I bought my clay at Michael''s craft store about a day ago (I got the 16oz package). When opening it, the first thing that hit me was the smell. It''s a very chemical smell and was very bothersome to me at first. I''ve worked with several different clays and a few different...
I bought my clay at Michael''s craft store about a day ago (I got the 16oz package). When opening it, the first thing that hit me was the smell. It''s a very chemical smell and was very bothersome to me at first. I''ve worked with several different clays and a few different air-dry clays and this one has the strongest smell that I''ve encountered so far. It does go away when fully dry, though. To be able to use it, I had to kneed it several times and continuously add a couple drops of water because it seemed to dry (at least on the outside) pretty quickly. I will note that the color of the clay when it comes out of the package is grey - not white. This is due to the moisture in the clay. When it dries completely, it is a very nice white color.
I''m currently making a ball jointed doll (BJD) and have successfully sculpted the lower torso and one thigh joint since yesterday. Although the clay seemed sort of difficult to work with when I first opened the package, continuously using it helped remove that problem! The clay has a hard time sticking to itself if it''s either too dry or too wet. I''ve found the best consistency to stick it with another piece of the clay is when is starts becoming sticky to your fingers. I''d recommend wetting the area you''re planning on sticking it to very slightly to get an even stickage. Another tip for that is to use your fingers to press down firmly at the very edge of the clay to smooth it (paper thin) onto another piece of clay. Metal clay tools work very well for building your clay as well.
The texture of the clay, as another reviewer pointed out, is very fibrous. You will not be able to put fine details on your project if it involves cutting deeply into your clay because the fibers cause the clay to drag down (think how thick grassy mud reacts to that - it is a similar effect). Although this does have its cons, the fibers of the clay make it so when your project is dry and you need to add more clay, it doesn''t cause a problem. In fact, I found adding wet clay on to water-dampened dry clay MUCH easier to work with that sculpting wet clay onto wet clay. The texture of the DAS paper clay also allows for a very smooth finish. All you need is a dab of water on your finger tips to rub the clay until it is ceramic-smooth.
When drying, the clay becomes very cold. I''m sure there is science behind this that I''m not aware of, but when fully dry, it no longer has that refrigerator-cold feeling to it. It''s also a great way to tell if it''s really dry all the way through. It will be room temperature instead of cool. It''s much easier to create fine details when your projects is dry (or mostly dry). You can use an exacto knife to shave away the dry pieces. They do not break away in chunks if your projects is dry. It really as if you are shaving away paper-thin pieces of dry clay. If you do this (which I recommend for this product), sand your projects down and smooth out with a dab of water on your finger tips. A dried product will still be reactive to water. I highly recommend sealing your project with a waterproof finish to increase durability and protect it from the elements. That being said, I still would not recommend this clay for an outdoor clay project even with a waterproof sealant. Being an air-dry clay, it is still more fragile than say, polymer clay baked crafts.
Speaking of baked! To dry this particular clay, I''ve learned (from reading on the internet as well as experimenting) that you can speed up your dry time for larger projects by putting in the oven for 300F for 30 minutes at a time. It works wonderfully. The smooth texture of the clay once it''s dried makes it very easy to paint onto, so that is another plus.
One last thing, this clay dries out my hands a LOT. Working with it for a few hours basically absorbed all of the moisture in my hands and made it mildly uncomfortable for the night. It also sticks to your hands and skin very well and is difficult to wash off when it dries on there completely. Use gloves if you can, otherwise, keep some aquaphor lotion handy.
In the end, despite some flaws, I do like this paper clay, and after figuring out the tricks to using it, I''d use it again (especially because of the price!
I''ve included some pictures with and without the flash settings to show the difference in color when wet and dry, as well as the smooth finish.