Studio Equipment and Armatures

Here at Alec Tiranti, we offer a range of products for different artistic practices, offering a professional standard of quality. As part of our range, we include studio equipment and armatures. When it comes to sculpting, armatures are essential items, which exist to provide an open framework for sculptors to mould using clay or similar materials. It's important to have an armature that is in good working condition, or it could ruin your creation. Read on to find out more about our range of armatures and other studio equipment you may need.

All About Our Studio Equipment

Our range of studio equipment is made to provide the best working environment possible, and this includes the necessary furniture, including both seats and stands. Our offering is designed ergonomically, to ensure you will be comfortable when working at your creations for hours on end. We offer carving and sculpture modelling stands in a variety of styles, including both wooden and metal options, designed to meet the working height on an individual basis. When selecting your work stand, you have to guarantee that the load is adequately supported, or accidents could happen.

Selecting Your Stand

Generally, a student stand is best for smaller pieces, and larger pieces are more suited to the fixed wooden carving stands. For the latter, you need to move around the bench to work from all sides, whilst a turntable increases flexibility, enabling the sculptor to work from the nearside of the load, spinning it to move the work closer. When it comes to work benches, the largest pieces will need a lower bench to improve load stability. Likewise, a turntable will allow the sculptor to work from the nearside, therefore reducing the risk of injury due to the improved load stability.

Nichrome Armatures

When it comes to armatures, a modelling board is the most basic necessity as it enables you to build armatures. The board can be fitted with a wooden 'Bust Peg', which acts as a central support and a fixed point of reference. An armature is often built by beginning with a simple ductile wire skeleton, which is built upon with clay or wax. If a wire is ductile, this means that the material can be thin, without losing toughness. An example of ductile wire is nichrome wire, which can even be fired, so if you are creating a ceramic piece, it's possible to fire it with the armature inside.

Kanthal Armatures

Another option for creating your armature is kanthal wire, which has many of the same properties as nichrome, but it is slightly thicker. An important tip for using kathal wire is to wrap the wire in wet tissue paper before adding the wet clay over the armature. When firing in this way, any paper used will burn away in the kiln, so the wire is able to expand inside the clay.

Aluminium Armatures

Although aluminium armatures shouldn't be fired in a kiln, they can be an ideal medium to build armatures, with specially sourced ductile aluminium available in a range of sizes, including both round and square section.

Fixed or Sliding Armature Support

If you feel that your clay structure needs to self-support, we can also supply armatures that offer external support. These are available as either fixed and sliding supports of different sizes. A fixed armature support consists of a steel rod, which is mounted on a plinth that is bolted to the modelling board. The other end of the support rod is shaped into a S, so that an armature can be bolted to the end of the support rod. On the other hand, a sliding armature support differs in that the point at which the armature is attached can slide up and down the vertical support rod. Additionally, if you are employing more complex armatures, you can make up additional sliding components, which can be positioned to best support the workpiece and increase its stability.