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Sculpta Face: a different kind of novelty mug for Christmas

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

Richard Austin of Sculpta Face (front) is joined by Oxford Innovation coaches (L-R) Gill Hall, Sarah Wilkinson and Alan Bartlett

Richard Austin of Sculpta Face (front) is joined by Oxford Innovation coaches (L-R) Gill Hall, Sarah Wilkinson and Alan Bartlett

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Commercial sculptor Richard Austin is bringing people face to face with their creative sides through clay sculpting kits produced at his workshop in Wadebridge.

Mr Austin has developed the Sculpta Face kits as a tool he hopes people of all abilities will use to explore their artistic talents.

For more than 30 years, he has worked as a professional sculptor, being commissioned to produce private and public sculptures, including life-size 'sleeping grandads', a model of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, animals, vehicles and objects.

He also runs workshops for people who want to develop their artistic skills, and it was through this work that Mr Austin realised there was a gap in the market for kits which could be used by people of all ages and abilities.

After appearing on the BBC's Dragons' Den in 2011, Mr Austin quickly developed his idea into a commercial product, and at the end of last year he launched the Sculpta Face kit.

Despite the 'dragons' advising Mr Austin to take the manufacturing of the product to China, he was determined to work with local suppliers in the Westcountry to produce a kit made from natural and recycled products.

Each kit, priced £29.99, includes a 'Skullature' made from recycled plastic by a company in Bodmin, and air-drying clay from a business in Newton Abbot, as well as a teaching DVD.

These materials can be used to make a 3D sculpture which might mirror the maker's own face, somebody they know or something from their imagination.

Mr Austin said. "I saw a hole in the market for a kit aimed at complete novices or people who do not believe in their own creativity. With the right teaching and materials and philosophy anybody can be creative, and we have proved that."

Mr Austin is new working on new series of Sculpta kits to be released over the coming months, including animal kits, which will be available from his website www.sculptaface.co.uk.

He has been supported in the development of his kits by Oxford Innovation's Coaching for High Growth Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

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