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Topic: is it possible to make liquid clay from regular clay and baby oil?  (Read 1368 times)
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« on: April 11, 2019 12:17:14 AM »


I want to make some kind of adhesive for my clay sculptures to keep the small pieces from breaking off and strengthening joints in between pieces. I have found a lot about liquid clay and it seems like that would do the thing I need, however a small bottle here in Sweden costs over 10 bucks, which I think is a little steep. So I was wondering if I can make something myself. I have found sites that recommend mixing the clay with water, but that seems a little counter intuitive to me since as far as I understand polymer clay is oil based, is that correct? In that case using water would make it more brittle or even crack when baking, correct?

Are there other cheap alternatives for this purpose? (I don't want to glue the pieces together after baking.)
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019 12:12:39 AM »

I think you would need to use something that would evaporate so the clay would harden.  But I wouldn't expect water to mix well with polymer clay, so maybe experiment with alcohol or acetone.  But I don't know, I'm just theorizing.

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2019 01:03:43 PM »

Liquid polymer clay is a main ingredient in solid polymer clay.  Although baby oil (and other oily substances) are oils and can be used as additives to mix into raw solid clay to help condition it, they're not the same thing as liquid clay. Mineral oil (or baby oil which also has scents), and other oils, may work a little if they're left to sink in, but probably not a lot.

You could also check out the price of Sculpey's or Fimo's clay "softeners" though (a liquid that will be called "Softener-Diluent" or "Diluent F" although Fimo's may no longer be made). They're sort of thinner versions of liquid clay, and can be used in certain ways as clay-to-clay adhesives.

Also, since you may not be using much of it, check out the prices of different *brands* of liquid clay, and the larger sizes will always give much more liquid clay for the money than the small ones, and even certain places or sales may have it cheaper than you may be seeing. 
Here's one example: 
https://prairiecraft.com/polyclay/KCLM.html (look at the difference between prices for the 2 oz container and the 8 oz container--of regular colorless liquid clay)

However, there are various other ways to keep small pieces from breaking off and to strengthen the clay in general, as well as to act as adhesives between joins and in other situations.

The first thing is just to avoid using certain brands/lines of polymer clay since they'll always be brittle after baking in any thin or projecting areas with later stress (Sculpey III, Bakeshop, regular Craftsmart, no-name brands, original Super Sculpey, and especially original plain Sculpey).   
Even if those get *thoroughly* cured/polymerized while heating (which will make any brand/line of polymer clay stronger), those particular brands/lines will still be limited in later strength unless they're in thick-and-rounded shapes.   
Have you tried a polymer clay like Premo, for example?

Then also try and make sure there's as much contact as possible between the joined parts, and roll down the seams well.

Here's something I wrote in a polymer clay Facebook group about ways of connecting parts securely if you're interested (it was in response to adhering raw clay to baked clay but the same principles apply in general to adhering raw clay to raw clay):

Raw polymer clay won't stick easily to cured/baked clay, so you'll need to do certain things to make the parts adhere:

... press the two clay parts together well and allow to sit together overnight so the oily stuff can transfer between them (if there's enough area of contact where they join); then bake

... use liquid clay or Softener-Diluent, or use the thicker versions of liquid clay like Bake and Bond or Kato Polypaste which will be tacky (or mix a bit of solid clay into liquid clay to thicken it), and let sink in a bit or perhaps bake right away

... use an instant glue (alone, or beside but not on top of other "glues") to act as temporary nails to hold the parts together tightly for baking, then add the new raw clay and bake
...or for some things use an adhesive like permanent white glue (then let it at least tack up before adding more clay)

... use an armature material (wire, toothpick bits, card stock, etc, etc) to span the two parts inside the clay (use along with an adhesive if desired); then bake

... add something else on or in the surface of the clay that the clay can get down into or around so it can form a mechanical hold on whatever that is (anything that can stick up, or create depressions, or just be dimensional); or use something like air-dry clay then let dry completely; add clay and bake

...use "connectors" of various kinds to join two parts (even if both are baked), then just join the connectors

There's more info on those things on these pages at my site, if interested:

especially this one:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/glues-Diluent.htm > Some Bonding Techniques (and also the info about "Diluent")

http://glassattic.com/polymer/LiquidSculpey.htm > Glue

http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm > Wire (and Other Materials) especially

and perhaps:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm > Types of Figures >> Jointed (would be similar for non-figures)

(Water and water-based substances aren't appropriate for polymer clay since it's oil based, except to use only on top of cured polymer clay like perhaps acrylic paints.)

« Last Edit: July 07, 2019 01:17:11 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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