Artists – Different types of Clay
This article is to give some basic knowledge to Individuals who are keen to experiment with Clay based art and modelling and are Interested to know which product to choose and why. In the below article you will find details of types of clay material and where to best use them.
Clay has been a very interesting product over ages and everyone at every age likes to Play with it. Hand it over to kids and they make wonderful products of them, give it to grown-ups and they make wonderful shapes of them.
Overview – There are numerous types of Clay available for sculpture artist but below are basic 4 which can be used by beginners. Most of the advanced clay material used by professionals are a derivative of the below
- Oil based / Polymer based
- Paper Clay
- Sculpt dry clay
- Polymer Clay
Oil Based – Oil or Polymer based clay are available in packed boxes and in various colors. They stay soft and can be reused till they are kept in packs or boxes. Polymer clay is light weight, very elastic, available in single pouches or sets. If you leave the clay in Open air they become stiff and hard. These are ideal for kids and new users as they need no knowledge of hardening and are very clean to use and can be moulded easily.
Paper Clay – Paper Clay as the name suggest is made of finely processed paper and missed with water and hardening materials. Its pure white light weight clay, air dry, can be colored while moulding or after drying. You should be careful while using the Paper clay as it hardens once it comes in contact with air and does not need heating or any other hardening methods to strengthen. If your artistic skills are perfect enough, you can create a true piece of art. Paper Clay is versatile, easy to work with stuffs, and can be used by crafters of all kinds. Artists of ceramic art can make magnificent items using paper clay. It goes perfect with your hobby projects too.
Sculpt dry clay – Dry clay as the name suggest is available in powdered form. You would need to add water to the clay before using it. Please ensure you do not over water the clay else it would become slurry and would be very difficult to use. If you over water the clay leave it for few hours to dry before using it. Mostly available in 3 colors—white, terracotta and peach/skin color. Suited to free form sculpting and can be sanded, drilled, painted or vanished once dry. The clay automatically hardens after you leave it overnight. Clay pieces can easily be painted or varnished after hardening.
Polymer Clay – Polymer clay as the name suggest is made of synthetic PVC (Poly vinyl Chloride material which is based on Plastic rather than Clay. Polymer clay comes in various colors and hardening values and it is very versatile to use. It usually is sold in solid moulds and does not need any additive like water or oil before use. Once the clay artefact is made it needs to be heated in an oven before it is finished. Sculptures and artist love the Polymer clay as it gives them lot of options and it is very versatile, super fine and flexible to use. Lot of commercial clay products are mostly made of Polymer clay.