Oliver Crafton is a skilled clay sculptor who has been working with various types of clay for over 15 years. He enjoys creating lifelike clay sculptures and experimenting with different techniques to achieve realistic textures. Oliver is dedicated to teaching others the art of clay sculpting and helping them unlock their creative potential.
When it comes to choosing a clay that stays soft for a while, there are a few options to consider. The type of clay you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Let's explore some of the best options in this guide to choosing the right modeling clay for your project:
Polymer Clay: Polymer clay is a popular choice for crafters because it remains soft until it is baked. This type of clay is made from a blend of PVC particles and a liquid plasticizer, which gives it a malleable texture. Polymer clay is available in various colors and can be easily molded into different shapes. It is perfect for creating jewelry, sculptures, and other crafts. Plus, it can be baked in a regular oven or a dedicated clay oven to harden and set the shape. You can learn more about this in our comprehensive guide to clay sculpting.
Air Dry Clay: If you prefer a clay that doesn't require baking, air dry clay is a great option. As the name suggests, this type of clay dries and hardens when exposed to air. It is made from natural materials such as clay, water, and a binding agent. Air dry clay is easy to work with and doesn't require any special equipment or heat source. It is perfect for creating sculptures, ornaments, and other crafts. Keep in mind that air dry clay may take longer to dry compared to other types of clay, so be patient and allow ample drying time. For more inspiration, check out these inspiring clay artists.
Modeling Clay: Modeling clay is another type of clay that stays soft for a while. It is a non-drying clay that is oil-based, making it pliable and easy to work with. Modeling clay is often used by artists and sculptors for creating detailed and intricate sculptures. It can be reused multiple times and doesn't require any special equipment or baking. However, keep in mind that modeling clay may not hold its shape as well as polymer clay or air dry clay, so it's best suited for temporary creations or practice pieces. You can find more information on this in our beginner's guide to choosing the right modeling clay.
Oil-Based Clay: Oil-based clay, also known as plasticine or plastilina, is a type of clay that remains soft and malleable indefinitely. It is made from a mixture of oils, waxes, and pigments. Oil-based clay is commonly used by artists and animators for creating maquettes, prototypes, and stop-motion animations. It is easy to work with and can be sculpted and reshaped without the need for baking or drying. However, keep in mind that oil-based clay can become sticky in warm temperatures, so it's best to store it in a cool environment.
Self-Hardening Clay: Self-hardening clay, also known as air-dry or cold porcelain clay, is a type of clay that hardens when exposed to air. It is made from a combination of natural materials such as clay, water, and a binding agent. Self-hardening clay is easy to work with and doesn't require any special equipment or baking. It is perfect for creating small sculptures, jewelry, and other crafts. However, keep in mind that self-hardening clay may not stay soft for as long as other types of clay, so it's important to work quickly and keep it covered when not in use.
Overall, the type of clay you choose depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prefer a clay that stays soft until baked or one that air dries, there are plenty of options available to suit your crafting needs. Experiment with different types of clay to find the one that works best for your projects. For more clay craft ideas and inspiration, check out our list of inspiring clay artists. Happy crafting!