Four heads and growing shoulders


It takes two pairs of glasses and a magnifying glass

(an air-drying clay report)

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

There are two smaller heads here (intended) but I think the larger ones are just on the brink of becoming a bit too small

The fourth air-drying clay arrived last week from the States (Creative Paperclay) and so I used it.

I made a head and tried it out for the shoulder shape I’m hoping will work for the arms.

How was it?

All these comments are made from my observations of my own inexperienced handling of the four air-drying clays, so none or only some of them may be valid for another user.

Of all the clays, the Creative Paperclay is the most like the standard soft Fimo but even softer.  A bit bread dough like.  It’s a smooth (v smooth) version of the Art Mache but with some sort of … I don’t know quite what added.  It’s as though it has a plasticiser in it so that it’s a cross between Art Mache and plasticine.   And like plasticine, it does not have any noticeable fibres, whereas the other three clays do.

It dries OK, ends up looking just like the Art Mache, and sands OK though stays rougher than I thought it might as it started so smooth.  This could be due to my handling and inexperience in shaping and smoothing.

It is, of all the four, the easiest to handle, for rolling and cutting (does not stick to the knife or other cutting edges used) and for shaping and smoothing.

I’ve used it for the only torso bit I want to make in a clay and that’s the shoulders and neck.  I’m looking to make a sort of arm hanger and head-cup.

It cracks when handling just as much as the others and seems to have a habit of allowing cavities to form very easily in re-rolled pieces, so needs longer rolling and firming than the others when reforming a ball shape that might have gone wrong.  Takes wetting very well and doesn’t let the water puddle.

As you can see from the smallest shoulders, Creative Paperclay maintains its shape and hangs together when very thin.  How brittle it is when dry and thin I have not yet discovered.

As a further example of how thin you can work it, as I’ve become so intrigued with my new toy I’ve tried it for hands as though it were a bake-able clay, and done it with no armature.  I think it will dry too brittle for use and there’ll be digits dropping off all over the place, but it did allow me to shape it into very small extrusions for the fingers (photos to follow another day).  As long as you handle it like you were handling a delicate flower petal it seems to play along.

Back to the heads

What are they for?  Well, along with trying to learn something about sculpting clays and working on very small objects, I need a gang of fellas for a scene I have planned for the front of the model house.

The whole construction needs a front door and I’m thinking in terms of a large open porch jutting out from the building, with benches which will afford shelter and resting places for itinerants and those in need of alms from the Guild.  So these heads (and shoulders) are for populating that space.

I’ll post photos of the ‘hands’ next time – including the pile of little bits that are bound to fall off.  I’ve also made an armature pair of hands and will try clarting them with this clay and report back.


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