Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Clay Mache

Creative PaperclayToday we're going to talk about Creative Paper Clay. There's a link on the right so you can follow along at home, or so you can know what you're looking for next time you go to the store.
Creative Paperclay
Simply shape, dry, and paint. For creating dolls, jewelry, ornaments, wall hangings, sculptures, miniatures, etc. Air-hardens and adheres to moist surfaces. For all skill levels. Lightweight. Accepts all paints.

Inside the package, there's a little tray of clay-mache', or clay made of paper mache', which as it turns out, is not quite a liquid and not quite solid. As you work it, it gets less like clay and more like paste. You can also mix it with water, although it's quite a chore. It took me about half an hour to get it decently blended, but when you're done you can paint it on with a large brush or even pour it on.

paper mache project supplies
Clay mache' bonds extremely well on stretched canvas. Originally, I just smeared the paper clay on the canvas, making ridges and different textures. Since it's just paper mache, there's enough glue in it to hold trinkets and embellishments, like the beads and polymer clay and mini canvas on my project here on the right.

It was even strong enough to hold on the watch near the bottom left and a wooden sun underneath the mache sun on the right.

This material isn't dense enough to sculpt in quite the same way you can polymer clay, it will hold a shape to about the same extent as wet sand when you pull it straight from the package. As it dries, however, it gets easier to create specific shapes.

One aspect of paper mache that can either be a blessing or a curse is the fact that, if you wet it, you can rework it, indefinitely. This means, though, that if you want to protect it from practically melting off the canvas, you'll need to seal it somehow.
Plaid Acrylic Sealer Gloss 6 oz Spray- Patricia Nimocks
You can use any kind of acrylic sealer or varnish to protect it from moisture, but I prefer to spray my projects, so that I can ensure a nice even coat and to save time, energy, and money, as I tend to use an entire jar of sealer when I use the liquid.
If you use a spray varnish or sealer, however, be sure to protect any surfaces around where you're working and either open a window or go outside. You can find a link to the right here to a clear acrylic sealer from Plaid.

Overall, this material is great fun to work with, it's just enough of a mess to make me happy, and it's very soothing to someone with a tactile fixation like myself. It really is reminiscent of playing in wet sand. The textures you can get with this stuff have a pretty wide range, and you can paint on it with just about any medium. After it's dry, it's essentially paper in texture. I ended up painting it, gluing glitter and flocking powder to it, drawing on it with markers, and using archival stamping ink on it after everything was said and done, and aside from obvious textural differences because of the nature of my project, it was just like painting on paper.

Over all, I really enjoyed working with this stuff, and would do it again if I got a chance. I also made a pretty cool cthulu mask with it, but more on that in a later post. I'd give this stuff an 8.5 out of 10.
8.5 stars

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