Sunday, November 10, 2013

Get To Know Your Clay -- LeeAnn's Tip #1

Hi Everyone!

My name is LeeAnn Kress and I am new to the Creative Paperclay® Design Team.  It is such an honor to be able to post my ideas and thoughts here.  I hope that I (along with the other members of the Design Team) inspire you to try out this product!  

My tip for you this month is to “get to know your clay” … In other words, know what your clay can actually do.  I have had quite a few people ask me, “Can paperclay do this …?”  So, for all you newbies out there that would like to try out Creative Paperclay®, these tips are for you!  

Let's go over the basics ---

Creative Paperclay® is an air dry clay.  Meaning, if you leave it out on your worktable without putting it in a tightly sealed container or bag, it will dry out.  When I am sculpting, I will take a piece of it and wrap up the rest until I need it.  This will keep your clay moist and ready to go. 

Have a small bowl of water next to your clay, so that you can occasionally wet your fingers to help keep your clay moist while you are working with it.  Water will help smooth out the surface of your clay and keep it pliable.  (A little water goes a long way – too much water will water down your clay and change the texture of it.  It can also lead to cracking, so use water wisely.  Keep a towel handy to dry fingers that are too wet.

Also, if your hands are getting a little gummy with clay, go wash them or wipe them off.  Tiny flakes of clay stuck on your hands will dry fast and will then stick to the clay you are sculpting on.  Keeping your hands clean, keeps the clay you are working on clean too.  

The same goes for your work area.  Try to keep it clean as lint, dust, etc. stick to clay. 

Some of the ways Creative Paperclay® 
can be used right out of the package ---

Paperclay can be rolled out just like cookie dough. Just sprinkle “a little” baby powder on your clean surface (I use a silicone mat) and your clay won’t stick to your mat or rolling pin.  Baby powder acts like flour would to cookie dough.  Once rolled out to your desired thickness, you can use a template to cut out shapes or letters, use cookie cutters, rubber stamps, and different items around the house to push into the clay to give it texture. 

It's soooo easy!!

You can use Creative Paperclay® with molds too.  I will be showing you a fun project coming up using a cute gingerbread boy mold and all the possibilities just one mold can do!

Use your paperclay on a cloth doll form to add features to the face or body.  Yes, you can use paperclay to sculpt a face directly onto a muslin-type fabric!  Dampen your fabric down (not too wet), apply small amounts of clay while pushing the clay into the fabric.  You will begin to start building up your facial features.  After you are done and the face has had a few days to dry completely, sand the face and fabric around it, paint and seal.

By adding paint, inks or powdered tints to your paperclay, you can change the color of it.  Start in small amounts and go from there.  The world is your laboratory!   I just recently found out that Terri Sproul, the Leader of this Creative Paperclay® Blog, has created wonderful mixers to work with paperclay.  I can't wait to try them out. 

You can also make a drywall type paste with your Creative Paperclay®.   All you have to do is water down your paperclay in a container or zip lock bag until you get the consistency of drywall mud.  This works great for patching cracks or adding texture to something or use it like mortar.  

Your Creative Paperclay® designs can be adhered to glass, plastic, scrapbooking paper/projects, wood, various items like photo frames and doll armature made out of foil or styrofoam.  You might have to add a little glue or water to adhere it to whatever you are working on.  If you are not sure how do this this just ask the Design Team!

Once your project is completed, let it dry completely.  It may take a few days depending on the thickness.  Rotate your piece to make sure it dries evenly on all sides.

After your paperclay is dry, here are some things 
you can do to it ---

Add additional dimension to your clay by adding more clay on top of it.  Just add a little water to the dried area and it acts like glue for the new clay to adhere to.  I use this technique when I sculpt my art dolls.  I start by sculpting the basic head form and let that dry completely.  I then add more clay on top of the dried form by adding small amounts of water to the form’s surface.   By doing this, my clay does not slide around as much when I am adding intricate facial details. 

