Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My first time with air dry clay :)

Minasan, kon'nichiwa!
"Hello everyone!"

Hello, I'm back again! I haven't post anything recently because... hmm I'll be honest, i was a bit lazy (>_<) And I've started watching new anime (well new for me) "Jakitake!! Japan",  all because of Tiff :D Thanks BTW. It's OK, very funny, sometimes a bit silly, like the whole idea of creating Japanese bread, or cutting bread dough with the sword etc :D but I like silly and romantic animes like this ^_^'  So this is one of the things that's been keeping me away from sculpting.  But before I'll start saying what I want to, I would like to share with you two really happy things that has happened to me as a fresher on Etsy :)

First of all I got included in Etsy Treasury called "Thanks for memories"! I was so happy! Not only because of that, but because this treasury is not only about deco sweets or kawaii items. It's created with more adult and artistic items, and that is really flattering for me, as I can see that (let's say) "normal" people may like my items too, not only kawaii fans :D

The second thing is I've just receive an email from Artellect Etsy Team Blog, asking me if I'd like to contribute one of my items as a giveaway on their blog, which can help promote my shop on Etsy. From all of the shops they've chosen me! I couldn't believe. I said yes off course! So now I'm waiting for their reply and all the instructions. You can visit their blog, it's really cool :)

So all of these things made me really happy but also freaked me out a bit. At the beginning I was excited with my new shop and everything, but now when i see that people are starting to show interest in my items, I start to panic. I think it's because I'm shy and without self confidence really -__- And I'm totally petrified because I want this person who'll win giveaway to like my product and I hope nothing go wrong with postage, mail or anything! :( 
I'm a pessimistic person and I think that I have bad luck, so when things like this happen to me, I know that the laws of the nature will correct it and my un-luck will come into play :( But oh well, we'll see how it will go. Fingers crossed!

The main reason for this post is the fact that I finally started using air dry clay :) Oh yeah! I have some clays waiting for the perfect moment in my drawers, and couple a days ago was my first time with one of them: Lighweight Daiso Air Dry Clay.

My first impression when I received it in a parcel was: it's sooooooooo light! My God! It was just incredible after using polymer clay for so long! I just couldn't believe! I knew that it's lighter than Fimo, but not like that! Amazing! I must say that I felt in love with it from the first second I started kneading it. It felt like I was playing with squishy spongy marshmallow! My fingers were saying to me: "Finally! We're having fun instead of wrestling with clay!" 
After some time admiring the consistency of this heavenly clay, I decided to colour it. As advised in Tiff's tutorial about basic materials for clay, I purchased acrylic paint in ochre colour, and cappuccino as well, because it was cheap and I'm a coffee lover ^__^
here's the picture how these two babies looked like after some tanning session:

First I used my hands, and although I didn't make them too dirty, because air dry clay just soaks the paint inside, I decided to use gloves from now on, just in case not to make the next part of the clay dirty :)  
Cappuccino looks more like skin colour so I used ochre first and I made tiny pancakes ( I will show you them later when I'll learn how to make maple syrup :D ), ice cream cones and a donut. I always wanted to make bitten donut and polymer clay somehow wasn't quite right for this task.

I wanted to play around with bites and shading with pastel chalks, and I must say that the difference between air and polymer clay here was just too obvious. For me personally, it's just impossible to shade polymer clay with pastels. They just don't stay on it or don't spread evenly. It's different with air dry clay, pastels just love it and go well with it :) And it's SO easy to make bites in donuts! I have made just one major mistake here. I forgot that inside should be brighter an I should "stick" lighter colour inside of the bite, so it looks natural. Oh well, I've just learnt my first air dry clay lesson :)

I've got really excited about this clay and somehow I've used all of it to make army of these little babies:

You can't see the size of them here, but I've made some bigger ones for bag charms and smaller ones for mobiles :) One more time I have to say that I'm really impressed and amazed how easily you can make macaroons from air dry clay. I can eve say that I felt like I was cheating a bit :P Don't get angry at me saying this now. What I want to say is creating the same textures and effects in polymer clay as in air dry clay is just really hard. You have to work I don't know, two times harder to achieve the same, or at least similar effects. So please don't be annoyed at me, this was just my personal impression :)

