The future of the studio behind Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run among many other properties could be in doubt due to a shortage of key filming material.

Aardman Animations made their name creating stop-motion short and feature-length films with characters created out of modelling clay.

However, the closure of their only supplier of the material has caused concern for their future.

Newclay Products announced it was it was closing its factory in Newton Abbot, near Torquay, in March this year, The Telegraph reports.

Aardman’s staff moved quickly to buy up all remaining stock of the clay, which was enough to allow them to finish work on a new Wallace and Gromit film set for release next year.

Due to this specific type of clay they use not being made elsewhere there are questions over the future of the studio's output.

Aardman Animations clay supplier shuts up shop

The directors of Newclay Products, Paul and Valerie Dearing, chose to retire and close their firm earlier this year which came as a shock to many in the world of modelling.

This is because they had grown to rely on the clay originally named Lewis Newplast which Newclay Products made.

"Newplast, a nylon-reinforced air-drying clay, was an ideal modelling material for children as it did not require either the long hours or complication of firing and glazing," The Telegraph wrote.

These properties made it suitable for making models that could be easily manipulated.

Speaking on the closure Mrs Dearing, 67, said: “Aardman bought a lot of our remaining stock of Newplast to keep them going. They got what they said was two years’ worth. It came to about 40 boxes, which must have been around 400 kg.”

Meanwhile, Mr Dearing said: “We ran the business for 16 years and it was thriving, but we couldn’t find anyone who wanted to take over the firm after we retired so we sold off everything.

“It’s always given us both tremendous satisfaction that Aardman used our product. They thought it was the best material of its type in the world.”

In the long run it is expected that Aardman will have to find a new supplier if they are to continue as a studio.