|art clay cork clay||or making jewellery at kitiki.co.uk or electric 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|
is a Cherry Heaven internet resource. It's a top-tier international distributor for Texas-made Paragon kilns, furnaces, ovens, accessories, and tools, and has been one of their top-selling partners from 2006 to : a pleasing outcome since the UK is only one third the area of Texas and one fortieth the area of the US.
As this is an on-line resource, there isn't a paper catalogue or a price list. However, you can mail or call a technician about kilns, power supplies, public area safety, a special project, business ideas, diagnostics, repairs, or reselling opportunities.
Cherry Heaven was the name of the design studio in Kensington, West London, then the shop in Corfe Castle, Dorset. It's now an on-line distributor and retailer in West Holme, Dorset, South-West England. Although there's no longer a real shop, Cherry Heaven is still the working name.
The surrounding countryside includes green farmland, dramatic heritage cliffs, pretty stone cottages, historic buildings, sandy beaches, protected coves, open heathland, hill-top panoramic views, market towns, and peaceful villages. And lively seaside resorts. To look at some photos, use the dorset link below the menu bar near the top of this page.
Paragon Industries started as a family business in 1948. It's now the world's leading manufacturer of kilns and furnaces, and has built over 440,000 in 4,000 variants. The 6,700 square-metre site, in Mesquite, Texas, USA, has 67 full-time staff.
During manufacture, every kiln is checked at every stage by a technician and signed-off before shipping. They're simply but robustly engineered, and you're buying a comprehensive, versatile, safe, low-cost kiln: a kiln with a future.
Paragon kilns are TUV tested, and CL and CSA approved for the US, and are CE Marked for the EU. Paragon is Greek for Model Of Perfection.
|CLASSES AND COURSES|
The Kitiki Studio provided an Art Clay educational programme, as classes, masterclasses, workshops, and Art Clay Level 1 and Level 2 certification. However, as we're in a rural area, I now recommend teachers that might be nearer, so mail or call.
|DISCOUNTS AND RESELLING|