There was one thing I was a bit worried about this clay before I started using it. Everyone was saying that it dries really quickly and after a while it doesn't knead well and it cracks. Well I don't remember anyone saying this, but I've discovered that you can just dip your fingers in the clean water and knead it with clay, and it's just fine then. I even tried it with one day old clay wrapped from the bag, or EVEN with partially dried piece (it was drying out for about two hours). It felt a bit grainy at the beginning but after adding more water and kneading it properly, it became mouldable and I made a brand new piece from it :)

So then I asked myself: will I start using air dry clay from now on or will I stay with my old friend Fimo? Well the answer is not that easy. Even if air dry clay is so easy to work with, I wouldn't be so shure how sturdy and indestructible it is. It's really light and feels rather fragile. I definitely won't use it for for example thin bag or key charms, like cookies. I think they would break easily. I will probably use it for bigger, chunkier pieces, which if they were made from polymer clay, would be too heavy. I will use them for macaroons because I will fill them with cream and they won't break.
I also wont use this clay for detailed items or decorations, like roses or ribbons etc. It doesn't like to be rolled out thinly and it cracks on the edges. Polymer clay is much useful for it and you have plenty of time to change your designs, which is not possible with air dry clay.

And so my verdict is:
I will start using air dry clay and won't betray my old Fimo! ^_^

Hopefully I didn't bored you with this essay :D And please don't think it's a review, I don't really know how to write reviews. It's just my personal experience with new type medium and maybe other people have different opinion about it. Next time I will try different type of air dry clay and air dry clay whipped cream so stay tuned for more experience sharing! :)

Till the next time and thanks for looking!

Mata ashita! (^_^)'
"See you tomorrow!"


  1. I'm liking your facebook page! You know, I have the same thing with panicking when people start to get interested in items from my shop ... Aaah man, now I really want to play with my clay (and buy some better than the cheap stuff I'm working with now ... :D) but I'm still busy for school (or at least I should be *teehee*) Have a nice day!

  2. Oh thank you Riechan! I need to check your shop because I havent seen it yet, add it to Deco Forum! :D And this clay was quite cheap from Etsy and that's why I decided to use it first, so i wouldn't regret if I waste it :P But it apeared to be really good :)
    Good luck with your school and come back to crafting world soon! :)

  3. Hahaha congratulations on your switch to air dry! You're right about air dry being fragile though, so you definitely need to varnish it. I haven't found the perfect varnish yet, but any local art shop that sells gloss or matte varnish for acrylic art will be good. I've actually found that the varnish that is supposed to be used for Sculpey is actually pretty good, and one brand that i've learnt to stay away from is Liquitex for their varnish. Liquitex varnish is sticky, and within days my items were covered with dust!

  4. Oh my goodness! These look so nice. :)
    Wow, you're really talented.
    Man, it's too bad my local Daiso stopped stocking air-dry clay. So inexpensive too. ): I should have purchased it when I had the chance.

    I had no idea that you were using fimo beforehand! I'm so bad at working with fimo. It takes ages to knead and the colors get all over my fingers, haha.

  5. Tiff:
    Thank you! Yeah it feels fragile that's why I won't use it for everything. I used Sculpey satin varnish on some of them and I must say that I was a bit disapointed because they've lost their velour soft toutch :( They are a bit sleek now, but oh well :) I'll get over it. And I think that Liquitex is acrylic or resin based varnish? I use water based so I hope it'll be ok.

    Thank you but wait and see the final result, hope you will like it :D And check on Etsy, I think they will be cheap too. And I don't understand why the colours get on your fingers? Do you mix it with paints? I just use mainly white clay and mix it with a bit of colour clay, no paints :) So my colour clays are really old and I'm keep buyin white and cookie colour :D
    And they should put a note on Fimo that it caues blisters!! ^__^'

  6. Oooh this is a bit late but these are gorgeous. I've just purchased a pack of these air dry clay and I'm hopeful I can create as nice a product as yours! How do u get your macaroons to be of sucha realistic shape?