Friday, December 28, 2012

Slip and Score

Here's a tip from the Creative Paperclay blog for attaching pieces together!  With Creative Paperclay you can create a slip just like they do with traditional kiln-fired clays and use it to bond Paperclay pieces together.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tutorial: Clay Rose with Color Gradient

Hi, Sorry I haven't been posting every day like I used to.  I got involved in some local projects around town which have been taking a lot of my time.  More than I know how that goes!   Because I missed featuring a tutorial on Tuesday... let's have one today!

In this video, the well-known South American clay artist Jorge Rubicce shows us his methods for creating realistic roses using cold porcelain. If you don't understand the language, just mute the video and follow along visually as he demonstrates each step for building the flowers and creating his gradient color effect.  Any of the soft air-dry clays would work as well for this project.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Make Your Own Clay Shape Cutters

It's Tool Tip Thursday and Rubina (Gemini Arts and Crafts) has lots of ideas for making your own clay cutters.  Supplies needed for this project are an aluminum sheet or tin sheet, scissors, pen, ruler, glue (steel bond), a wood block, hammer and nails to insert in the wood block to help get shape and curves of cutter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tutorial: Black Cat in a Pumpkin

It's Tutorial let's create this cat in a pumpkin following a tutorial from Makin's Clay  The Halloween pumpkin is made from neon orange Makin's Clay and the cat's eyes are glow-in-the-dark clay, also from Makin's.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meet a New Clay: Apoxie Sculpt

Most of the time we talk about air-dry clay, but The New Clay News is about ALL no-bake clays and today I'd like to introduce you to  Apoxie Sculpt, a modeling compound that cures with a chemical reaction rather than air-dry.  Apoxie Sculpt from Aves Studio is a 2-part self-hardening product with a putty-like, smooth consistency.  It is easy to mix and use, just mix and knead Parts A & B together for 2 minutes until thoroughly combined and a uniform color is achieved.  Cures hard in 24 hours without oven or kiln.  Working time is 2-3 hours.  Adheres to many other materials and can be seamlessly feathered before set-up or sanded, tapped, drilled, carved, lathed, or otherwise tooled after set-up!    Clean-up with Aves Safety Solvent or soap and water.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Make Perfect Ball Joints

Today is Tutorial Tuesday and I found this tutorial on a Russian website to share.  Author describes a great technique for making a perfectly round ball using LaDoll clay.  The artist will use the balls for the joints in her BJD dolls, but I bet there's other uses for a perfectly round clay ball!  This technique may also work for other brands of air-dry clay (such as Creative Paperclay).  You'll have to experiment.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Working With Air-Dry Clay: Art Dolls

"Spring" by Tireless Artist

The Tireless Artist shares her tips for working with air-dry clay when creating art dolls plus some additional tips for saving and restoring "old" clay.

To quote the artist (Dorote): "I can’t describe happiness and excitement when I discovered art dolls. I think this is most complicated and interesting art ever. The doll artist has to be also a sculptor and a painter and hairdresser and couture and also needs knowledge of working with different materials and making different accessories. Doll making is my full time occupation now."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guide to Aging Characters

Here's another great reference chart from Joumana Medlej,   The "Artists Guide to Aging Characters" was created for those drawing human anatomy but it is also useful information for those sculpting figures and creating dolls, especially for the facial features.  It shows the changes in proportion and other changes that happen as a person ages from a baby to a senior citizen. See more charts at

Note: The actual size of the image is a lot larger than the way it displays in Blogger.  Chart is much easier to read if you download a copy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guide to Body Proportions

This "Guide to Drawing the Body" is a great reference chart from Joumana Medlej,   It was created for those drawing human anatomy but it is also useful information for those sculpting figures and creating dolls.   See more charts at

Note: The actual size of the image is about 2400x3500 pixels, which Blogger isn't displaying full size.  Chart is much easier to read if you download a copy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Taking Photos of Your Clay Creations

These violets are less than an inch tall and photo was taken with  a lightbox and average camera.

