I am, quite simply put, a maker and a teacher of making. That may neatly embrace a lot of what I do, but it doesn’t really touch the heart of my interests or intentions. Having struggled for a long time to find a better job description, the one that I think I’m most comfortable with at the moment is .. practical investigator!

My own ‘making’ encompasses sculpture, model-making, painting, graphic work and design. My ‘teaching’ involves undergraduate or post-graduate lecturing/tutoring both here (England) and abroad; running my own short courses, whether independently or hosted by institutions; writing instructional books and articles. I am, for example, author of the (fairly successful) book Model-making: Materials and Methods and this WordPress site is meant to be a continuation or an ‘update’ of it.

Here is a list of the places/courses where I either work regularly or have given workshops/masterclasses to date:

Wimbledon College of Art, BA (Hons) Set Design for Screen, BA (Hons) Technical Arts & Special Effects, MA Theatre Design; Rose Bruford College, BA (Hons) Theatre Design; Central Saint Martins, BA (Hons) Performance Design and Practice, MA Performance Design and Practice, Foundation Art and Design; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, MA Theatre Design; Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance Design; Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, MA Theatre Design; National Film and Television School, MA Production Design; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Gallery, London; Microsoft Mobile (formerly Nokia) London South Bank University, BA (Hons) Architecture; Aalto University School of Art and Design Helsinki, BA Scenography; Royal Central School of Speech and Drama BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Design for Performance

See the sub-page to this one in the menu above for my current cv/work calendar .

Some of my past artwork can be found on my website www.david-neat.co.uk but .. and apologies for this .. since I have started using WordPress this website has become rather neglected. I have recently compounded that neglect by starting to put my older work in the Gallery here!

See the ‘How to use this‘ page for guidance on how to get the most out of this WordPress site!

Please note, from July-September 2018 you are welcome to make comments on the site but I will not be able to answer any technical questions until I resume normal work in October.

What follows explains how I approached this before, which I’ll leave here as it is because I hope to resume sometime.

‘Quid pro quo, Agent Starling’ …

I’m always open to being asked for advice! Often it gives me valuable information about the challenges people are tackling, it forces me to consider things I haven’t thought about, and it sometimes generates new ideas!

But on the other hand .. sometimes the questions get a bit too many to cope with! It’s never really a problem if I can answer with just one or two words .. but creative questions are rarely like that! In these ‘blogger’ times I’m sure that many people realize how much time it takes to develop and maintain an up-to-date information resource such as this and that, for a large part, my reasons for investing my time are so that I don’t have to answer the basic questions! I’ve tried my best to make the site as easy as possible to search, and to include new knowledge as soon as I have it so that .. at least eventually .. if it’s not here, I probably don’t know it! So I would urge you to search this site properly first .. don’t forget, for example, that the alphabetical lexicon contains not only definitions of technical terms, but information on materials and methods too, and that I’ve often included links to relevant articles.

But if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for .. and if your question is interesting ..   of course you can ask me! But if you have more than just one or if this needs significant time to answer .. I will want something in return.

.. here’s the deal! 

Basically, I will ask you to match my input with your own. This can take a variety of forms .. for example there may be something you can tell me about that I don’t yet know; there may be ways you can help in promoting or advertising this site; you may be able to lend me good, clear and interesting pictures I can use in my teaching. There are many possibilities! .. the common factor being that they just involve your time and thought, and not your pocket!

You can contact me directly, as others frequently do, by ‘commenting’ anywhere on this site, or if you want to contact me by email it is davneat@aol.com

David Neat

60 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello David,
    Thank you for your information on silicone casts within plaster molds! I had a question in regards to this. I used Super Sculpey to create my sculpture, I didn’t bake it and put a layer of clear coat spray paint over it as a release agent before slip casting it in plaster. Now I have a sticky plaster mold. Will this interfere with a silicone rubber casting? How do you recommend I clean the left-over sticky residue so it doesn’t interfere with the cure of the silicone cast?
    Thanks so much!

