Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

I hope that whatever you are celebrating this holiday season is a special time for all!

I will be spending time with family and taking a break from posting here for a week or so.... see you next year!  ;-)

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cat Tutorial

This tutorial from Makin's Clay shows you how to create this cute Christmas kitty.

Makin's Clay is one of the air-dry clays that is available in colors. However, if you want to use Creative Paperclay for this project or another brand that is only available in white, you can pre-tint the clay with acrylic paints or a little bit of cake colorant paste, like that made by Wilton.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Art Doll Artists

Art Dolls from some of the best Art Dollmakers on display at the 2007 Annual NIADA Conference.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beautiful air-dry clay flower arrangement

Have you ever made flowers with clay?   Many brands of air-dry clay can be made into very thin, translucent petals that are also strong.   "Craft Ideas for All" has a nice little tutorial for creating roses and cherry blossoms to make the pretty arrangment shown here.     Other posts on their blog indicate that they use both Delight clay and Deco clay for their flowers.    

Tip:  This tutorial tints the air-dry clay with acrylic paints.   A less messy method is to use paste cake colorants like those made by Wilton .   Colorant sets are available in soft pastel, flower colors.

Hope you enjoy this tutorial!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ideas for creating texture

Go to for some ideas for creating texture in your clay using everyday objects such as rubber stamps, roulettes and coggles, pine cones, branches, twigs, stems, barrettes, balls of twine, bottoms of  bottles, woven wicker and grass baskets.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tutorial: Easy holiday ornament

Here's a quick and easy air-dry clay ornament to make. I bet you could come up with all kinds of ideas for different words and for customizing this project.

Author includes a link to the font she used to trace letters.

Friday, December 11, 2009

How to slice a banana

  Hi folks!   I'm running short on time today and don't have anything ready to here's a bit of nonsense to make your day!  ;-)

Amaze your family and friends with this trick!
How to slice a banana inside its skin

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Introduction to Claymation

Do you like the claymation films as much as I do? Have you always wanted to try doing your own claymation? Here's a short introduction to the process. This  tutorial from Dick Blick (PDF) was written as instructions for a school project, but I think it is suitable for both kids and adults!

This project would be a great project to share with the kids. It goes thru the steps of planning a storyboard, taking the photos and creating the animation of a butterfly: Claymation Metamorphasis .

Plasticine clay is usually used to create stop-motion animation because it never dries and shapes can be

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spotlight on Hannie Sarris, Fairy Fantasy Art

Hannie Sarris is a doll artist working primarily with air-dry clay (LaDoll) and specializing in fantasy figures. Hannie says: "I experimented with all kinds of figures, but slowly returned to my first childhood love: fairies and fantasy....I adore the timelessness and the lack of boundaries of the fairy fantasy world." The photos shown here are just a few of her lovely figures, see more on her website Fairy Fantasy Art.  These beautiful and delicate dolls are larger than many fairy figures you'll often see made of polymer clay.

Although Hannie will sometimes create with

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tutorial: Personalized Ornament #2

Here's another personalized Christmas ornament that you can give as a gift or make for yourself.   This tutorial for a teddy bear family and house ornament is from Makin's Clay.   Makin's Clay is an air-dry clay that is available in many colors, but other brands of air-dry clay will work as well.   Most air dry clays are only available in white, but you can pre-tint clay with acrylic paints or paste colorants .... or paint after curing!

Tell us about the personalized ornaments you've made with air dry clay!  Do you have any tips to share?   ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tutorial: Personalized Ornament

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a nice holiday weekend (in USA)!  I was busy with Thanksgiving and shopping from Black Friday to Cyber Monday!  TOO much time spent shopping...LOL!  Haven't had any time to post on this blog, but now my Christmas shopping is all done and maybe now I can come up with some new tips and tricks for your clay projects. 

This Tuesday Tutorial is from Makin's Clay to create a personalized Christmas ornament with air-dry clay.   Makin's Clay and a few other brands are

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Curing Tips continued...

More tips on curing from Susanna Oyoyen.  Excerpts from her book Fantastic Figures: Ideas and Techniques Using the New Clays. The following applies most specifically to Creative Paperclay, but the basic techniques and effects are essentially the same for all air-dry clay products.

