When deciding between two clay choices for outdoor sculptures, potters can either go for ceramic clay or polymer clay. With the former, you might need access to a kiln or studio to work from. Ceramic clay needs to be fired to attain permanency. This is what makes ceramic clay water and weatherproof after firing. However, beginner artists might not have access to a kiln as it can be costly and difficult to work with if one doesn’t have any experience.
Among the two, polymer clay is the preferred choice for beginners seeking reliable clay for outdoor sculptures.
Why Use Polymer Clay for Outdoor Sculptures?
Polymer clay is perfect for someone who is just starting out as an artist. It is best for sculpting, especially when you are working with kids. This clay variant isn’t as messy as ceramic clay and tends to be safe for use. They simply have to be baked to achieve permanency, and then these sculptures can be kept outdoors even in extreme temperatures.
Best of all, polymer clay is available in different colors, and you can also paint on it using acrylic colors or air-dry glazes. It tends to leave a powdery residue after drying out and tends to be a healthier choice as compared to ceramics. The dust that comes from ceramics might be inhaled or ingested accidentally, which is toxic for potters.
So, let us check out the best clay for outdoor sculptures.
CiaraQ Oven Bake Polymer Clay: Complete Review
The best thing that happens when sculpting with polymer clay is that it can achieve permanency simply with oven baking which isn’t true for ceramic clay. The CiaraQ Oven Bake Polymer comes in 24 small blocks of different colors. This oven-bake clay is CPSC-conformed and non-toxic in terms of ingredients. The clay is perfect for beginners as well as kids.
Each piece is wrapped in a thick layer of the plastic pouch to ensure the clay doesn’t dry out even when kept without being used for long. The product is eco-friendly and brightly colored to get you the best results post-baking process. The CiaraQ Polymer Clay strictly complies with the safety and quality standards set under ASTM D-4236. You can create cute figurines, characters, ornaments, animals, and more with polymer clay.
The recommended baking temperature for CiaraQ polymer clay is 135oC which can easily be achieved with a standard home oven. You need to bake your figurine for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the figure. This polymer clay can also attain permanency with the boiling method. However, it is suitable only for small figurines about 1 to 2 inches.
The clay comes in hard form and requires some kneading to be workable. After kneading, the clay remains soft forever. So, knead the clay only if you plan on crafting a piece anytime soon. Knead the clay softly with your palm in a back & forth motion. CiaraQ Polymer Clay is made of all-natural materials which don’t succumb to oxidation-based cracking or fading. This polymer clay package comes with 24 colored pieces along with 3 durable modeling tools for crafting purposes.
Although this polymer clay is non-toxic, you should have a dedicated oven kept separately for baking purposes. The remnants of polymer clay might stay within the oven parts, and you might have to clean the inside completely to use for any kitchen needs. When you refrain from cleaning the oven, the fumes might re-release and get into the food being baked.
When baking polymer clay, temperature regulation tends to be an important factor. If you think the polymer clay is underbaked, you can re-bake it to achieve permanency as required. Make sure you wear gloves when using polymer clay, as the clay might stick to your hands.
Specifications of CiaraQ Polymer Clay
|Product Dimensions (Each Block)||0.78 Inches X 1.57 Inches X 0.39 Inches|
|Product Weight (Each Block)||0.30 oz|
|Product Weight (Complete Pack)||250 Grams|
|Safety Standard||ASTM D-4236|
Working with CiaraQ Polymer Clay
When working with CiaraQ Polymer Clay, make sure you wear a glove to prevent fingerprints from being imprinted on the clay. Latex gloves work best in this process. Even if there are some fingerprints visible on the piece, the key is to brush the same with some talcum powder. You can also sand it down with the help of sandpaper after it has been cured in an oven.
CiaraQ Polymer Clay will stay soft as long as it is cured in the oven. This provides you access to a lot of time for the crafting process and helps you get into the details. Post-baking, you can protect the piece from fading due to sunlight with the help of some acrylic sealing or polymer glaze.
Remember that polymer clay might show some shrinking issues during the baking process. This is common for a polymer of any brand. So, it is advised that crafters should create a piece that is slightly bigger than its required size to allow room for shrinkage.
Given that polymer clay becomes waterproof post-baking, you might not have to glaze it. However, glazing might be recommended to create a lovely shine for your piece. Make sure you select a water-based glaze as the ones made of chemical might not gel well with this clay and tends to leave some sticky film.
Clay meant for outdoor sculptures should be resistant to weather extremities such as heavy rain, wind, snow, and more. So, without a doubt, CiaraQ Polymer Clay fits best into this scenario. The clay is durable enough even post-baking, and regardless of the thickness o the clay, the sculpture won’t break easily. Apart from its pocket-friendly pricing, the clay has minimal shrinkage. So, get this clay for your pottery escapades and start practicing the art of sculpture-making with polymer clay. Place your cute figurines in the garden and create a mini-wonderland to showcase your talent!