Trying out Staedtler Fimo Air Natural

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and visiting Mr Porridge 2

 01_9386 milk choc mousse meets kipper pateThere is a definite similarity to milk chocolate mousse here, don’t you think?  However, on working the clay it put me more in mind of something else.  Have you ever made kipper pate or similar?  You know the little fish fibres that resist the pate process or the bones that are always there whatever you do.  That’s what this is like.

Very clay coloured with some traits of dryish clay, it won’t smooth out unless extra wetted.  I wet the end of spatulas and other items v v slightly rather than the surface directly as it puddles something rotten.  So far the surface seems to have just the two states: dryish and almost cracking and wet and fish fibre full.

It boasts of being hard as wood, sand-able and drill-able when dry and I’m banking on it as, although smoothing over for joining further lumps was OK, I found it extra difficult to get it smooth generally. The fibres ‘pull’ horribly bringing clay friends with them.  I may go back to it half way through the drying process and have another go.

Anyway, because of its appearance, let me introduce you to the newly named –

Mr Kipper-Clay 01

Sorry about the horribly ‘in your face’ large photo at the end (was going to take it out of the mosaic) but it does show the fish pate look and the whole awash look caused by hardly any wetting at all.  Compare this to the dry state straight from the packet visible in the chin and lower lip photo.  In this dry state I couldn’t get it to smooth out and attach at all – bits just crumbled off.  The slightest droplet seems to sit on the surface – which is good for smoothing – and then looks like the aforementioned fish pate after it’s sat in the fridge a day too long.

Happy with:

  • the armature
  • the shapes used for forehead, chin etc
  • the willingness of the clay to form small pieces for attaching

Not impressed by:

  • my lack of ability to control/smooth the fish pate fibres
  • not being able to work out (yet) what to do about the awash look
  • size – it’s probably a little too big for 1:12

Revisiting Mr Porridge 02

Art Mache

Sanding, drilling, and affixing

He’s been drying for days and I’m very pleased with the lightness and strength of the head.  It seemed to respond to sanding very well too.  It would have helped if I could have got him smoother in the first place.  I’m afraid he’s always going to look very marked.

Img_9417 v dry now and fairly amenable to sanding carefully

After first general sanding

You’ll notice here that he has a wire through him instead of the stick he dried with.  The material relinquished the stick easily and was most amenable to being prodded, not too viciously, with a bradawl to make a hole through the top.  I’ve found the top loop (used in DAS 01 for hair capture) very useful for grasping the head the other way up and general handling.

I find the dry Art Mache is much more responsive when piercing and sanding than the dry DAS which crumbles away a little around any hole you try to make and it seems easier to sand the papier-mache without causing further scarring than it was with the DAS.

theinfill - trying air drying clays - Medieval, Tudor and Jacobean dolls' house

From neck to new bradawl hole

And the next job/try-out is to fix some fresh Art Mache to the dry to form the ears.  I have wet the dry sides of the head before applying.

theinfill - trying air drying clays - Medieval, Tudor and Jacobean dolls' house

‘Orrible shaped ears – a little high perhaps?

Now let’s wait and see if they’ll remain in place.

Mr Porridge hangs out with Mr Kipper-Clay

theinfill - trying air drying clays - Medieval, Tudor and Jacobean dolls' house

with Ms DAS in the background

It is fun having a go with these but am still concerned about achieving a pleasant finish 😦

I might try out a thin slurry of mache painted on Mr P here and there to fill in some of the rough.

Ah, early days.

P.S.

20:00hrs:  Looks like it may be drying with less of a fishy fabric about it.  It also already looks as though it has shrunk quite a bit.  🙂

 

 

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  1. Pingback: Air Clays – report to-date | theinfill

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