Air Clays – report to-date

Standard

A posting of tables
and not a photo in sight

‘Clays’ being used

DAS clay – item I’ve had and been using from the same pack for many years. I may be creating a rod for my back here as this is very old stock, and, after watching one or two videos online, I think the current clay is slightly more plastic.

Art Mache – present received this Christmas – comes as a powder and can be mixed to different consistencies.

Staedtler Fimo Air Natural – bought for comparison with other two. Says on packet can be drilled and sanded when fully dry.

Before referring to the tables it should be said that I know that by using air drying clays I am not using the optimal material for this scale of object.  1:12 is not the most amenable size to work in when handling wet materials. Which is, of course, why most sensible people use oven drying clays which are more like a smooth plasticine to handle.

Clay Ready mixed Ease of kneading Ease of forming and rolling Level of stickiness
DAS yes OK –  occasionally may require a little drop of waterAlways requires kneading when taken from packet Can crack when forming into a ball and at edges when rolling out Not sticky
Art Mache (powder) no Depends on mix – can be very sticky indeed if used at advised ratios (presumably meant for ‘plastering’ on frameworks)Needs kneading to make smoother and before use Looks lumpy but forms ball/rolls out better than DAS Sticky at recommended mix, less so at 5-6 times the powder to water ratio that’s advised with packet
Staedtler Fimo Air Natural yes Works like slightly dry potter’s clayNeeds kneading before use Can crack when forming into a ball and at edges when rolling out Takes on slurry appearance at surface with dampening and this makes fibres more prominent – not truly sticky but does colour everything when wet like any red clay
Clay Ease of sculpting Ease of shaping in v small pieces Ease of adding pieces
DAS Found small wooden tools, kept slightly damp (excess wiped off) to prevent hanging bits forming OK OK
Art Mache (powder) Found small wooden tools, kept slightly damp (excess wiped off) to prevent you dragging the surface OK OK
Staedtler Fimo Air Natural A little of both of the above OK OK
Clay Ease of making look as one piece Ease of drying Ease of sanding and smoothing Ease of drilling or piercing
DAS Not very easy.  Needs v small tools 24 hrs – v little shrinkage or change in appearance Can crumble at edges – sanding does not smooth out spots where joins still show Can crumble at edges
Art Mache (powder) Not very easy.  Needs v small tools >24hrs – some small shrinkage and looks less porridge like Needs sanding v carefully as responds quickly and scratches more easily but does not crumble when dry – sanding can assist where joins still show Needs to be very dry (possibly 2-3 days drying) then makes a fairly clean hole
Staedtler Fimo Air Natural Not very easy.  Needs v small tools 24 hrs – some shrinkage and no longer looks like fish pate (fibres on wet surface disappear) Sands easily (can scratch a little) – sanding does not smooth out spots where joins still show Haven’t yet tried it

Back to trying again to see if I can gain better results.

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