Taking photos of your clay creations and other small items, especially miniatures, can be challenging.  Here's some tips for improving your photos with better lighting and uncluttered backgrounds.   First we have a tutorial from SmallCreations and then, from CandidAnn, a video showing how to make your own lightbox at home.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet a New Clay: Fimo Air

You're probably familiar with Fimo polymer clay, but did you know Fimo also makes a line of air-dry clays? It's called FimoAir and is available in 5 different formulas.   I haven't yet had the opportunity to try them all but I did  order some FimoAir a while back.  That was before I knew there was a "basic" and a "light" version and I ordered the 'basic'.   What got shipped to me was Efaplast, also made by Fimo.  Efaplast basic and FimoAir basic are one and the same thing in different packaging and with a new name!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Embedding Clay Flowers in Epoxy Resin

This tutorial from MinaevaJA, which is translated from Russian, shows us how to embed air-dry clay flowers in epoxy to create earrings like those shown above and below.   At the beginning of the tutorial it says "Part 3"....ignore that.   The full tutorial is on this one page.    First she shows us how to make a tiny flower with Deco Clay and then, after flower has dried and cured, it is lowered into a mold of epoxy resin and left to set.

The computerized translation to English is full of flaws but the accompanying step-by-step photos should give you enough information to try this unique technique with some of your own mini clay flowers!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Doll Shoe Week: Ballerina Flats

We'll end our week of creating doll shoes with a simple pair of flats.    The ballerina shoes shown above were created with lined silk.   Use a different fabric and you'll create an entirely different shoe!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Doll Shoe Week: Bunny Slippers

I made these bunny slippers a couple years ago for a cloth doll.   They're glued on.   But there's no reason they can't be made for a clay doll or made as removable slippers.    Here's how I made this pair.

White felt
Pink felt or fabric or paint
Small piece of white lightweight sheepskin fabric or something fuzzy
Pink embroidery floss
2 tiny black beads
Small piece of cardboard (cereal box will do)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Doll Shoe Week: High Heel Strappy Pumps

Another shoe idea from By Tarja Simpanen at Fashion Doll Shoes.  In this tutorial she demonstrates making a high heel pump with ankle strap using a fabric ribbon.

Notice in the first step, when fitting the sole of shoe to dolls foot, that she is creating a "fake" toe area that  will be left empty for this particular doll.   She adds a leather insert to toe of the shoe to help it keep it's shape but doll's foot doesn't reach into that part of shoe.   You won't have to do that if the shape of your own

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Doll Shoe Week: Summer Boots

Stylish summer boots for your doll. This step-by-step photo tutorial from a Russian website creates these shoes with denim (or other fabric), yarn, cardboard, scissors, dress hooks, thread, satin ribbon, glue and rhinestones. Author says: "I think that nobody needs to explain what shoes mean to women."  ;-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shoe Week: High Heel Platform Shoe for Dolls

Shoes for American Model

Make these platform sandals from foamcore, cardstock, air-dry clay, metal pipe, fabric and 'buckle'.  The shoes shown in photo were designed to fit fashion dolls by Tarja Simpanen .   Using the tips from yesterday's tutorial for designing your own shoes, you can adjust design to fit the foot of your own doll.   You might also choose a platform that's not quite so high!  ;-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shoe Week: How to Make a Custom Doll Shoe

There's a large percentage of air-dry clay fans who like to create dolls...human figures and fantasy figures.  Some of these are fixed in position and some are poseable.   Some are simple sculpts, some are cloth dolls with clay limbs and some are sophisticated BJDs.  There's many ways you can model a figure but what they all have in common is the need for shoes!   You can always sculpt any kind of shoe with your favorite clay, but sometimes we like to have a fabric or leather shoe!    All tutorials featured this week will be devoted to crafting shoes for dolls of all sizes and shapes, removable and non-removable!   Let's start with some Mary Jane's and basic shoe-making skills.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Meet a New Clay Artist: Oksana Dyachenko

Коллекционные куклы ручной работы. Ярмарка Мастеров - ручная работа Авторская кукла За цветами. Handmade.
Summer Flowers, closeup

Oksana Dyachenko is an artist from the Ukraine who creates dolls and toys.  In her profile she says she has enjoyed creating bears and dolls for a long time. She calls them her "kids" and, roughly translated, says:  "My kids are very different, funny, sweet, thoughtful, loved. They are all alive, warm and genuine. I have put into their creation a piece of each one's soul.  I work with ease, love and inspiration and I'd like to have my work pleased you with warm and uplifting feeling."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Creating Armature & Body for Art Doll

These are instructions for creating a sturdy wire frame doll armature that is also padded and wrapped to complete the body of an art doll.   This type of art doll body is designed to have a clay head, arms/hands and legs/feet attached and to be permanently covered with clothing.   This body form is bendable and positionable, but, once placed in desired position, it's not usually re-positioned again and again like a jointed doll would be.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Meet a New Clay: Craft Porcelain

