Saturday, November 30, 2019

Air Dry Clays

What are the best air dry clays to use?

You're in luck! I've worked with just about them all and here are my test results...

Terra-cotta Clay Bodies

Amaco- Excellent plasticity but a bit sticky. The surface quality is gritty and dries with an uneven skin layer. Its finished durability is brittle and breaks easily. Even though I was careful to score and slip my pieces properly, I still had pieces just fall off when they dried. So frustrating- $ moderately priced

Activa - Great plasticity. The iron oxide in the clay body stains your hands a bit. Dries evenly to a beautiful terra-cotta rock color. It's very strong and durable. You could bang it on a table top and cause no damageBy far my favorite terra-cotta air dry clay! 
- $ moderately priced
Crayola - Good plasticity. The surface quality is smooth but dries unevenly in color. Strong but one drop and it breaks easily. Still comes in a close second to my favorite. 
- $ economically priced

White Air Dry Clay Bodies

Crayola - Good plasticity. Dries to a bright white. Can be easily painted with water color, tempera and acrylic paints. Strong, but one drop and it breaks easily. I really like to use this brand because it's easy for kids to use. 
$ economically priced

Laguna Dry Hard - Excellent plasticity. Dries with a gritty skin. Hard, but parts fall off easily even if you score and slip them on properly. 

Laguna Mexo - Too soft plasticity, very sticky. I didn't like working with it at all! Dries with a gritty skin. Hard, but breaks easily. Some pieces just fell off after they air dried.
$ moderately priced

Activa'  - Excellent plasticity. Dries very strong. Takes paint/stains well. My favorite!
$moderately priced

Here's a set of test tiles that I finished in a variety of ways:

Amaco - Great plasticity but sticky. Chemical smell. Dries hard, but has a chalky feel. 
$ moderately priced

Black Air Dry Clay Bodies

Crayola - good plasticity. Dries strong but to an uneven off black color.
$ expensively priced since it is only available in a multi-colored pack

Activa' - excellent plasticity. Dries evenly to a smooth finish and is very strong.
$ moderately priced 

Written by: Art Teacher Ruth Post

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