How It Works:
Tips & Tricks

Please note that some of the tips may not apply to the modelling kit you purchased.

Health & Safety:

The tools are not toys and can cause injury, if used incorrectly. Avoid inhaling clay dust. Do not eat or drink from the pots you have made. They are for display purposes only and are not waterproof, even when painted.

Looking After Your Clay:

Storage of unused clay: Keep your unused clay wrapped up air-tight in the re-usable plastic bags.

Clay Shrinks:

Please remember that the clay will shrink a bit as it dries out. If you have made holes in your work in order to be able to hang them up, ie Christmas tree decorations, make the hole a bit bigger than seems necessary, to allow for the ribbon to fit through, after the clay has dried.

Reconstituting dried clay:

Put the dried-out clay in a bowl, add a small amount of water and press it with your fingers until it becomes malleable again. How much water is necessary depends on the dryness of the clay. Start with a very small amount of water. If too much water was added, either decant the surplus or let the wet clay dry out.

Clay Joining Slip:

Place a small piece of clay, about the size of a cocktail cherry, into a small dish, for example, the lid of a milk bottle. Add a few drops of water and stir in the water droplets with a paintbrush to make the clay slip. This is what we call ‘joining slip’ and it must be used every time two pieces of clay are being stuck together. Just add more water, if the slips gets too dry.

The correct way to use the joining slip is to crosshatch the edges of clay you want to join. In a lot of the projects, joining pieces of clay will work without crosshatching, however, when joining bigger or heavier pieces together, it is advisable to join these using this method.

Crosshatching Method:

1. With the pointed tool inscribe a crosshatch pattern on both pieces of clay that you wish to join.
2. Paint the crosshatched areas with the joining slip.
3. Join the pieces together.

Rolling Out Clay Slabs:

Place a flattened ball of clay onto a firm surface and roll it out with the rolling pin.

Coils (or Sausages) of Clay:

Place a ball of clay on a firm surface and roll it back and forth with the palm of your hand. The faster you do this the easier it is to make the coil in a uniform size.

Creating Patterns:

Patterns can be created with anything that can make an impression in clay. Examples are: pens tops, cake decorating tools, small cogs, nuts (as in nuts and bolts), shells, buttons, hard seed pods (ie poppies), pieces of bark, leaves (savoy cabbage or fern leaves are ideal), pine cones, paper doilies, lace, any textured fabric, combs and other household objects. The list is endless.

Painting Your Work:

Once your clay project is finished, allow it to dry at room temperature. You will know when it is fully dried, because the colour of the clay will become very pale. This will take 1-2 days, depending on the room temperature. Decorate your work with the paints and when this has dried, apply one coat of varnish and allow to dry. All materials are non-toxic. The brushes should be washed in warm water after use.