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Topic: Oh No! Not Another Newbie Question!!! **edited**  (Read 1228 times)
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« on: March 21, 2008 07:47:58 AM »

Ok, so today I'm going to Michaels to pick up some Sculpey...or some other [polymer] clay ... Well, I have never worked w/ Polymer clay before so I have to quick questions:
    -What type of clay is easy to work with & air drys???
    -If I can't find any air dry clay, is it safe to bake it in my oven? How would I go along doing that???

  You don't really have to answer both my questions, it's just that I need to answer #1 really quick because I need to get started on my project!

**In case you're wondering, my project is making something like this:

**sorry 4 the huuuuge pic, i havent quite found out how to resize images.....**

Excuse my slowness, I mean an air dry clay... I just found out polymer clay doesn't air dry....sorry!
  Oh yeah, please don't recommend Crayola Air Dry Clay because that stuff is a pain to work with! thanks!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008 07:58:48 AM by strawberrieshk » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2008 10:15:14 AM »

Hi and welcome,

First, you don't indicate the size of the item you want to make, and that could make a big difference in ease and also in cost.  Is it a few inches tall, or life-size (or somewhere in-between)?  The short answer is that various types of "clay" could be used for any of those sizes, but not all would be best for sometimes-different reasons.

-If I can't find any air dry clay, is it safe to bake it in my oven? How would I go along doing that???

(not sure also what the it is that you're asking if safe to bake in your oven... if that's still a question after your edit, ask again and add more details.  If you are asking about baking polymer clays though, there's loads of info about that on this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm )

There are lots of clays that "dry" with exposure to air over time, but as you've learned polymer clay must be exposed to heat and "cured" (in a low temp home oven for a short time); it won't dry when exposed to air because there's no water in it (there is an oily substance though)--that's one of its many advantages as a clay though.  The drying of air-dry clays can be sped up with exposure to heat (usually a very-very low oven temp), but they're still not being "cured" and the heat is not necessary (also, if the drying is too quick, many air-dry clays will crack).
"Earth" clays will air-dry but will also be harder and stronger if they're then exposed to very high heat (fired in a kiln)... clays based on most other materials would only burn up at kiln temperatures.
Other clays that cure rather than dry in the air are 2-part epoxy putties (clays) though they cure so fast relatively speaking that it's almost as though they are drying.

There are many air-dry type clays you can buy, or make at home.
Which one(s) you'd use would depend on the texture you want (even surfaced or somewhat bumpy which you'd have to smooth later by sanding... coarse or smooth) and perhaps color, and final strength/brittleness and weight, and cost, among others.  There are really too many to mention them all because many homemade things or things found around the house can be made into clays, and there are also various types and brands at craft and art supply stores.  I'll give a just a couple of examples though:

...If your item is pretty small, you might want to use a high-quality air-dry clay like Creative Paperclay...it comes in white only but can be colored or painted over, or you could use a pre-colored air-dry clay like Makins or Hearty.  You could also use salt dough clay you make yourself.  You could use an armature under the item if you wanted.
...If your item is a bit larger, you could use an armature, then cover with Creative Paperclay or one of the others.
(...I'm not mentioning polymer clay here for small or medium items because you said you didn't want to use it)
...If your item is large, you'd want to go with an armature covered with papier mache of some kind or Celluclay, or perhaps even the more costly Creative Paperclay or Makins, etc.
...for large or for larger, you might instead use a 2-part epoxy type putty-clay, or papier mache

(btw, all strictly-air-dry clays must be sealed after drying since later moisture can affect them)

You might want to read about the various types of "clays" (the ones above, plus more details like specific brands) on these two pages at my site to make your decision:
(...click on Types of Clays in the list at the top of that page...)
(...click on Non-Polymer Clays...)


Diane B.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008 10:51:27 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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