by Ernesto Baldini, Guest Author
I'm not the one to make a detailed history of how cold porcelain clay became so popular in my country, for my introduction to it is only about six years old, however, nowadays in Argentina, it's not only easy to get access to all you need to make your own homemade cold porcelain clay* but you can also buy it at very affordable prices. There are more than 20 brands from which to choose, each of them with their own characteristics. I've tried several of them and have my favorites, of course, but that's another topic. The point is, that you can choose from harder or softer cold porcelain, translucent and opaque finish clays...all of this depending upon the brand.
This is possible for there are a lot of people using cold porcelain and cake decoration supplies and a lot of people teaching the techniques in Argentina. I can say, with no fear to fall into a mistake, that we have four of the greatest cold porcelain artists worldwide, each one with their own special techniques. There are also several formal institutes and countless instructors.
But that's not all: Suppliers for colors, tools, moulds, cutters and clay gather at the shows to demonstrate new stuff and sell their products at better prices than found at craft shops. Having in mind that our local money is devaluated compared to our neighbors (and, of course, to USD and €), we often see many foreign tours attend the shows to buy stuff and make commercial contacts.
A final thought: All this development around cold porcelain clay was a detriment to popularity of polymer clay, which has never gained the support it has in the USA. In Argentina, polymer clay made its appearance in the form of a local brand and then was discontinued. But, if you are looking for cold porcelain or cold porcelain supplies, Argentina sure is a place to have on mind...it's a dreamland for cold porcelain clay!
*You can find many recipes for making your own cold porcelain in the Files section of Air-Dry-Clay Yahoo Group.