Amaco comes in white, gray or terracotta which are nice choices depending on
what you are doing.
1/2 inch thick doesn't sound too thin to me. More likely the piece just
dried too quickly or dried unevenly. Try drying them all more slowly by
placing wet paper towels on top of each and then laying a large trash bag
over the whole table or shelf full. This seems to slow the drying process
a little. If I am being really careful I will rewet the paper towels the
next day by spraying them all with a spritz bottle. Each day I spritz a
little less and make them dry out over a weeks time. When we do animals I
wrap small appendages with wet paper towels and try to dry them more slowly
than the body of the piece. This seems to help although I occassionally
have tails break off etc. Another teacher recommended Gorilla Glue for
glueing on pieces after they have been fired and it worked well for my fired
pieces. I have never tried it with air dried pieces. E6000 works good too
but it's so messy and tends to dry out in the tube, at least for me. I
like model magic too but I agree with you about the details--it's really
hard to get details and it dries out a little too fast for my liking. Cool
tip about the elmers for slip though.
I always have good luck with my 2nd grade pocket vases (using fired clay)
but this year I had 60 2nd graders make them and I left them out to dry and
that night some weird front came through and the temperature dropped 30
degrees and for the first time ever almost half of the vases cracked so we
had to recycle all the clay and start over.
Maybe you have some weird weather? Global warming????
From: marcia [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:17 AM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: re:[teacherartexchange] air dry clay
Thanks for your suggestions. I have used model magic
before but I find for certain things it doesn't show
details as well. I have not tried Amaco air dry clay
so I will give it a shot.
We were making small African mask models and we used
different types of air dry clay and almost all of them
cracked in half. They were about 1/2 inch thick,
which may have been too thin? I've also just tried
using the clay to make animal figurines, with those
cracking as well.