences between plasticine and 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.
what is plasticine

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
what is plasticine

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.

what is plasticine

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