Creating Art Supplies with Household Materials
Media Type: Cold Porcelain and Victorian Salt Clay
Activity by: Amber Scott, Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture
Formal Lesson Plan and TEKS Information

There are many recipes online for homemade clay. Many of them call for flour as a major ingredient and require the use of a stovetop and pan.  But what if you don’t have any flour or you don’t feel comfortable cooking on a stove?  Here are two solutions:  Microwavable “Cold Porcelain” and microwavable “Victorian Salt Clay”.

 

Recipe 1: Microwavable “Cold Porcelain”

Materials:

  • 1 cup cornstarch or cornflour
  • 1 cup white or clear school glue
  • 2 Tbsp baby oil, mineral oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice, lime juice or white vinegar (optional, but used to deter mold growth)
  • Lotion (optional)
  • Wax paper/parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap or plastic bags
  • Microwavable container
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Microwave

Instructions:

Mix together 1 cup cornstarch and 1 cup glue in your microwavable bowl.

Mix in 2 Tbs baby oil and 2 Tbs lemon juice (or alternative)

 

Place the bowl with the mixture into the microwave and heat for 15 seconds.

Remove from the microwave and stir. Clumps should be starting to form. Keep heating for 15 seconds and stirring until the mixture is very clumpy and sticky.

 

Dump the mixture onto a surface of wax paper or parchment paper. Put lotion on your hands to prevent sticking and begin kneading the mixture as soon as it is cool enough to touch. Continue kneading until it is nice and smooth.

 

Wrap the clay tightly in plastic wrap and let it “rest” for 24 hours in a cool, dry place.

Tips for using your new “Cold Porcelain” clay:

  • If the clay starts to dry out before you are ready, try adding a bit more oil. Do NOT add water (this will lead to cracking).
  • This is an “air dry” clay. After you make a sculpture, allow it to dry at its own pace, without adding heat or extra airflow. It needs to dry and shrink naturally to minimize cracking
  • The clay will shrink as it dries. If you create a sculpture around a rigid armature, it will probably crack apart.
  • If you want your sculpture to have color, you may add dry pigments or oil-based pigments to the clay while it is still wet. If you only have access to water-based pigments, you should wait and paint your sculpture after it dries.
  • This is not a waterproof clay. You may coat it with clear lacquer or resin to give it a longer, more stable life, but it is still not intended for eating or drinking ware.

Recipe 2: Microwavable Victorian Salt Clay

Materials:

  • Two bowls (one microwavable)
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap or plastic bags
  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • Water
  • Microwave

Instructions:

Mix 2 cups salt and 2/3 cup water in the microwavable bowl. Heat in microwave until mixture is HOT, but not boiling.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup cornstarch and ½ cup COLD water. This should make a very odd, rubbery mixture.

 

Bring the hot, salt mixture to your workstation and poor the cold, cornstarch mixture into it.

 

Stir, Stir, Stir.

 

If the combined mixture does not make a thick, paste-like consistency, return it to the microwave for 20 seconds and stir some more. Repeat until mixture resembles sticky mashed potatoes.

Dump the mixture onto your wax paper or parchment work surface.

 

Start kneading the clay while it is still warm (be careful not to burn yourself)

 

Wrap the clay tightly in plastic wrap for storage.

Tips for using Victorian Salt Clay:

  • If the clay starts to dry out before you are ready, you may try misting it lightly with water.
  • If you desire to have colored clay, you can add a few drops of food coloring, flavored drink packets, or water-soluble paint to the clay and knead it in until color is evenly distributed.
  • You may wait and paint your sculptures after they are dry.
  • This clay does not shrink as drastically as the Cold Porcelain clay, but you may still run into problems if you create your sculpture over a rigid armature
  • Sculptures may be air-dried over a few days or baked on a wire rack in a warm oven.
  • This clay is not suitable for drinkware or dinnerware.
  • Dry sculptures may be sealed with clear lacquer or resin to prolong life.

Submit Your A-Plus Work

  • The Alliance is compiling projects for an online gallery of completed projects. Share your work to inspire others! You can also email your projects to info@wichitafallsarts.org