Welcome to the New Clay News....all about air-dry, self-hardening, no-bake clays.
Shaun the Sheep
clay animation character

Self-hardening 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 that are a much finer quality.   Many polymer clays users are turning to air-dry clay because of allergies or other reasons or just because it's fun to use, durable and very versatile.   People with arthritis find the softer air-dry clays much easier to work with than polymer clay.  Read more about how Air-Dry Clay is different from Polymer Clay.

Aside from being a no-bake clay, one of the big differences between air-dry clay and polymer clay is that the characteristics of the clay can vary greatly from brand-to-brand.   The stiffness of various polymer clays may vary a little from brand to brand but essentially the different polymer clay brands are very similar.  Not so with air-dry clay!

Clay Flowers
Many people have been disappointed the first time they tried air-dry clay.  Maybe they just picked the wrong
brand to use for that particular project.   There are a zillion brands to pick from and it can get very confusing.   Therefore, we're looking for user reviews to help take the mystery out of  "...which brand should I buy?"

I consider the various brands of self-hardening, no-bake, air-dry clays to belong to 4 general types or 'groups'.  Each has their own unique characteristics.   Some are soft and best suited for simple shapes and clay flowers.   Some are stiffer and better suited to sculpting and doll making.  Most are available in white only (or off-white) except for a few terra cotta brands.   The polymer-based clays that are often available in a rainbow of colors.  The 'white' clays can be tinted before curing or painted after curing.

Cold Porcelain
The 4 groups of air-dry clays are (1) wood pulp and paper-based clays such as Creative Paperclay and the instant papier mache products; (2) stone-based (pumice) clays such as LaDoll; and (3) polymer-based resin clays such as Deco Clay, Hearty, Model Magic, Lumina, Luna and many other brands of "soft" clays usually used in crafting clay flowers.  The 4th group is the homemade and commercial cold porcelain clays, which are made with cornstarch, glue and other ingredients.

Mary in Oregon   ;-)   


  1. Hi. I am looking to make waterproof covers for my 2 small speakers. I thought a cover in the shape of a hollow rock would look nice. The speakers are about 3"x3". What clay would you recommend?
    thank you

    1. I'd recommend concrete..not clay! None of the air-dry clays are waterproof, although some people are experimenting with different coatings to make their garden art water-resistant. Only kiln-fired clays are waterproof. It would be quite expensive to make something that large with epoxy clays or polymer clay, so those probably are not good options. You can mix cement with sand and peat moss to create a homemade artificial rock. Search for 'Homemade Concrete for Artificial Rock'.

  2. Would like to let folks know about Oozeq, a starch based air dry clay. Polymer clay artists are excited about it's use as a core for hollow work - make, bake in, rinse out.
    Cynthia Tinapple posted about it: http://polymerclaydaily.com/2014/08/11/supermoon-viral-spiral/

  3. Help Please. "New Clay Newbee" here - I've been doing a lot of reading & still not sure where to start... Know I must get my toes into the water but not finding particular facts on which "pond".
    I plan to ship my 6-7in. h life-like human-shaped (finely detailed) figurine proto-types to have classic two-piece plaster slip casting molds made.
    I need to know which "new clay" would be best for:

    1. Shipping - least breakable/crackable & must be a type that hardens - can be self-hardening or heat required.

    2. The plaster cast mold maker must be able to repair the figurine easily in case of damage.

    3. Tolerate moisture - Compensating during the sculpting process I'm willing to "seal' the figurine to tolerate the moisture if needed if there is a sealer for the particular "New Clay" suggested.

    Note: I don't mind shrinkage but again, I desire the least amt. of cracking possible.

  4. Does thai clay dry in air?

  5. If you are after air dry clay I sell packs. visit www.clayit.co.nz or this link. https://www.facebook.com/pg/clayitnz/shop/?rid=295083600832831&rt=9&ref=page_internal

  6. Hi Mary, I would like to talk to you about using cutters with clay. Would it be possible for you to email me at sales@fmmfuncraft.com as i cant seem to find your contact details on your site. Thanking you in anticipation

  7. Nice article as well as whole site.Thanks for sharing.

  8. very fentasic post your post worth and use full bookmark your site in my browser thanks to sharing Flipkart Coupons


Thank you very much for taking the time to comment! ;-)
Sorry I had to re-instate the 'word verification'...I'm getting far too much spam in the comment box.


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