    • I’ve never used this stuff ‘clear coat’ as a barrier between anything so I don’t know how it would be removed .. probably need to use acetone to clean it off the plaster, at a guess. Try that, then grease the plaster with Vaseline, lightly, then it should be ok to cast silicone into it.

  2. Hi David, my name is Abigail. I am currently has a project related to silicone
    I see you have a page about you testing and making recycled silicone harder. I am really interested in this process. The result look incredible however I only see you testing with it, may I ask do you plan to create something with this material ? If not, in your opinion what can this recycled silicone be used for ?
    Hope to hear from you soon
    Thank you

  3. Hi David,

    We were seeking some assistance of experts to use resins with fillers for various unique molding applications, you have a very detailed article on the matter which can be comprehended by laymen and would like to have a detailed conversation on the same with you. Please do let us know if and when we can be in touch regarding the same.

    • Hello Aayush,

      Thank you for your message. I am currently ‘out of office’ for all but urgent enquiries until the beginning of January. I’d be grateful for more information on what sort of conversation you’re hoping for. You’re welcome to email me at davneat@aol.com if you prefer.



  4. Wow! From following a link on Pinterest to finding this site has been the best discovery on the old interweb for many months. David, you have answered more questions than I knew I had, thankyou for sharing.

  5. Hi there! I’m an Architecture student in New York. I’ve taken so many classes on so many different things, but tutorials like the ones on this site have saved me so many times! Professors don’t usually teach us how to make our models but still want to see professional results and innovative material use. I learned to solder brass framing/structural models because of your tutorial and I wanted to take a moment to thank you! I also would like to know if you ever thought of offering full online courses since I cannot travel to the UK simply for model making classes. Again THANK YOU for your informative tutorials!

    • Thanks Eliana! No, I’m afraid I can’t offer online tuition. I can imagine how it might just be possible and that it could be beneficial for some people but it’s just not the way I want to work.

  6. Hello from Thailand. Such a wonderful blog David. Your website helped me learn about mould making and resin casting which I use to make gift for 200 guests on my friend’s wedding 😀 Anyway, I’m just wondering if you can give an advice for this material:


    I’m not sure exactly how they archive this. Is it a flexible resin with cement for filler (is it possible to mix cement directly to resin without chemical reaction?) or resin with grounded concrete (cement that had been mix with water and harden and sanded into fine powder)? Or is it just grey color flexible resin to mimic the look of concrete? It would be nice if you can advice me the starting point of how I can achieve this concrete looking resin.

    Thanks in advance


    • Yes .. they haven’t used ‘resin’ they’ve used silicone rubber (the article says ‘silicon’, that’s the wrong word, and confusing). The article also says they’ve mixed ‘concrete’ with silicone rubber .. ‘concrete’ is also the wrong word, they should say ‘cement’. That’s the main ingredient in concrete, it’s a fairly fine powder which sets when mixed with water. In this case they’re just using it as a filler and colourant for the silicone rubber .. which is possible. But they haven’t added the sand and gravel that would make it proper ‘concrete’! The cement itself doesn’t ‘set’ but the silicone does. I’ve done a similar thing with an inert (i.e. doesn’t affect the chemical setting) filler called ‘Fillite’ at the end of my article ‘Recycling and filling/extending silicone rubber’ which you’ll find under ‘silicone rubber’, under ‘mouldmaking’ in the ‘Materials’ section. This will give you an idea!

  7. Pingback: Polymer-Modified Plaster – Creating Complexity

  8. Thanks so much for the great site. I have a couple of quick questions, I hope that’s OK…

    I work with quite large flat silicone rubber moulds and spend a lot of time cleaning them using soap, water and acetone. I use airbrushed acrylic paint and pigmented polyurethane resin in them and wondered whether there were any effective ways to clean them that doesn’t involve running more resin through them (which works, but is expensive), as the soap/water/acetone doesn’t seem to work that great.