"Creative Paperclay is basically water, paper pulp, talc,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spotlight on Akira and Larry Blount

Akira Blount and her husband Larry make dolls from cloth with air-dried clay over it.  Sometimes another layer of fabric is added. Akira's work has been admired and collected all over the world. The White House Collection of American Craft is a collection of over 70 pieces of contemporary

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Curing tips for air dry clays

The following tips are excerpts from the book  Fantastic Figures: Ideas and Techniques Using the New Clays by the late and great Susanna Oroyen.
"When I asked other artists how they proceed, I found about half work pretty much as I do. The rest do all kinds of interesting things....The following descriptions apply most specifically to Creative Paperclay, but the basic techniques and effects are approximately the

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Which Glue to Use?

Sooner or later you'll want to glue clay pieces together or to glue something to the clay...and you'll wonder which glue to use.  Babs, the knitting chicken, needed some knitting needles.  So I glued some colored toothpicks into her hands.  Yes, I actually did knit a few rows of "wool" (crochet thread) using the was a lot easier

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shaun the Sheep keychain

If you've been following this blog, you probably know I'm a fan of Shaun the Sheep and the claymation characters from Aardman Animation.   One of my first blog posts shared a photo of my clay figure (made with Creative Paperclay) of Shirley the Sheep (from Shaun's flock) and Babs, the knitting chicken (from Chicken Run).   Today I stumbled across some how-to instructions for making a cute

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baby Doll made with Paperclay

For this Tutorial Thursday, I'd like to share one of the more interesting Paperclay tutorials.  Ellen Harris has created this very realistic baby completely from Creative Paperclay.

Using some traditional methods she has created a doll with moveable joints using ...."my fingers, toothpicks, a wookie, a small set of brushes, two teeny round iron rasps, small ball stylus and everything else that

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet a New Clay ~ Creative Paperclay

Creative Paperclay  is a very popular brand of no-bake clay because it is easy to work with and can be sculpted, molded or shaped.  It is odorless and very user friendly. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which means my hand strength is very week, but I have no problems modeling with Paperclay.

Manufacturer's Description:   Creative Paperclay®  is a unique air hardening modeling material that requires no firing in a kiln or baking in an oven. It is clean, odorless and easy to use. It feels similar to an earthen clay; however, it contains no clay in it at all!   It can be sculpted, molded or shaped while it's moist and it accepts and retains fine details. It adheres

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teddy Bear Delight Tutorial

Tutorial Tuesday: Teddy Bear made with Delight paperclay. An easy beginners tutorial to make a delightfully cute little slouching teddy bear (from

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spotlight on Chicken Lips, David Everett

Chicken Lips is the whimsical and humorous folk art of  David Everett.  I could look at his clever creations all day long!   Lots of photos on his blog and on website.   David works primarily with Paperclay and says: "I have completely fallen in love with PaperClay and simply cannot stop using it! There are so many things that I can create...For years, I've wanted a Kiln and have belabored over which one to buy, should I buy gas or electric...But recently a ceramics artist told me to stick with PaperClay for what I'm doing. It's more durable than fired clay and easier to work with.  I do know that this stuff can take a real beating! I can't begin to tell you how many things I've dropped in the process of creation, and yet they are completely unharmed (and I've had a couple pieces take some really hard falls!). This is one tough egg to crack! "  

Speaking of eggs.....I love the look of this 'Chicken & Egg' figure...the art is in the simplicity of it all!   David describes his technique for working with Paperclay:   "Each piece is gesso'd, painted in acrylics, sealed, details are added in oil paints, more sealing, staining, and then sealed again. It's a lot of work, but each piece has it's own character - one that will hopefully bring a smile to your face for many years to come."  On his website, there's a short video demo showing his technique.

In his 'about me', David says:  "I'm constantly growing and expanding my abilities - always pushing myself to try something new. My "style" seems to have a life of its own – it’s kind of exciting to think where it will take me next. But regardless of the medium or style, if my art makes you smile, then I did my job right!"

It definitely makes ME smile!   How about you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spotlight on Alexander Mergold

Alexander Mergold is an air-dry-clay artist living in Toronto, Canada who creates puppets, marionettes, portrait dolls, caricature dolls and more.   He also works with polymer clay and papier mache.

