I’ve had an itching to try out Creative Paperclay air dry modeling material for a while now. I haven’t been sculpting much at all as of late, so it was one of those things that just never quite made it to the top of the list. When I saw Creative Paperclay was hosting a Halloween link up and I knew I needed some costume accessories it seemed like serendipity struck again! Here’s my first attempt at anything Paperclay –
- It feels organic. I’ve been using polymer which sometimes reminds you it is plastic with it’s feel or even how it sounds moving around. The paperclay is more like working with ceramics. It moves around nicely and its consistency can be changed with a bit of water.
- It’s white. It dries to a nice white that takes paint very well. No need for priming.
- It’s super light. When the water dries out, what is left hardly has any weight at all . I can think of tons of costuming problems that could be solved with this product.
- It is surprisingly strong. I didn’t handle this with kid gloves. I put pressure on it, pulled, tugged, sanded, and even dropped it once for good measure.
As always, I’ve taken some pictures along the way to share how it came together with you. In this case, I have some additional thoughts about the medium I’ll sprinkle in there as well.
When I started, I thought I was going to add some 3D effects to this paper mache hat. After looking at its scale, I decided that maybe I would rather attempt to make an smaller form and make the whole hat out of clay.
I had some scrapbook papers that I had picked up at Michael’s on sale for about 20 cents each. I thought they would bend well and hold a nice shape to build the clay on. At 20 cents each, if I was wrong, it wasn’t too big of a deal.
It ceratainly took a few tries to end up with this! I’m not sure why I had such a brain block on the cone shape. I pulled from my fabric experience and finally realized that I could put those notches in the bottom to create a surface to attach the outer ring to.
~Phew – there was a point I thought I was done before I even really started!
Here’s a place that paperclay really wins over polymer! This would never have worked in polymer clay. First of all, the paper was not sturdy enough for there to be any chance of polymer holding it’s shape. Second, it was not possible to get all the air between the paper armature and paperclay out. In a polymer world that would equal moonies (like when pizza crust bubbles and burns) as well as crack and other uglies. One thing I missed was the ability to roll the clay into sheets.
After it dried (nice and hard by the way), I removed the paper and did some sanding to clean up the edges and a few messy spots. I used plain old automotive wet/dry sandpaper. I usually buy it at walmart in 400, 800, 1000, and 2000 grit. I was really impressed with the clay’s ability to take sanding. I was not gentle about one bit and did sanding through all four grits sizes. Nice and smooth and didnt break, even the thin brim!
I used plain on acrylic craft paint. I liked how the clay soaked in the paint and the richness of the colors. I suspect inks and other pigments would make some fantastic finishes. Typically, I water down acrylics and use them more like watercolors. In this case, I was concerned that making the paper so wet would end badly so I didnt push it too much here. I will in the tester pieces I made to save for punishment!
Finally, I added some ribbon and hot fix crystals. I haven’t tacked down the ribbon yet. I’m not positive it is right for it’s final intended costuming purpose. When it is time, I will tack it down with some Fabri-tac.
You’ll be seeing this hat again right after Halloween used as the accessory it is intended to be. I do hope you’ll come back and see me to find out just where it is going to end up!
Here’s a bonus! Another paperclay accessory that will be showing up sometime in the future!