    I’m also concerned about UV light and the yellowing of the resin and wondered if you had come across any UV filter additives? I currently use an archival fine-art UV matt protective spray afterwards (normally used with traditional fine art work) but I doubt it’s effectiveness.

    Thanks in advance,


    • Hello James, I’ll have to take this in two bits. The easiest first .. unfortunately there’s no UV blocker for polyurethane resin, I’ve been looking out for one for years .. I don’t know why there can’t be one! Secondly, you imply that you spray acrylic into your moulds before filling them with resin .. is that right?

  9. One of those days researching when the first thing you find is a link to wonderful mine of information. Thank you for all your good work and the effort it must take to assemble this fantastic resource. Your book is winging it’s way to me in the next few days too.
    Again, many thanks

  10. Stumbled across your blog looking for information on Foamed PVC sheet for photographic mounting purposes and burned a good long while reading up on everything else! What a fantastic and valuable resource, long may it continue – Thankyou kindly for sharing your knowledge in such a detailed and useful fashion

  11. David, I enjoyed perusing your site. Really nice job. I’m the Director of Marketing for Palram Americas, which is part of Palram Industries, Ltd. We’re the manufacturers of Palight Foam PVC. I see that you are familiar with our product and have used it in some of your projects. We’re launching a consumer version of our Palight Foam PVC here in the states that will be called Palight ProjectPVC. It will be similar to other Palight products you’re familiar with. The primary difference is that the standard thicknesses and sheet sizes will be more appropriate for consumers, craftspeople, makers, etc., and that it will be available through craft, home improvement, and retailer online and eventually in stores. Simply put, we intend to make it more readily available in sizes that make sense for smaller scale projects. This is a new market channel for us and we want to learn as much as possible from experts like you. I would apreciate receiving any feedback you have about the product, this particular market, what you like and don’t like about the product, ideas you have for projects, etc. If you have any projects that utilize our product as a primary component, I would appreciate an opportunity to feature it on our web site as an Application Idea for this product. We’d be happy to link to your site as part of the story. I can also put you in touch with our UK offices. We’re taking the lead with this product launch in the USA first, but I suspect our global counterparts will eventually follow suit. I’ve filled in my e-mail address. I hope to hear back from you.

      • Got your e-mail and will reply, however, I need to respond here to admit that I have since spent more time on your site and found your “Working with Palight” page, which I had not seen before. Nicely done. I’ll reply in more detail via e-mail, but I look forward to supporting you and your mission for this site in whatever way we can.

    • Thanks! I think Easylo is probably too opaque. You need a more transparent resin .. it would probably work better using polyester resin. In any case polyurethane resin yellows with age, which would become very noticeable in this case.

  12. nice blogs! and thanks for sharing.

    read your post that you use air dry clay more for blocking, may i ask how do you attach scupley clay to it? thanks

    • Hello,

      Yes .. whichever air-drying clay you use for rough ‘blocking’ it must be thoroughly dry (ideally!) before you work over it in Sculpey. This is because most air-drying clays shrink and crack a little when drying and it’s best if this takes it’s course first. Superglue will bond even unbaked Sculpey to most surfaces, but I don’t mean that the whole clay surface can be coated with superglue .. this is hazardous and won’t work anyway because it will set too fast. I mean working in small amounts .. a few spots of glue, a bit of Sculpey smeared in .. bit by bit .. gradually building up a stable, thin covering of Sculpey on the air-drying clay form before applying more to actually model with. With some surfaces I haven’t used glue at all .. it’s been enough to work a covering layer firmly into the surface first before adding more. If you don’t like having anything to do with superglue you can try Pva wood glue. I remember using this to fix unbaked Sculpey better onto a very ‘dusty’ surface and it seemed to work .. although I haven’t tested it again since.

