Friday, 11 December 2015

Das Air Dry Clay

Well, that's the last Hochanda tv shows for this year. I had such fun playing with Das clay, coming up with ideas for the shows, even if I was a little pushed for time what with it being air drying and the weather being so damp lately. 

Das air dry clay is a fabulous product ideal for both young and old. It's light but dries rock hard and best of all it's cheap! You can use it to decorate cards if you're a card maker, use it in mixed media projects and for home decor too.

A few tips for working with Das clay are:

* Use a little water to smooth the clay surface.

* Use two rulers or pieces of card when rolling out your clay to make sure it's an even thickness.

* If you get interrupted whist working with the clay you can wrap it in baby wipes to keep it workable for several minutes without drying out at all.

* You can colour the clay with Pan Pastels and inks - if using Pan Pastels add a few drops of water as well. You can dust the wet clay surface with Pan Pastels to colour it too.

* To create an embossed surface pattern in the clay either rubber stamp into it or lay a stencil over the surface and gently roller over it.

* You can use cake decorating moulds to create decorations to add to your projects. If necessary smear a little vaseline around the mould first to help release the clay.

* If joining two pieces of wet clay always score the areas to be joined and wet them slightly. As you join them gently manipulate them, e.g. twist them slightly, to encourage them to bond.

* Smooth cut edges of clay with a wet finger.

* Shape the clay whilst wet and leave it supported using foil or other items whilst it dries. Remember the clay shrinks slightly as it dries so make sure to use some sort of release when moulding it around objects if you don't want it to be permanently attached e.g. cling film.

* Wrap any unused clay in it's packet and any coloured up clay in a baby wipe before placing it in an airtight container - I usually use two ziplock bags, one inside the other and, if I think it's necessary I'll even wrap the packet or baby wipe in clingfilm first too. If leaving the clay for more than a day, check on it every couple of days, spritzing it with water to keep it moist if it looks as though it is starting to dry out slightly.

* When dry you can colour the clay with a wide variety of media including paints, pastels and pens.

* Use cheap hair spray to fix Pan Pastels when the clay is dry.

* Use spray varnish to seal your dried projects, making them stronger and protected especially if they're likely to be handled a lot.

* You can add drops of essential oil to the back of dry clay pieces to turn them into scented decorations.

Here are a few photos of a few projects I did for the shows...

This door plaque was made entirely from Das clay except for the letters which were some of Efco's chipboard letters (because I ran out of time to make them from clay). The flowers and leaves were created using a Mod Podge Mold and stuck onto the background clay whilst still wet. When dry the entire plaque was painted with black gesso and left to dry again before being coloured up with Pan Pastels.

This leaf dish was created by rolling out the clay and pressing a plastic leaf from a silk flower arrangement into it to get an impression. The 'leaf' was then cut out and the process repeated twice more. The clay leaves were then positioned overlapping each other, making sure they bonded where they overlapped and left to dry supported by a dish to keep their shape. When dry, the dish was painted with brown acrylic paint before metallic Pan Pastels were applied over the top.

You can jazz up old Christmas decorations with Das clay using cake decorating moulds to create little clay adornments. These should be fixed to the baubles whilst wet and left to dry in position. When dry you can remove the decorations or fix them permanently with a touch of glue.

You can create decorative bowls and dishes with Das clay. Roll out the clay, lay a stencil over the top and gently run your rolling pin over the top. Carefully peel the stencil off the surface of the clay. Take a bowl and lay it upside down on the clay and cut around it. Remove the bowl and smooth the edges of the clay. Place the clay inside the bowl, shaping it as desired, and leave it to dry.

This clay nightlight was created to decorate a small glass nightlight holder. First some Coarse White Pan Pastel Medium was added to the clay to give it a subtle sparkle. Then it was rolled out and cut into a strip of clay which was wrapped around the glass nightlight. The join was smoothed over using clay tools and drops of water. Mini cookie cutters were used to create the heart and star cutouts before it was left to dry.

These little decorations were created by rolling out some clay and then positioning stencils over the top before gently rolling over the clay once more. Some Pan Pastels were applied over the top using a Sofft tool before the stencils were removed. A heart cookie cutter was used to cut the shapes out and a straw was used to create the hole for the ribbon. They were then left to dry before a few drops of essential oil were added to the backs and left to soak in. These make great card toppers which are also little tokens or presents for the receiver to use to fragrance a wardrobe, room or car.

For more inspiration check out the Air Dry Clay Pinterest board.

Happy Crafting!

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