View Full Version : Advise Clay for Children & which ones??
11-27-2006, 01:38 PM
Hi all, I am trying to figure out what clay to get my granddaughter.
I have found a kit with plasticine clay but think she would enjoy the polymer and push molds as well or better.
also, I have not idea what the difference in polymer, fimo and kato clay.
Can someone please advise me. My granddaughter is 12 and does a lot of sketching of manga and those kinds of characters. She is a very good sketch artist but she loves fairies too.
11-27-2006, 02:58 PM
Polymer is likely a good start for your granddaughter. It is baked in an oven to harden it. I've seen some fantastic fairies made out of it. I've seen a wing push mold in the store for angel and fairy wings.
I'm sure someone else will come along and answer your questions on polymer, I've only made a few beads with it so I'm not an expert.
11-27-2006, 03:51 PM
fimo and kato (& sculpey III) are all colored polymer clays.
Sculpey is probably the softest of the bunch and easiest for a beginner to use, it's best for sculptures that aren't too delicate. It's also one of the cheaper brands..
Also it is an oven bake clay, so the sculptures can be made permanent. I don't know if that should be taken into consideration or not, some people let their 12 yrs. old use the oven, some don't.
Plasticine CANNOT be baked, and as long as it's taken care of can be reused over and over again.
Makin' clay is another option, as it will air dry (though I'm not sure if it's as sturdy once cured as polymers are)
If you have any questions about polymer clay, just pm me.
Also I have some Lightning Press books, that have different characters to build that I've been wanting to get rid of. If you are interested let me know,
I'd let you have them for $2/book + postage.
11-30-2006, 03:53 AM
I'm a big fan of polymer clay. It's definitely rather beginner friendly. I prefer super sculpey which is in between the original white sculpey and fimo/premo/sculpeyIII in price, it's sturdier than original sculpey (which is very easily chipped) but not as strong as premo, and it holds detail very nicely. Another advantage of it if she enjoys fairies and other human figures is that super sculpey is a flesh pink color. Make sure if you buy some to make sure that it's a fresh box, just poke it and see if it squishes slightly if it feels hard don't buy it because it's been sitting around too long and will end up being pretty hard to knead and may crumble a bit when trying to sculpt it.
My recommendation would be to pick up super sculpey and a few tools to begin with for her to try out and see how she likes it, if she really likes it maybe think of also getting her a few packages of the colored polymer clays because they are quite fun.
11-30-2006, 11:20 AM
Noadi, I purchased a couple of packages of sculpey about 3 years ago. I made a little face and put it in the oven. It burnt it badly. It said bake 30 minute, I think. Anyway, since that time I decided it was not for me. But, then I purchased that puffy air-dry clay for my GD about 2 yrs ago and she made all kinds of beautiful and cute little bugs and animals. It cracked up so I did not purchase anymore for her. However, over the last year I kept seeing more and more clay sculpey stuff and watching hgtv and diy on different artists. I am a lot more informed and feel confident about helping her out with her first few pieces. I am sure the books I bought from mislilly are going to help inspire her. I probably will be buying a pasta machine and a little baking oven before her 13th birthday in May. She sketches Manga and Manga type characters all the time. I probably will start seeing some of these influences in her clay work.
Thank you, I am going to see what else I can get with my %40 off coupon for hobby lobby and Michaels.
11-30-2006, 02:39 PM
Oh If you decide to get her a clay extruder
I suggest Makins' Professional Ultimate clay extruder, (it's the metal one).
It screws down to push out the clay instead of the usual plunger type, which I find extremely difficult to use. My hubby got me it for Sweetest Day, and it's just the best.
Another suggestion ,use an oven thermometer if you have one, it will help
you bake the clay more consistently, but still check on it often. Also, I like using aluminum foil 'tent's to help prevent scorching.
I have to get some packaging to mail out the books and will try to get the
package in the mail Friday. We in Michigan are expecting some bad weather tomorrow, but hopefully it won't be as bad as forecasted. Snow I can tolerate, but I detest freezing rain.
12-02-2006, 02:56 PM
I have used Sculpy a lot in the past, both for kids and for my own use. It will hold a great amount of detail. The packaging reccomends baking it to "set" the clay. This is fine... but what I have found useful for sculptures with small expose details like kitty ears, is to drop the finished scuplture into a pot of hot water and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil... not a rapid boil because you do not want to have it bouncing around on the bottom damaging all of your work. You should experiment with timing. I think about 10 mintues would be a good starting point.
