Cold Porcelain Clay (part 2)

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This is just a quick follow-up post on my experiment with the clay I made yesterday.

After I made the clay, I packed it into a nice ball and ‘greased’ it a bit with some baby lotion and tightly wrapped it in saran wrap. This afternoon, I put it to the test with a few bakery items for my daughter’s school project. I made some little cakes and bread, and what will be truffles, after I finish painting them.

First off, the clay should form perfect little peaks when you pull it apart. If it’s a bit grainy, that apparently means it was over cooked (that is, it lost too much water). If this happens to you, just work in a bit of warm water (a few drops at a time).

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What I found was, this is great stuff if your items are meant to have a rounded organic kind of shape. It shrinks up a bit when it dries, and it tends to take on a slightly ‘puffy’ appearance. This would make it an excellent choice for all those kawaii type charms that are round and cute (it would be fabulous for kawaii animals like sheep).

The sides of my cakes took on a puffy appearance, even though I tried to coax the sides flatter with a card. Same thing happened to the bread loaves (see the picture below). The bread loaves went totally puffy and would not take detail. I think a way to prevent this would be to allow the piece to dry inside a mold. I did, however, have a positive experience when the clay was rolled thin to make the flowers that decorated the pink cake. It held the details perfectly. I suppose a finished product could be sanded to the look one wants, or carefully carved to add detail or texture.

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Bottom line, some things take detail with this clay well, some do not.

If you colour your clay (which I suggest) you only need a bit of chalk pastel or dab of acrylic paint. Food colouring paste or oil would probably be fine too. The piece dries a lot darker than the original colour of the clay. If you look at the salmon pink cake, the clay was mixed to look like a very delicate pastel pink. I also thought I had not added enough brown to the clay that made my chocolate cake, but it dried to a very rich cocoa colour. It looks like real cocoa! It’s important to note that this clay does accept some surface colouring or blushing with chalk pastels, but it doesn’t take it very well. I had to use a LOT of chalk pastel dust to surface colour those breads. I will probably stick to my polymer clay for making breads.

It takes a day for the items to completely dry. I’m guessing 24 hours, as the bottoms are still not dry. Then they must be sealed when you have your finished product. Mod Podge or acrylic spray would be good choices. You don’t want to use something too wet. If you are making jewelry with this clay, seal it well so it never comes in contact with water.

This clay was a joy to work with, even if it had minor disappointments. I don’t have to worry about a mess, chemicals, or getting polymer gunk off my hands. I don’t have to worry about it staining clothes. It’s also an excellent and cheap way to let the kids bring out their inner Michelangelo  too.

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