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!Most of these sites actually have very little to do with air-dry clay (or even crafts in general) and they are using the popularity of the hobby as a keyword to get you to visit their site and view their ads for cell phones or some other stuff. They post a short article that contains enough information to get listed in the search engines (and get us to click on link), but they don't really care about the accuracy of the information they post.
For example, just today I came across 2 sites that said you can make a vase with air-dry clay. Because most air-dry clay is water-soluable, it's not going to hold up for very long if you put water in it! Oh no! LOL
Just so I don't get comments, let me say that it is possible to make an ADC vase IF it has a glass or plastic insert to hold the water! But that's not what those guys were talking about! ;-)
One site said you could make a coffee cup with air-dry clay! That's another no-no!! Another site suggested making a plate to serve some cookies on! Let me caution you now that, for the most part, any project made with craft clay (air-dry or polymer) is NOT food safe! Only kiln-fired containers should be used with foods and liquids. The clay itself is not necessarily toxic but it's not intended to be used with food. Also, don't forget that the varnish you seal your project with might contain some hazardous materials. Check your labels!
|Cold porcelain figure created by Diego Dutra|
Then there's the posts that say all air-dry clay is paperclay or that you can make polymer clay at home from corn starch. Wrong, wrong! Posts like that are just confusing ! Homemade cold porcelain, which is an air-dry clay who's main ingredients are corn starch and glue, is NOT a polymer clay and is not even closely related. There are some brands of commercial air-dry clays that contain polymers, but, to avoid confusion we usually refer to them as air-dry or no-bake clays...not polymer. If we say 'polymer clay', we mean clays such as Fimo and Sculpey that cures when baked at low temperatures and can be baked in a toaster oven rather than a kiln.
'Paperclay' is another term that causes some confusion. Correctly used, it would be referring to the commercial brand 'Creative Paperclay'. However, Creative Paperclay is such a popular air-dry clay that 'paperclay' is often used as a generic term for any air-dry clay, whether that's correct or not. And it's not. The formulas for the numerous different brands of air-dry clay vary greatly and Creative Paperclay is uniquely it's own. Also, while I'm on that topic...Creative Paperclay is not the same as papier mache. It is a much finer quality. The manufacturer describes it as a "unique air hardening modeling material that ...feels similar to an earthen clay; however, it contains no clay in it at all".
'Paperclay' is often confused with 'paper clay', which is used with kiln-fired clays. When you see 'paper clay' written as 2 separate words, it's usually referring to adding paper to clay to create a special effect when it gets burned off in the kiln. When you see 'paperclay' written as one word, it's usually referring to Creative Paperclay. But that doesn't always hold true.....'usually' is the key word here and I believe the confusion between Creative Paperclay, paperclay, and paper clay will continue for a long time.
Soon I'll write more about some of the common misconceptions when it comes to air-dry clay. I'd like to hear some comments and questions from you. Is there anything in particular that's confused you about this type of clay? Please ask questions in the comment box!
|Creative Paperclay figures by Chicken Lips|