Some of his humorous figures are shown here... you might recognize Woody Allen and the comedian known as "Bean" .   All are made from air-dry clay.   See more at his website AMCreatures.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Miniature dolls that stand without doll stand

A few days ago I stumbled on this innovative idea. Artist Laurie Sisson has developed "The Foot",  which allows doll house dolls to stand without doll stands. The answer is feet and lower legs made of weighted metal. Laurie offers these on her website in different sizes and styles.

Laurie says "The Foot" was invented by innovation and inspiration. "As I sculpted a pair of feet, the idea of placing weights in the feet of clay developed.... Then I learned how to become a metal patterns maker.... Dolls are now standing on their own two feet. Because wire is attached at the knee, they also sit nicely." 

"The Foot" is designed for miniature scale dolls and is available in one inch, half-inch scale and smaller. Read more and place orders with Laurie at  Don't miss the tutorial section with instructions for painting the Saddle Shoes and MaryJanes shown here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sculpting a Doll's Head with Cold Porcelain

It's Tutorial Thursday and we have another video from Bettina Bishop showing her technique for sculpting a doll's head using cold porcelain, which handles a bit differently than other air-dry clays.

Cold porcelain is a no-bake clay paste that can be purchased or made at home from easy-to-obtain ingredients. Join our Air-Dry-Clay Yahoo Group for tips and recipes about cold porcelain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In honor of Veterans Day 2009

In remembrance of all veterans and those on active duty. (sound on, please)

Let's not forget the women.

Chosen from among the over 3,000 collections of women’s experiences in the Veterans History Project, this modest selection spans four wars. While many of the collections are nurses’ tales, there is also the story of a code breaker (Ann Caracristi), a welder (Meda Brendall), and a flight surgeon (Rhonda Cornum), plus two women who rose through the ranks to secure places in the military history books.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sculpting a head with air-dry clay

For our Tutorial Tuesday we have a 2-part video by Bettina Bishop showing her technique for sculpting a head.  She is using LaDoll Premier, a stone-based air-dry clay favored by many dollmakers.  See her gallery of dolls at

Part One

Part Two

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Contests and Giveaways

Here's a few more to add to the Contest & Giveaways list. Please see link in sidebar for rest of list with a November deadline! (Note: All C&G are clay or craft related or have cash or handmade item as prize.)

This drawing ends Nov.26th ....
In honor of reaching 100+ followers, The Old Parsonage is having a giveaway. Our gift celebrates the colors, scents and joy of Christmas. Apple Scented Room Freshner. Peppermint Flavored Taffy. A Silver Tray and a JOY Candle.Red and White Tea Towel, Pot Holder, White Dish Cloths and a Christmas Bottle.  How to Enter

This drawing will be held Nov.27th ....
Another Wonderful Gift Basket Drawing from the Girls in the Old Farmhouse Gathering! ($145 value) The Elves have been busy working to fill another Handmade Basket by Rose Clawson. That by its self would be a wonderful treat! But look at everything that goes with it! Woo-Hoo! How to Enter

Contest ends December 20, 2009....
Michaels is having a "Handmade Holidays" contest.   The Grand Prize winners will receive a trip for two to New York City to see The Martha Stewart Show. There will be two Grand Prize winners – one for “Best Creative Project” and one for “Best Creative Project under $20”. Each Grand Prize winner will also receive a $250.00 Michaels gift card and the opportunity to have their project featured on and in Michaels stores.  Each week, two $100.00 Michaels gift cards will be awarded to the winner in each category – Best Creative Project and Best Creative Project under $20. The Grand Prize winners will be selected from the weekly winners.   Entries will only be accepted on from Sunday, November 1, 2009 through Sunday, December 20, 2009.   How to Enter

Contest ends on February 1, 2010....
Lion Brand Yarn Company is sponsoring a yarn contest at Michaels stores. The grand prize is $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip for two to Los Angeles to meet Vanna White. More info

Friday, November 6, 2009

Using extruder with air-dry clay

Yes!  You CAN use an extruder with air-dry clay!  Because most air-dry clays are soft compared to polymer clay, many people wonder if it'll work in an extruder.   The key to success using air-dry clay in an extruder is the brand of clay used. Some brands are just too sticky to go thru an extruder without problems. Use a stiffer or less-sticky brand.   Makin's Clay is one brand of no-bake clay that works well with an extruder.  As a matter of fact, the Makin's brand of extruders are probably the most popular for both air-dry and polymer clays.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blogs in Plain English

Today is Tutorial Thursday but, instead of an air-dry clay tutorial, let's talk about blogs.  Many, many artists that I've talked to have no clue about how to start a website or a blog for their art ....or else they think their budget is just too tight to have something like that.   The answer for them is Blogger!    It couldn't be any easier ....or any cheaper (free!) .... than using Blogger.   You can display your art, sell your art and/or share your expertise with a blog.  Watch this video titled 'Blogs in Plain English' to find out about blogs and then, go ahead, do it.....GO to and start your OWN blog!  ;-)  It really is free and easy!

