We used to use one of the expensive air dry clays in our district's
elementary program, but I noticed that it didn't seem much different than
regular low-fire or stoneware clay - in terms of it's fragile
characteristics. I was interested in finding something stronger and/or
cheaper so I asked a regional clay company owner who had two suggestions:
Order a special formulation that is made for taxidermy work [expensive and
harder to work] or use a standard clay (we use cone 04 white) but have the
students coat it with white glue (thinned w/water) when wet; Then add
further strength by painting with acrylic paint. We also encourage forms
that are more likely to survive: not too thin, with limited appendages. I
have used the Crayola Air Dry also, but prefer this clay w/glue method
better ( the price is far lower and I like the work qualities of regular
clay). We are finishing our third year using this technique. A side benefit
is that students can build solid forms, if desired, since they do not need
to go through a firing.
Mary in MN
Subject: Re:[teacherartexchange] RE: Clay without a Kiln
> Dear Educators,
> I am currently teaching a class of adults who are challenged mentally with
> many problems. I am looking to do different things with them next year.
> I would like to do some clay sculpture but I don't have a kiln. Is there
> a clay that will be able to be worked and then dried in the air or oven,
> to a hardness? or can I paint it with acrylic?
> Any help would be appreciated.
> Ken Schwab
> San Jose, CA
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