Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clay Time

A few months ago at an ASG neigborhood group someone asked if anyone had played with air dry clay.  I had used it to fix some broken pottery so I volunteered to do a short program on it.

Today was the day and I spent the last week trying to come up with a successful use of air dry clay.

Here are my notes for today.

Air dry clay is essentially a purified form of the clay we used to dig out of creek beds when I was a kid.  

Yup... it's a form of dirt and as such is something we are all familiar with from when we were kids.

The key word in using air dry clay is WAIT.

Wait for it to dry, wait for your layers of paint to dry, wait for the sealer to dry and, more importantly, wait for some inspiration before you even begin.

Oh, there is one other wait... wait until you have your tools together before beginning.

The clay I used was made by Das, a German company, with its products sold in my local Hobby Lobby.  There are many brands available out there and all seem to perform the same so find one at the price you are willing to pay if you want to play with this material.

Here are the basic materials I used:

food scraper - for cutting and lifting the clay
acrylic rolling pin - for rolling out ven thicknesses
skewers, needle, Nintendo DS wand - for making button holes
slim bastard - also called a slim taper file for smoothing edges of dried clay
Other things I used but not pictured:

acrylic paints - for coloring the dried clay
white glue - to glue bits together
sealer - for after things are painted (I used shellac.. not recommended)
cutters - I used a thimble and egg cups for the circles
non-stick surface - I use an old cookie sheet

Here are the buttons I made:

and a picture of something that might be a button or decoration on a purse.
(copper paint under black ink...looks better in person)

If you want make some unique buttons, pins or other clay based constructions, try air dry clay.  You will not get instant gratification like with other products (think Fimo) but you will get a sturdy and unique construction.

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