If I can answer any questions... I'll be glad to help where I can!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Figurative Sculpture by Tine Kamerbeek

One of my favorite air-dry clay artists is Tine Kamerbeek, from Amsterdam.   Her work varies from tiny little elves to life size fantasy figures.  She prefers to work with air drying clays such as Japanese Paperclay or Formo Fit. 

All dolls are one of a kind and are made of air-dry clay, strengthened with a wire frame and with lead in the feet in order to make the dolls stand independently. After sanding and polishing, the dolls are painted with oil paint and varnished several times.

Tine says: “Through the expression, shape and position of the dolls I try to stimulate the imagination and draw the attention of those who look at them”.   More photos of her art dolls can be seen on her website and in the members gallery of DABIDA

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

5 petal flower tutorial

Today is Tuesday and I think I'll start a tradition of featuring a new tutorial each Tuesday and Thursday. Some will be new additions to the directory at and some will old favorites.  Among those favorites are the 5 Petal Flower and the 5 Petal Star Flower tutorials from Hearty Clay that were used to create the arrangement shown here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Clay Play from Smartoonz

In this stop-motion video titled "Clay Play", a lump of clay becomes elephants playing catch with a coconut.

This claymation was created by Smartoonz™, an International company that produces smart, entertaining animated programs for toddlers, preschoolers and young children. "Little fingers love clay because its shape changes fast enough to keep up with their quick minds."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A New Direction for New Clay News

Hello folks!   The New Clay News originally started as a monthly newsletter for the Air-Dry-Clay Yahoo Group but we made a few changes today and now it'll be a regular daily blog with, we hope, lots of interesting links for crafters and articles about air-dry clay and the artists that are creating unique and wonderful things with these new clays.  

The New Clay News will also support my Air-Dry-Clay Tutorial Directory at  and I'll be able to let you know whenever new tutorials have been added. Follow updates with an RSS feed.

Photo is my latest figure made with Creative Paperclay.  I love the characters from Chicken Run.   This is suppose to be Shirley, the knitting chicken, standing on one of the flock from Shaun the Sheep!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Argentina: Dreamland for Cold Porcelain Clay

by Ernesto Baldini, Guest Author
It's hard to know when it all started, but it's clear that it was in the 80's when it exploded. The work of Marta Ballina in cake decoration (using sugar paste) made the foundation, and then it was only a matter of overcoming some prejudices. Certainly some TV shows in the last half of the 90's and easy access to supplies (many of them used also in cake decoration) did the rest.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Meet a New Clay: Cold Porcelain

Cute pig created by ADC member Cold Porcelain Designs
Cold Porcelain Clay is relatively new to the USA but is rapidly growing in popularity. It's easy to use and requires few specialized tools aside from a basic set of sculpting tools. There's a few commercially-made Cold Porcelain brands available for purchase and it can also be made at home from simple ingredients.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What is air-dry clay and how is it different from polymer clay?

by Mary in Oregon

Let me start by saying there's a huge variety of no-bake, air-dry, self-hardening clays!  Because of this variety, making a generalized comparison to polymer clay is difficult.

There are basically 3 types of clays for the home hobbyist... oven-cured, self-hardening and non-curing.... BUT..... the clays could also be grouped as oil-based, wax-based, resin-based, water-based, stone and cellulose-based.* (see Wikipedia definitions for more detail)    Polymer clays are not actually "clay" and must be heated to cure.  Although there are some air-dry & self-hardening clays containing polymers they are usually not referred to as "polymer" clay.  Oil and wax-based clays are the Plasticine clays often used to create clay animations.  This type of clay stays flexible (re-positionable) and it never hardens.  If heated, it will melt.


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