12-02-2006, 06:37 PM
Noadi, I purchased a couple of packages of sculpey about 3 years ago. I made a little face and put it in the oven. It burnt it badly. It said bake 30 minute, I think. ...... However, over the last year I kept seeing more and more clay sculpey stuff and watching hgtv and diy on different artists. I am a lot more informed and feel confident about helping her out with her first few pieces. ..... I probably will be buying a pasta machine and a little baking oven before her 13th birthday in May.
Yes, a pasta rolling machine is useful. And get an oven thermometer to check the temperature setting. Mark off the correct temperature on the temperature dial. Also use some aluminum foil to cover the Sculpey when baking.
12-05-2006, 01:36 PM
Boiling it? hmmm now that is interesting....and really I cannot think why not! :D
12-09-2006, 05:48 AM
I like to get big blocks of the white sculpy, this makes it easy just to grab and start working with it, and i dont have to worry about colors blending, or running out of a color. Then I can sand, paint, or anything else once it's baked.
Colored sculpy is good too, but seems a bit more expencive. You can touch them up with paint and extras too. I've seen some beautiful sculptures done in sculpy.
I've also tried terra cotta and paper clay. The paper clay is pretty easy to handle and air dries, but it's very light. You can get some nice sculptures though. But you've got to be careful with unused clay or it drys.
I wouldn't suggest the terra cotta. It's very difficult to use. It needs lots of water, and isnt good for detail. At least not the kind I tried.
Regular modeling clay is also nice to have around. It's cheep, and you can mold, shape, and try all sorts of new ideas with it. Trouble is once you get something you like then you have to get mold kits to make it permanent. I've got about 10 sculptures sitting in storage waiting for me to get the mold supplies....
12-09-2006, 08:34 AM
I have used Sculpy a lot in the past,..... but what I have found useful for sculptures with small expose details like kitty ears, is to drop the finished scuplture into a pot of hot water and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil... not a rapid boil because you do not want to have it bouncing around on the bottom damaging all of your work. You should experiment with timing. I think about 10 mintues would be a good starting point.
This is new to me. Sculpey recommends 130 degree C for hardening the clay, and I have been using this temp. all the time. Boiling it means 100 C, which is 30 degree lower. Do you find the clay hard enough after this 100 C boil ?
12-10-2006, 04:21 PM
Hello Hello ,
I've played with Sculpey for years , but I recommend Paperclay for children. The plastics can be absorbed to some extent and children can put hands to mouth without thinking.
The paper clay does not have fumes - nor needs to be baked. It can be pushed into molds . It can be painted with any type of paints and even colored with markers. Fine detail can be achieved , there are beautiful dolls being created with it !
It also can be sanded with a nail file.
I love my Sculpey III but to me Paperclay is best for the kids .
So, that's my 2 cents worth . Hope it helps :wave:
Wabinodin (whitewind) Sue:cat:
12-20-2006, 02:07 AM
Hi all, here is some little sculptures my granddaughter has made. The sculpey clay I mentioned I purchase a few years back, well I still had it. How she started working with it, I am not sure but she asked me to get her some clay so that she can make some little sculptures for her teachers. So, I found a %40 off coupon at hobby lobby and went down and purchased some clay. So, from there she has made these little characters. Anyway, she is asking for another box of clay so she can make some more. But, I think she should wait until christmas :) until she gets her bigger box. Meanwhile she will probably make other little characters. I made her a little blogpage.
Have a great Merry Christmas
12-20-2006, 08:40 AM
Those little figures are so sweet. (& You are a cool grandma)
12-20-2006, 09:49 AM
Those are great. I think she's really going to enjoy your present and get lots of use from it
12-20-2006, 10:59 AM
HELP!!! We had baked some previous clay pieces and it required longer baking because it was so thick. So, I put them in the oven this morning and baked them for about 15 min and then Whit turned the buzzer back on and we left earlier for school. When I got back from dropping her off they are some darker now like they were in the process of burning. Can we paint the clay to bring back the color to it. I have acrylics and also acrylic glazes.
This is an oops. She will be very unhappy but I believe with some paint they should be fine.
12-20-2006, 05:53 PM
acrylic paints work very well on poly clay, check out noadi's sculpts, she usually has some painted elements on hers
12-20-2006, 06:05 PM
thanks a lot for the response.
12-20-2006, 10:30 PM
Nice little figures - she did a grand job ! I see some talent residing there .
12-21-2006, 01:00 AM
yes, she did. She has decided not to paint them or give them to her teachers. They are too brown and I did try paint and it just does not look good. But, she is making more things tonight. She made a video of her finishing up the last pinguin. She just talks like she has been doing it forever. Its 12:43 seconds long so its too big for Youtube. :(
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