Frequently asked questions

What type of clay do you sculpt with?

For my polymer clay creations, I used to mainly Premo brand polymer clay, but started having a skin reaction to it. Now I mainly use Cosclay, arteza, and sometimes Super sculpey for my larger projects. For my ceramics I use earthenware and stoneware clay.

Can I order a custom sculpture?

Yes, I do book a select number of customs! Best bet is to subscribe to my email list, to get notified directly when I announce the next batch of open slots. :) It is a first come first serve basis. Nexu hopes you get a slot. He'll be watching for your order.

How much is shipping?

Between $6-12 Worldwide with tracking included. Of course custom shipping quotes for larger/more expensive packages. Ramus isn't impressed anyone has to pay for shipping. We're working on it Ramus.

Will you be making any tutorials?

I'm afraid not, there are sooooo many fantastic tutorials already on Youtube. Also certain techniques I've developed are unique and thus more secret than your Italian gramma's tomato sauce recipe. HOWEVER I do regularly do special private live art sessions for my monthly supportive Patrons, giving tips, answering questions and just hanging out with in general, so if you GOTTA HAVE MOAR, that's the direction I'd point you! You get access to my exclusive livestreams for only $1 subscription. :) See "Patron" page for more details!

How old are you?

Omg don't go there. You're still reading? I'm serious. I'm not telling. Really though, I don't like saying my age because i find people automatically compare. If I'm older than you, it may feel like forever until you'll "reach my level" (not true) Or if I'm younger, you may feel like "it's too late" (also not true). The thing is, we all grow at different rates. I sculpt and do some form of art EVERY SINGLE DAY. That, above how old you are, if you've gone to art school, how long you've been doing art, or ANYTHING ELSE- above ALL ELSE practicing every single day is what's gonna help you improve. Binge watch tutorials. Experiement. Try new mediums. HAVE FUN!

How long have you been sculpting?

First, read the previous question. Then, since you're still insisting on an actual date, I first touched clay Nov 18, 2015. How's that for an exact date? Thank you Instagram... hahaha.

Do you accept trades?

Sometimes, yes. But only a few each year, and usually only with a mutual (we both follow each other) that I've gotten to know and have a bit of a rapport with. You can ask, but if you slide into my DM and it's the first time we've talked, don't be hurt if the answer's no. ;) XiaoBao feels so guilty when we have to say no.

What type of paint do you use?

For my polymer clay pieces, to be honest, just acrylic paint. It works great on clay once you get used to it! For my ceramic, underglazes and lustres.

Who are all these random animals amongst the answers?

Mah studio babies. Thought I'd try to accurately convey what it feels like to work amongst them. lol

Where can I see more examples of your past and present works?

Scroll to the very bottom of any of my pages, and you'll see my social links! Instagram is the best place for now to see a long history of goodies. :)

What's your privacy policy?

Any contact info gathered from you will be used only for what you agree to, such as if you reach out to ask a question, your email will only be used to contact you regarding your inquiry. If you subscribe to the email list, you're agreeing to recieve email newsletters from me with various tips, sneak peeks, and stories. If you request to become a patron, your contact info will be used to coordinate joining the patron family on Instagram (where I most often do my livestreams), send monthly invoices, and send patron packages should you choose that tier. If you purchase an item, your information will be used to bill you, contact you should I need any clarification about your order, to send work in progress photos of your order, ship such orders to you, and notify with a tracking number. Should you at any time desire to change or delete what information I have on file for you, simply email requesting the change. (Unsubscribe to email newsletter, delete your email contact after addressing your questions, etc.) I (Ashley) am the sole person who has access to your information. I'm also the owner and creator of my brand Ashley M Hills and the only person you will be in contact with through the whole process. Should you require a list of what information of yours we are storing, simply email a request. I will store your information for my records varying lengths, if you reach out with a question, I may delete once the question is addressed, unless it is pertaining to a future commission, in which case I will keep it for reference until the order is complete and sent. If you request to be a patron or subscribe to the email newsletter, I will keep your information until you unsubscribe. If you purchase an item, I will keep a record of the exchange for tax purposes. If you have any questions or concerns, please do feel free to ask.

What is involved in producing ceramics?

Soooo Muchhhh Timeeee! Not even talking about material cost or cost of running the kiln etc, it's nuts how much time it takes. Take one of the *simplest* things I've made- a beetle. It only took me 10 minutes to sculpt it. (6 years of pratice helps of course) More complicated things have taken me upwards of 4 *hours* to sculpt. Just as a comparison. Then wait for it to dry out, maybe an hour since its small. (larger items can take more than 3 days) Then it's the first kiln firing, a bisque fire. This takes approx 10 hours, and then another 8-12 hours to cool down enough for me to unload it. Then onto underglazing. Every color/pattern requires 2-3 coats. So a beetle took about 20 minutes to "paint", being an uncomplicated pattern. (Some things have taken me 2-3 hours.) Now, glaze firing. these are much quicker, about 3-4 hours, then 6-8 hours to cool down. Then clear coat (2 coats) only takes about 5-10 minutes to apply, then it has to dry, and you do the second coat. Time for another firing. This one is about the same as the underglaze, 3-4 hours, and 6-8 to cool. Time for pretty finishing accents, gold lustre. The pieces need to be handled with gloves and cleaned with alcohol to avoid any contaminates reacting with the gold. The gold is extremely toxic and cancer causing so needs to be done outside with a ventilator. It requires 2 coats. Each layer can take 5-15 minutes to apply depending on level of detail, with it needing to dry completely before the next coat (about an hour). Guess what? Another firing. This one is about 2 hours, and 6 hours to cool. And grand finale, lastly, if you want a mother of pearl accent, this is another "use gloves, clean with alcohol, go outside with a resiprator, let it dry, fire it for 2 hours and let cool for 6". AND WE'RE DONE!!! Actually, no we aren't. Photos still need to be taken, listings made on the store, newsletters to be written. Hope you enjoyed this lil insight into the sometimes mind numbing but ever so rewarding world of ceramics!!! If you ever go to wonder why a piece of art is pricey again, don't. LOL

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