|art clay cork clay||or learn about kilns at electrickilns.co.uk|
Art Clay Cork Clay is a clay-like composite material, made of fine cork particles and water-based organic binders. It looks and feels like thick biscuit-mix, and can be shaped with modelling tools or a soft wet brush. During firing, the cork burns away.
It has one main use: to create a mould on which to build a clay shape, particularly for a delicate or hollow piece that needs support until it's fired.
The manufacturers, Aida in Japan, recommend using a kiln. To learn more about kilns, transfer to Electric Kilns using the link above the menu bar near the top of the page.
|USING THE CORK CLAY|
This water-based clay comes as a block in a clear wrapper. Take as much as you need, and rewrap the remainder. Knead the piece until it feels soft and malleable.
You can use almost anything to shape the clay: a modelling knife, a roller, a rubber-tipped clay shaper, a pointed scriber, a texture tool, a shaped cutter, or a damp brush. As you shape the clay, or add more, you can use a little water to smooth the surface or optimise the adhesion.
Whilst working, don't let any clay dry on your tools: keep your brush tips in water and dab them on lint-free cloth just before use. It's probably not worth saving scraps of clay as it's an inexpensive material and shapes better when it's fresh.
After drying, the clay will have shrunk by about 2% in volume so, if the finished size is critical, make your piece that much larger.
Dry cork clay for 24 hours in a warm place, or in a kiln programmed from cool to 150°C then held for 10 minutes: although, with care, you can dry it with a hair drier or a hot air gun, on a central heating radiator, or in a kitchen oven.
After drying, it looks like cork. It's strong enough for you to be able to refine the shape using a knife, a scriber, a file, a drill, and abrasives. However, at this stage, thin pieces are weak enough to crumble. And remember, it is real cork: so you can't get a mirror-finish on it.
Fire cork clay in a kiln. The manufacturers, Aida in Japan, recommend using a kiln as, when the cork burns away, it can flare up and smoke. It leaves harmless grey ash.
|ART CLAY UK|
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