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Paperclay Recipe (Air Dry Clay)

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Intro: Paperclay Recipe (Air Dry Clay)

Paper and clay on their own lack strength. But when they are put together in this air-dry paper clay recipe, you can do amazing things. (Even artificial bones!)

What is so great is that it requires few items to make this air-dry clay, cost hardly anything and recycles waste paper.
It is easier to model than clay on its own and dries fairly quickly. You can sculpt thinner and use an armature for support you can let your creativity free. (Its also possibleto attach pieces of different drying stages though keep the additional pieces covered to dry slowly to prevent cracking.) And another advantage is single firings with glaze on greenware or leaving completely unfired works its now possible to save time and money.

Watch the one minute run-down of this instructable here
 
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Step 1: Things you Need for Air-Dry Paper Clay

Picture of Things you Need for Air-Dry Paper Clay
Paper (newspaper or office paper)
Hydrated Lime
Clay (stoneware looks so pristine, but terracotta will fire at lower temperatures)
Optional: About sodium silicate "Magic Water" to join coils and fix cracks (a low temperature fire may be sufficient)
Fine mesh fabric such as muslin
Buckets

The clay can be dug up from your backyard or bought rock and debris free. I chose the latter type of clay to use.

There's a simple method of preparing your own dug up clays that I found interesting. (Watch the master potters of San Marcos here!)
Kent1 month ago

A paper shredder will make this much faster.

acexkeikai3 years ago
could you do the same think with air drying clay? to make air drying paper clay?
Gomi Romi (author)  acexkeikai3 years ago

Yes, this is actually air-drying clay. The art shop I got the clay from informed me of this! (That the little packets of air dry clay have meshed paper in them, so its more economical to make your own)
Oh good! I didn;t know it was air drying clay :) I should try and make some then since I can't find Paperclay in my area :) How long does paperclay last? since it's got paper it can get moldy.
Gomi Romi (author)  acexkeikai3 years ago
You might like to use bleach -  I prefer nutmeg oil which kills 95% of bacteria.
I know cold porcelain people use vinegar... Nutmeg oil must smell much nicer though... i should try and find some thanks :)
Gomi Romi (author)  acexkeikai3 years ago
Some people mentioned the reason why there's mold in cold porcelain clay is because of the cornstarch which is also in toilet paper!

So its preferable to use newspaper in a 1:3 (70 % clay and 30% paper) mix with blender water and paper and a slurry of clay.

With this his method the whole batch needs to be dried on slabs in the sun for awhile before using.

The pulp is not compressed or strained to keep the paper fine rather than lumpy when dry.

So far the lumpy texture is working great for me with modelling puppets.
What do you use hydrated lime for? Its there in your list, but I could not find which step it was used in.

Also, does paper pulp (before mixing with clay) gets as smooth as the clay?
Gomi Romi (author)  VioletSam1 year ago
I simply stirred everything in together at the mixing stage.

You could probably leave the lime out - recently I trying another mixture with plaster paris, clay and grass fibres. It will dry quickly and you might not need to fire it. Video soon about how to use bbq as a kiln.

The paper pulp tends to be rather lumpy. If you blended it finely it would be less rough.
I also saw a method that used toilet paper (not used LOL) and it makes a finer pulp... cheap brands can be used I think they also used the roll in the mix.
gserrano7013 years ago
I like it very much. I've done papier mache in the past but never thought about mixing it with clay, will try.
Culturespy3 years ago
This is really great. I think a main image with some objects you've made with the paper clay would help inspire people to make their own!
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