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 my "pottery" look-alike creations copycat in term of material, not the design :)
Yeah...I want to make home decor crafts that look like ceramic but with air dry clay or clay paste - no firing on the 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.
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 fibres (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 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.
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. My last experiment was adding 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.
My second favorite choice of clay for copycat pottery craft is clay paste. I use 3 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.
This is super convenience material to make copycat pottery. You can find it at your local hardware store.
This is kind of gypsum/ joint compound/ white cement/ lightweight plaster base compound to patch the gap/ fill the hole on drywall or for repair.
Just add water, until you are happy with the consistency.
You can make watery paste by adding more water for first coat or add more gypsum/ plaster to make it like whipped cream or sculpting clay. I use this for my paper mache craft too. Yeah..this is the best alternative for paper mache clay.
It comes in different setting time like 10 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes giving us enough time to sculpt the models.
I use the one that will set/ harden in 10 minutes. You may not have it in USA. Alternatively you can use something like gypsum sand 45 joint compound.
Let me share some of my craft ideas below.
So,which type of materials do you prefer for your next copycat pottery craft project? please share your thought at Clayitnow facebook page.
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