Copycat pottery? Copycat may not sound good to you. It feels like we are going to copy someone's work and lack of originality.
But, that's not what I mean. I call it copycat pottery because I make clay craft made of air dry clay looks like ceramic at a glance. Sometimes I am copying the technique used by those ceramist to create certain effects like imprinting air dry clay, coiling, sgraffito/ scratching the clay surface, etc.
Yeah...I want to make crafts that look like ceramic but with air dry clay, clay texture paste, or paper clay. It's cheap and easy, no firing/ don't need kiln.
You've seen in some of my post that I love doing ceramic but I don't have kiln to finish it up. So, the closest alternative for me is clay. I can turn my imagination and creativity to any kind of clay models/ pieces with affordable materials and easy to handle.
Alright! first of all, what clay are you familiar with? air dry clay? paper clay? polymer clay? cold porcelain clay? paper mache clay?
Well, basically there are 2 types of clay in general: oven baked clay and air drying clay.
I prefer air dry clay for my copycat pottery craft projects because it has longer drying time. Longer drying time allows me to touch up, adjust or modify the shape a little bit if I am not happy with it.
There are many types of self hardening clay such as, paper clay, cold porcelain clay, soft clay, paper mache clay or clay paste.
Cold porcelain clay is translucent, looks gentle and lustrous. This type of clay best for making stand alone parts like leaves, flower pieces, figurine pieces, or making items with mold, etc.
The clay shrink a lot. You must wait for the parts you make fully dry until it's not shrink anymore, then assemble the pieces to make something bigger like complete figurine or flower/ fruit branches.
This porcelain clay is not suitable for sculpting where you need to use continuous piece to wrap something like jar/ plastic bottle to make canister, pot, fairy house, planter. It will crack no matter how much you patch it because the clay shrink during drying time.
Air dry clay which contains paper fibers (or we call it paper clay) is best for making copycat pottery items. If you want to make your own paper clay, you can see my newspaper clay recipe without glue which I think is the cheapest and easiest paper clay recipe ever. And, most importantly, it works!
However, standard air modelling clay which readily available like DAS Clay, Crayola (not the soft type one), and Fimo are good too. The clay will dry strong but you may have to patch it if it is crack during drying time. If you are not sure which clay to buy, check out my article: what clay to buy.
What's my favorite clay for copycat pottery?
My first choice is homemade paper clay and second choice is air dry clay paste. But now, air dry clay with plaster of paris is my number 1 choice for copycat pottery craft projects.
My basic clay recipe for homemade paper clay is the one I called best homemade clay. I use plain flour - not corn flour/ corn starch as the main ingredient.
I have been using this clay for many pottery crafts and fairy house projects. I have added tissue paper when the clay still soft.
You can see that step when I make bunny egg cup project below. Click the link or image to see my video.
I have done another experiment with this best homemade clay by adding cotton wool to the clay mixture. The clay became super hard and tough. In term of strength it's the best but its not so practical because I can't cut the clay easily with clay knife to make small items/ shape.
I make cornstalk fairy house using bottle with this experimental clay, video as below.
CLAY TEXTURE PASTE
My second favorite choice of clay for copycat pottery craft is clay texture paste. I use 2 types of clay paste. Please note that I always make small amount of paste for my project because I don't keep it overnight.
I just add water on to my homemade paper clay. As a guide I use about 10 gr/ 0.02lbs water for every 100 gr/ 0.22 of clay. You can double the size/ measurement if you want. You'll see the wet and dry paste when I spread it on the cardboard directly with plastic spatula.
I use plaster of Paris, flour and water you can see my article: Clay Texture Paste, Kind of New Homemade Air Dry Clay??
Or, watch my video tutorial below.
AIR DRY CLAY
I have done many projects last year with homemade air dry clay made of plaster of paris, flour, water, and baby oil. The result? Amazing! I am extremely happy with my new finding clay. It behaves like most of air dry clay but less shrinkage and no cracks.
Oh..this is not really new actually because it's kind of variation from clay texture paste. I have reduced the water to make it moldable and has a feel like clay instead of paste. Then, I add baby oil.
Check out my page about this amazing air dry clay. Really! I said amazing because this is the best and easiest homemade clay I've ever made so far.
I make a video about this clay to share with you how easy it is to make the clay. Remember to watch it and let me know your opinion/ comments.
Let me share some of my craft ideas below using HOMEMADE PAPER CLAY
So, which type of materials do you prefer for your next copycat pottery craft project? please share your thought at Clayitnow Facebook page.
If you make anything and would like to share with Clayitnow, you can submit your pictures using this link "share your craft" or form at the bottom of this page.
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