In January, I decided to make at least one clay piece per month, and here they are! I don’t love all of them, I’m particularly unsure about the mushroom ones but as always I had a lot of fun making them start to end.
Last year I tried a few different air dry clays – FIMO Professional, DAS, and Claydium – and this time I used Scola clay, which is definitely the best of all so far. It is a clay that can be both air dried and fired – although it is not designed as a firing clay. The clay feels like a really good quality clay, with the right amount of moisture and great pliability. My only complaint is that they don’t have natural white or cream toned clay – I would really love those! They only have terracotta and buff clays, and the latter comes out quite dull in colour. The terracotta one is really lovely though especially when being varnished with a gloss sealer. I am pleased with my terracotta pots and dishes – I love their simple patterns and they look lovely together!
Because this clay has a better consistency than others I’ve tried, I finally mastered the coiling method and while it was time draining, it was enjoyable and a good way to make flat bottomed pots.
This mushroom pendant is made with FIMO Air, which after a lot of experimenting I really love. I also used it for my clay jewellery that I sell on the shop.
I am ready for my next batch, and I will try to post work-in-progress pictures over on Instagram before I finish them! This is more of a personal project than business, so I keep forgetting to share.
I hope you like them, and if you have used an air dry clay before I would love to know what you made!
Do you share your makes even though you don’t like them yourself?
I finished those clay dishes over a month ago and hesitated to share pictures because I wasn’t happy with them. I cringe every time I see them sitting on my shelf that I might just hide them away in my drawers eventually. However, there are some days where I look at them and think that they are maybe rather sweet.
For the last few evenings while working on more clay pieces, I thought about why I don’t like them and how I can improve next time.
- The colours are nice but as a collection, no. For instance, my first batch looks lovely because I’ve only used black, white, and gold. But I have to remind myself that they don’t have to be a literal collection.
- I feel that those dishes with etchings would be better off in one light colour or left in its natural colour so the etchings stand out more rather than being overwhelmed with 2 or 3 colours.
- I didn’t like how my last choice of varnish wasn’t completely transparent so I used Mod Podge by a recommendation and it was much better transparency wise but the surface is tacky to touch. Reading the back of the container, it suggests to use clear acrylic sealer to eliminate tackiness when it states that Mod Podge itself is a sealer (as well as glue and finish) so instead of being confused, I’ve bought another sealer and hoping it is a better choice!
I’ve said in my previous clay related post that I didn’t like Das so this time I tried Claydium, which is much nicer to sculpt with.
It is clear that I am still in experimenting phase. It’s been since November. As far as my budget allows, I am finding the best brands of both air dry clay and sealer for me and hopefully new clay collection to sell in the shop. It is so important to me that they are good quality, durable, and ultimately pretty.
Last November I picked up an air dry clay and made pinch pots and dishes. While I enjoyed the process so much, I didn’t really like the clay I used – DAS – it didn’t feel pliable enough even when kneading it for ages or blend with water well enough but I did get it from online so it might be old or hardened. The edges were quite flaky when I cut them and obviously I am not experienced so I am not sure if it is normal.
I was putting off to paint them in fear that I would just ruin them but I realised that I got to do it some point and finally painted them. A bit wonky paintwork there but not bad for the first time, eh? Well I’ve played with clay back at my school days but it’s been many years! I only used black and white paints but the colours came out blue-ish. Puzzled.
Even the cat is grumpy, I love this one. My favourite. What about you?
When the paint got dry, I coated them with a protective varnish and it did a good job with painted area, not unpainted area as it turned them into a muddy beige colour rather than keeping the light colour as it was before. It is not obvious in the photos though.
As I wasn’t fully satisfied with my choice of materials in first round, I bought a polymer clay – FIMO Professional – online and to my horror, it came tiny and quite hard. I tried to soften it by kneading it and it didn’t seem to soften enough for me to be able to make a pinch pot out of it. I then figured that buying a clay online was not a way forward and went to a proper craft shop when I visited my sister in Bristol last weekend. Gosh the clays were so soft in comparison! I happily bought three different brands of air dry clay so I could experiment them all at home. I can’t wait! With commissions queuing up, I will have to find time in the evenings to test them out and hopefully build a lovely collection.