      I’ve given you 15 minutes of my time in answering your question. I’d be grateful if you’d do the same for me .. for example, spend 15 minutes telling people about this site .. or whatever way you can think of in order to help. Have another look on this ‘About’ page. I think I updated it just after you posted the question!


      • sorry for my delay response. Thanks for sharing your tips! that is an interesting way to do it, i admit it blow me off..to add on, i wondering what if we glue aluminium foil on the dry clay to give more traction for the clay to stick on? or maybe we can twirl some fine wires around the dry clay to get more clay to stick on given that the air dry is not the finished product but more a form blocking.

        definitely! will share with my buddies on your blog!

        thanks for your generous sharing of information. Take care!


      • sorry for my delay response. Thanks for sharing your tips! that is an interesting way to do it, i admit it blow me off..to add on, i wondering what if we glue aluminium foil on the dry clay to give more traction for the clay to stick on? or maybe we can twirl some fine wires around the dry clay to get more clay to stick on given that the air dry is not the finished product but more a form blocking.

        definitely! will share with my buddies on your blog!

        thanks for your generous sharing of information. Take care!


      • sorry, i meant to glue aluminum foil on dry clay and then twirl wires around it.

      • Yes, why not .. if you can secure the foil and wires firmly enough? Crinkling the foil as much as possible would also give better grip.

  13. Hi David,

    Great site, I am looking for embossed/ raised texture EVA sheets, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere- well actually I did find some but I would have to order a container or many square metres of the the product. i had a look through your suppliers but still no luck. I was wondering if you knew where i could find some- I’m amazed that its so difficult to find in low quantities.

      • Hi David, I thinks thats probably one of the few that I havn’t tried, thanks.

        The thing that is the most fustrating thing about my search is that there is literally 1000’s of tons of ebossed EVA in the world, but so far it sees impossible to buy it in low quantities, I did find one person that had a few 6mm textured sheets for sale, but unfortunately I think that is a bit thick for me. The seller told me that no-one stocks it these days because demand for it was so low.
        I hope you are well, and keep up the good work

      • Maybe you will have to use an alternative. What do you want to do with it? .. how resilient does it have to be? When you say ’embossed’ what particular surface pattern are you hoping to find?

  14. Hello David,
    I came across your website via Pinterest. Just wanted to say how truly beautiful your work is. I’ve never seen anything like this on the internet, not to mention presented and explained so well. You are a very gifted teacher as well as artist. Thank you for so generously sharing.
    Kind regards,

  15. Hey David!
    Also Just found your site. Amazing work! I am a High School Art teacher in NYC and Im doing a work with my Advanced students now on Altered book arts and one of the kids asked me to help him make a spiral staircase on top of the open book. Im finding your templates and instructions a little difficult to understand =/ Would you be so kind as to help me out? – Anna

  16. wow!!!! just found your site David….thank you so much for sharing….im in NYC….wish i could take a course……GREAT STUFF thanks!!!

  17. Thank you David for all the effort you have put into sharing your knowledge and experience. Everything is very well written and understandable – the sign of someone who really knows their stuff.

  18. Greetings David! I’d like to tell you how thrilled I am in finding your site and found LOADS of valuable information. I myself enjoy experimentation with new materials (currently polymer clay, fiberglass resin, and air brush) and was looking for a faux rock base for my figurine and stumbled upon your site.

    Again, I can’t believe the time and effort you put in here which I, and pretty certain others as well, are very much thankful for. Can’t wait to start on some of these! 🙂

    Wish you all the best

  19. Hello David,
    I have really liked your page and I decided to share it on the following facebook group
    Neill Gorton’s Make-up FX 911

    I hope you like my initiative.

    Keep up the great work,

  20. This is an incredible source of information that you have shared with us. I hope to try some of your teachings. Thans

    • Many thanks! It’s a bit of a struggle at the moment finding the time to add to it .. because of course the actual practical work takes precedance! But it will slowly grow.

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