Sand your clay – I highly recommend sanding to get a beautiful, smooth finish great for painting on.  If you want a more primitive look to your piece, just sand less.  Next month, I will share with you my secret sanding tool that you absolutely love and won’t want to live without.  It is seriously so much better than sandpaper!!  Newbies and Veterans alike will love this!  Guaranteed!

Carve / drill details into your clay --- Just like a piece of wood, you can carve/drill details into this clay once it is dried.  Remember to keep in mind the thickness of the clay.  That will determine how deep your groves can be.

In the below picture, I am holding a ball stylist tool.  This tool has small, metal, round balls on each end.  This is a great tool for carving and deepening groves made by your rubber stamps.   The doll in the picture is done.  However, to make her peppermint candy body, I used my rubber stamps when the clay was wet, and when the clay was dry, I went over it with my ball stylist tool to really define it.  It was then painted, stained and sealed.  

Finish up your project by adding paint, stain, glitter and/or glue on embellishments to your dried Creative Paperclay® project.     

Open your mind to the possibilities --- 

Lastly, get into the habit of asking yourself … “How could I incorporate paperclay into my project?”  You’ll be surprised how your ideas start flowing once you look at things differently and let your imagination run wild.  So be bold my friends and try it out!  You have nothing to lose and hours of fun to be had!  Truly the possibilities with Creative Paperclay® are endless!   Check out all the other wonderful tips and tutorials by the talented Design Team!  Are you inspired yet?

If you have any questions or additional information you would like to share on this post, please leave a comment.   I would love to hear from you and possibly help you to achieve your paperclay goals.  Let's learn together!  You can also visit my site and see my paperclay creations at
Thanks so much for stopping by!  

Until next time … LeeAnn


Terri Sproul said...

great tips

sue morris said...

So fun! Thank you for sharing this info!

Charmed Confections said...

Thanks so much, Terri and Sue! I am so happy to be on this team and share what I can. LeeAnn

ChristiH said...

Oh no, another thing I want to try! Thanks for the introduction LeeAnn!

Sweet Bear Creek Whims said...

This is a fabulous tutorial LeeAnn, you are a natural teacher! I cannot wait to see next month what you use for sandpaper. Great Job!!

Visionaries Plus said...

Hey Leeann it was great to read your article I look forward to reading more I saw Christy has big news I hope she is going to have another class, I will watch for your posts thank you for sharring

Charmed Confections said...

Hi Christi, Jody and Visionaries -- Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad you liked the info. Christi, I will make a paperclay lover out of you yet!

Charmed Confections said...
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Michelle Bloch said...

Great tips LeeAnn! Now I am tempted to go out and buy some clay just to give it a try lol

Diane said...

Hi There LeeAnn,
I loved your tips. :)
I'm looking forward to your
tutorial as well.
Happy creating!

Willow Hollow Creations said...

Wonderful tips. I never thought of adding paint and tints to the clay. I was always painting after the clay drys.

Joyce Tenay said...

Your information was really helpful LeeAnn. I need to get out my paperclay again!

Susan Owenby said...

Very nice LeeAnn! So much great stuff in here. You're a rock star!

Brenda said...

LeeAnn... Great tutorial. I am taking notes, and my ideas are going wild. It inspires me to break out my Paper Clay again and branch out to more surfaces on my gourds, other than the random carrot nose here and there! ;) I look forward to the next installment. This is a wonderful site! :)

Charmed Confections said...

Thanks everyone for the sweet comments. I really appreciate it!
I hope over the course of my six months here, you grow to love this clay as much as I do!

Charmed Confections said...
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Lisa J. Ammerman said...

Great job on your first post as a new Design Team member! You are a natural teacher!

Dawn Barrett said...

So many awesome tips!! wow! thanks so much for sharing them!

rick said...

Muito legal!!,pode me informar se esta massa da pra fazer figuras com bastante detalhes?