If you are interested in sculpting but want something that is stronger than the average air dry clay, then you will need to work with a clay that needs to be kiln fired. Low fire clay is a type of natural clay that can be fired in a kiln; a small enclosed type of oven that reaches hundreds of degrees to cook the clay for many hours and allows it to become hardened. This type of clay is used by artists and sculptors to create intricately designed pieces that can last for years and has the ability to be glazed with a special type of paint that hardens into a glass like surface once fired.
Low fire clay is also a perfect material to create wheel thrown pottery and dinnerware for a functional piece as long as the glaze you have selected is food safe. Low fire clay has the ability to be kept moist while you are working with it and stores for months if sealed properly. If you are working on a piece and need to come back to it another day, you can keep it moist by wrapping your piece with damp cloth and sealing it in a bag, the clay will not dry out as long as you are making sure it is kept damp each day. This is very beneficial for those sculptures that will take days to complete.
When you have finished your piece, it will need to set out to dry completely before sending it to a kiln to bake. If you do not have access to a kiln, you may be surprised that many local paint your own pottery studios or local art schools may allow you to have your piece fired along with their own items. Sometimes a small fee is paid in order to have your piece fired through them. Sometimes local artists may have a kiln in their home to allow outsiders to use for a reasonable price.