Craft Porcelain by AMACO is a non-toxic, air-dry modeling material that some say is similar to cold porcelain.  According to the manufacturer's description,  Craft Porcelain is ideal for creating flowers, floral decorations, figurines, and other sculptures; dries in 24 hours and has a porcelain-like finish that can be further decorated with oil or acrylic based paints.   Craft Porcelain is currently available in white* plus 6 colors, however, I've heard the colors are being discontinued.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Make And Cast Your Own Latex Molds

Dog Gargoyle by Tamara Dozier

Tamara Dozier shows us, step by step, how to create a latex mold and a "'mother' mold, which is the rigid outer shell that holds everything together.  The oil base clay she is using to create her original is also known as plasticine or modeling clay.  It's a non-hardening clay often used by animators to create their

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Tutorial Tuesday Again!

Three new air-dry clay tutorials this week.

Steampunk Paperclay Book
Paperclay book (shown above) with embellishments such as safety pins
and lots and lots of scrapbooking items!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Air Dry Clay is Only for Kids - Not!

Kids project using Crayola Model Magic

On the topic of air-dry clay, I sometimes see comments that it's just a kids clay and quality of clay isn't good enough for 'real' artwork.  Sure, for many years about the only air-dry clay available was 'school grade' clay, intended for children in the classroom.  The only art quality clays had to be kiln-fired.   Then along came polymer clay, which, because it doesn't need a kiln, opened up the world of clay modeling to a lot more people.  With this increased interest in modeling and sculpting as a hobby, an assortment of new clays became available, including NEW air-dry clays.   Take a look of some of the ADC creations shown below...they range from simple kid crafts valued at pennies to complex ball-jointed dolls valued in the hundreds of dollars.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How to Start a Craft Business

If you're a crafty person who's looking for a bit of extra money, a craft business may be the answer for you. However, it can be difficult to simply start a business with no previous experience. For some ideas on how to get started, read this wiki article on How to Start a Successful Craft Business!

In case you missed these, here's a few suggested books on a related topic .... organization tips and inspiration from working artists!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tips for Storing ADC - Update

sitting at the computer

I often get asked "How can I store my unused air-dry clay so that it doesn't dry out?"  Over a year ago I posted a collection of storage tips.   Today's post is a repeat with some updates!

One of the pros of air-dry clay is that it air dries. No need to bake!

One of the cons of air-dry clay is that it air dries! Long-term storage is always a problem.

Any exposure to light and air will start drying the clay. Some brands start drying faster than others, especially some of the polymer-based clays such as Model Magic, Hearty and Cloud Clay.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday 7/24

It's been a  busy week at the homefront and only posted one tutorial this week!    This is a good one to make with the kids...a pink pig made from a water bottle and Cloud Clay.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How to Make a Mold of Your Sculpture

Mushroom Man by Amanda Day

Today we have a tutorial from Amanda Day DeVirgilio of 'Doll Makers Dream' showing us how to make silicone molds of our sculptures and use the molds to cast hydrostone sculptures.  She is demonstrating with a polymer clay sculpture, but the casting methods used would be the same for air-dry clay sculptures.

In this tutorial, Amanda has sculpted a fairly contained sculpture of a mushroom man.  'Contained' meaning there are no protruding limbs, gaps or open spaces.   The mold-making compound that Amanda is using is a super flexible brush on silicone rubber called Rebound 25 .  She also uses 'Stoner- Rapid Release', a releasing agent in spray form, and Hydrostone to make the cast.
(Note: Amanda is located in Australia, brand names mentioned may not be available everywhere.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday

Catching up with the latest tutorials posted at my ADC tutorial directory.    We started last week with the Paper Clay Barnacles shown above.   An easy to make decorative accent.   These are actually made with papier mache pulp, but artist is calling her modeling medium "paper clay", not to be confused with Creative Paperclay.  However, Creative Paperclay would be a good choice for these barnacles.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Your Own Cutters

Do you ever want to design and make your own clay shape cutters?   I just noticed there's a "Make Your Own Cookie Cutter" kit that can be purchased with all the gizmos and supplies needed to make your own.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tell Us About Your Blog or Website

Do you have a blog or website about air-dry clay?  It can be about the dolls you create or other clay projects or maybe you're a supplier of clay and clay tools.   Anything that talks about air-dry, self-hardening and no-bake clays is welcome to add a link to their site here.  We all share a common interest, so let's get acquainted. Add a link and we can visit each other.  I'll get it started by listing my other clay sites!

