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Topic: Baking Air-Dry Clay with Polymer Clay?  (Read 3361 times)
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kilpi
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« on: March 09, 2012 06:01:49 AM »

Hi there!

I have this reading lamp I love and my father made a wooden base for it so I can decorate it with my polymer clay creations. But when I consider using my lovely packs of polymer clay in large-scale projects, I go Gollum all over and want to scream "My Preciouuussss" as I grab all of them and run away (preferably by climbing on the walls of my apartment in slimey Gollum style) Tongue Then I've found some air-dry clays which are really cheap and come in large bulks. But I like colors, texture and effects of polymer clay better.

So I've been thinking of making a wire and aluminium foil armature, covering it with air-dry clay and sculpt, and later, add some polymer clay accents such as eyes, nails, spikes and bake according to instructions. I know air-dry clay is a different material then polymer clay, but is it bake-able? I mean, will it crack or crumble if I try to bake it? Or will it melt? Will polymer clay parts stick well to it, even if I use TLS (translucent liquid sculpey), or will they interact to each other in a bad way? I'm a little confused as you can see, so I'd be really glad if someone who has more experience with clay can shed some light on my problem. Thanks in advance Smiley

To be more specific, I use Cernit, Premo and sometimes Fimo as polymer clay and the air-dry clay I'm considering to use is one of them (I've found English links to items):
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DAS-Air-Drying-Clay-1KG-white-/370591320134?pt=UK_Crafts_Ceramic_PotteryMaking_SM&hash=item5648f6c846
http://www.alpino.eu/alpino/en/catalogo-de-productos/marcas/alpino-crea/categorias/modelar/pasta-para-modelar/
http://havo.com/en/hobbyproducts/modelling/creall-do-dry-hobby/#1
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012 08:51:41 AM »

I'm not too clear on the various kinds of air-dry clay you've listed.  DAS seems to make several types of air-dry clay? (one of which is terracotta earth clay and another a paper-type clay?).  I guess the other two are different brands of regular air-dry clay but more expensive so may behave better, crack or shrink less, take finer detail, stick to itself better, etc?
You can read about some of the differences between the types of clay in my answers here:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100621051506AA53JtD
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110507004411AAmELzg (read the "list of facts" there especially)

As for using an air-dry clay with a polymer clay though, you can certainly do that in various ways.  Just remember that air-dry clays shrink, need sealing, can't do as many effects, can be coated with any kind of paint, take longer to harden and must "dry" to harden, may crack or crumble, etc, etc.  
Air-dry clays can be heated in the oven, but that's usually done just to speed up their drying.  And since they're made from either paper/wood, ground minerals-stone, soil, or flour, they can take a fair amount of heat, or a huge amount of heat, depending on which is used...there's nothing in any of them that could melt though.

 So you could:
....make and bake your polymer clay pieces, then glue them** to the dried/hardened and perhaps painted air-dry clay; for some info about that, check out this page:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/onlay.htm > Non-Clay Onlays at least, but some of the polymer clay onlay techniques would be helpful too if you need to curve or shape the undersides of the polymer clay, etc.
....use hardened air-dry clay as an armature under the raw polymer clay if you want it as a large sheet for "covering" or just for raw pieces of polymer clay, then use some kind of adhesive (or a mechanical hold) between the clays, and bake the hardened air-dry clay and the raw polymer clay together
Check out these pages at my site on "covering" air-dry clays and other paper or terracotta surfaces with polymer clay and ways to do that, and on using various kinds of armatures under polymer clay including paper-based ones:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm > PapierMache,Cardbd,Paper...or Terracotta
http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm > Paper-Based Products
http://glassattic.com/polymer/beads.htm > Covering a Core >>Clay Cores

Air-dry clays are porous and polymer clays don't stick well to porous materials, so you'll have to use some kind of adhesive between them.  
If both parts are hardened, most thick permanent glues should work (some will be flexible, some won't, if that matters).**
If the polymer clay part is raw, you'll need to use a glue that can be heated, so you could use a permanent white glue (the stronger the better), or probably liquid polymer clay (but that's thin and not tacky).
...Or pop off the hardened polymer clay and glue it back on with almost any glue.
...Or you could create a mechanical hold of the polymer clay on the air-dry clay instead of the adhesive hold (or in addition to it)... e.g., wrapping the clay around something or having it go in/down/around some other dimensional surface or item on or in the air-dry clay.  Or you could wire the pieces together, etc.

Also, if you leave the raw oil-based polymer clay in contact with water-based/porous air-dry clay, some of the oil in the polymer clay will leach into the air-dry clay over time and leave an oily spot.  You can create a barrier under the polymer clay though by coating the hardened air-dry clay with clear polyurethane or another permanent water-based finish, or with acrylic or latex paint, or with thinned-down permanent white glue (PVA) or decoupage medium, and let dry.

Btw, polymer clay also comes in larger bulk amounts.  Many of the brands/lines can be purchased in 3/4 lb to 1 lb sizes (online, or some in art supply or craft stores, etc), though some will be more brittle after baking in any thin areas or any projecting ones (like plain Sculpey, also called Polyform in art supply stores) and will be mooshier to work with.  If you're interested in checking out prices and availability online, look on this page too:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/supplysources.htm > Mail Order

** glues, etc:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/glues-Diluent.htm

HTH
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012 09:06:28 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
kilpi
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012 10:19:46 AM »

Wow, thanks Diane! Your answer was really helpful! Smiley

With the information you have provided, I think I will do some experimentation with sculpting small figures and see how I can get the best out of using polymer clay with air-dry clay. Baking, then gluing parts also make sense. And if it doesn't work as I wanted, I have already ordered Super Sculpey. I will try to make some of that bread clay you have mentioned in one of your yahoo answers, too. Again, thanks a lot! : )
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Website: http://www.kilpidesign.com/ (mostly Turkish for now but it'll be available in English soon)
Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012 09:07:57 AM »

SuperSculpey is one clay that polymer clayers often use for sculpting but be aware that it (and Sculpey III) aren't as strong in thin or projecting areas as most of the other brands/lines--though stronger than plain original Sculpey.  There's another product that's similar and stronger called SuperSculpey-Firm that you might want to look into for strength in those situations which is also sold in larger bars (it's gray though).

You might want to look into some of the epoxy-type clays too (see the Sculpting-Gen page at my site for those, and others).

My answer in this previous post has more info on the characteristics of most of the brands/lines of polymer clay if you're interested, plus a link to my Characteristics page for dealing with those lesss-strong clays when possible:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=366723.msg4307846#msg4307846

Keep on making things and showing us...you're doing really well and have a good eye!

Diane B.

P.S. Turkey is one of the top places I've visited, and have a few friends  Grin
THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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