Friday, July 13, 2012

School Grade and Artist Grade No-Bake Clays

Self-hardening, no-bake, air-dry clays have been around a long time, but these were mostly 'school quality' clays intended for children and not suitable for detailed sculpting or fine art. In recent years, many "new" clays have become available and that's what this blog is all about...the "new" clays!    Due to the rising popularity of air-dry clays, now we have clays that are a much finer quality and are suitable for fine art.  However, the quality and characteristics vary greatly from brand to brand and the artist must do their own research before buying.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet a New Clay Artist: Nancy Wiley

Alice by Nancy Wiley

Nancy Wiley, is an award winning doll artist who often works with air-dry Paperclay. Since making her first doll in 1989, Nancy Wiley has earned recognition and accolades both within and outside of the doll field. Her stylized and imaginative figures have been featured in magazines such as Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, In Style and George, as well as all the major doll-collecting publications.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Color Mixing Guide

Some brands of air-dry clay can be purchased pre-colored, but many are available as white (or off-white) only.  These can be pre-tinted or painted after curing.  Just about anything that has pigment in it can be used to pre-tint air-dry clays.  That includes acrylic paints, oil paints, pigment powders, pastel chalks, food coloring pastes and similar products.  Just add a little color into some clay and knead until mixed in.  It may sound like extra work, but it's actually quite handy to be able to mix your own colors as needed.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Clearing Up Some Mis-information About ADC

Happy Independence Day to our friends in USA!

I'm going to take an opportunity today to rant a little!   Hope you don't mind!  I'm tired of seeing websites passing out mis-information about air-dry clay and I want to set the record straight.

I do a lot of searching and surfing for new air-dry clay information and tutorials and in the past week or two I've come across a number of websites writing about air-dry clay but they don't really know what they're talking about.  These sites are passing around bad information.  It's become my new pet-peeve!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday

Gosh, I can't believe how fast a week can go by sometimes!  It's Tuesday again and, just in case you missed one, it's time to review the new tutorials posted this past week at my Air-Dry Clay Tutorial Directory.  First up we have instructions for creating a life-like Heron using gourds and paperclay.   Some amazing sculptures can be created with these 2 simple materials and Phyllis Sickles shows us how.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet a New Clay: LaDoll

I just realized that we've never done a "Meet a New Clay" for La Doll clay.   This is one of my favorite air-dry clays, so shame on me!  ;-)   

LaDoll, distributed by Activa, is the doll artist's choice for excellence with its mixture of pumice, talc, small amounts of paper pulp, and additional binders. Extremely pliant, it can be worked indefinitely by keeping it moist. It will adhere to any core material (wire, mesh, rigid wrap, paper, glass, plastic, wood, Styrofoam, and more) and can be stamped, carved, or sculpted with exceptional detail.  It can be drilled,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meet a New Clay: Crafter's Clay

Those of us who have been aware of the pleasures of working with air-dry clay may soon by joined by the uninitiated due to Martha Stewart's new line of Crafter's Clay, molds and tools.   Believe it or not, many people are still under the impression that ALL air-dry clays are a kid's product. *sigh*  We know that is not so, don't we!  Just one look at the professional work of air-dry clay artists like Hannie Sarris, Guilherme

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday

That's me being surprised at
how long it's been since last post!!

Well, it seems I've taken a 6 month vacation from posting here at New Clay News! I didn't realize that it's been so apologies, I've really been busy. Been involved in writing a book about the history of our town and spent some time in the hospital, among other things. 

The book draft is now at the publisher and my health is doing OK, so maybe I can get back into playing with clay and into the old routine of posting often. Let's start with catching up on some of the newest tutorials posted over at my Air Dry Clay Tutorial Directory.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why Air Dry Clay Instead of Play-Doh?

Are you a teacher of young children, a parent or a grandparent?  You might want to read this article that I came across at PaperWorksOutlet.  The author points out some interesting benefits of using air-dry clay over PlayDoh when crafting with the kids.   The writer says:  "The best thing about the clay however, is

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Larger than Life Papier Mache

Most of the time air-dry clay is used to create miniatures or dolls, but it's also great for making lifesize or  larger-than-life clay sculptures such as the 4 foot tall teapot shown above!   Often the best product to use for such large sculptures is good old-fashioned papier mache.   Sometimes the basic form will be made with papier mache and a product like Celluclay (an instant papier mache) or a low cost air dry clay


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