Das Air-Hardening Modeling Clay-Review Guide

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Clay, being a natural item, has been a part of the pottery world since time immemorial. As we transcend into a better and technologically updated world, we can now make use of clay variants that do not require manual drying or firing. Air-dry clay was developed for the artists who need clay minus the need for kiln firing.



Most of the air-dry clays available in the market are based on naturally occurring mineral and pack-in properties comparable to traditional clay. This clay variant is known to dry pretty fast and doesn’t need firing for permanency.


While the market is overrun with options for air-dry clay, only a few would be worth your hard-earned money. To help you make the best decision, we have narrowed down some of the best air-dry clay brands available in the market. Today, we will review the Das Air-Hardening Modeling Clay.

But first, let us understand the contrast between polymer clay & air-dry clay.


Air-Dry Clay vs. Polymer Clay

When scouring for clay in the market, you will come across two different options if you are a first-time pottery enthusiast. One is the air-dry clay; another is the polymer clay.


Let us decode the differences in this table below:

Polymer Clay

Air-Dry Clay

It needs to be baked in the oven Self-hardening (Dries up when comes in contact with air after a few hours or so depending on the brand)
Hard initially when the package is opened, requires conditioning to help with easy molding; Becomes hard and solid when baking is finished Soft & stretchy initially;

Dries up with a spongy and light texture

It comes in a range of colors in varying bar sizes It comes in several vibrant colors and is sealed in bags with an air-tight design
Captures details in a better way as compared to air-dry clay It is easier and user-friendly, especially  for the young potters
Created from PVC  or Polymer Polyvinyl Chloride Created from resin, paper, glue, and is ideal for kids more than 3-years of age
Baking time is crucial to determine the quality of  the finished product; it is usually close to 130oC when baked for 10 to 15 minutes It takes 1 to 2 days for complete drying, depending on its thickness
Best when painted with acrylic or oil paint Best when painted with acrylic
Mix the colors available to get varying shades (Example: Knead yellow clay and red clay  to get orange) Pre-colored clay bars can be mixed, but it’s better to color post crafting


Durable post-baking, long-lasting, and waterproof It might dissolve in water or heat
Kneading and conditioning time is extra Easy to start with; feels super light and dries faster
It doesn’t shrink while hardening Shrinks a bit during the hardening process
It might not be safe for children Safe for children
It doesn’t require sealing to make it water-resistant It needs to be sealed to make it water-resistant


Now that we have established the difference between air-dry and polymer clay let us review the Das Air-Hardening Clay.


Read the 9000+ Reviews on Amazon by clicking here.


Das Air-Hardening Clay: Complete Review

Manufactured by the company DAS (Daler-Rowney DAS), which is based in Italy, this particular air-hardening clay is best suited to modeling your flourishing ideas into reality without the need for firing. This clay material is easy to work with and dries up with a strong and firm finish.

No baking is needed to add permanency to this clay. Per centimeter thickness of this clay would require about 24 hours of drying and hardening time.


Making the Das-Clay Dry Quicker

In order to dry your Das air-dry clay faster than its usual time-frame, you need to follow the given steps:

  • Make use of wax paper
  • Put a bit of lotion on the hands and rub well
  • Make sure you avoid thinning the clay a lot
  • Make use of toothpicks
  • Remove the imperfections using water
  • Flip the project as you dry it out
  • Use an over for sped-up drying
  • Store the remaining clay within an air-tight jar


Can Water Be Used With DAS Air-Dry Clay?

Yes, you can add water to the DAS Air-Dry to help soften and join the pieces together. This technique can be used in sculpting techniques such as slab, coil, score-and-weld, & pinch.


Does the DAS Air-Dry Clay Break?

In general, cracking of lighter intensity is a normal occurrence in the air-dry clay. The case is the same with the DAS Air-Dry Clay. This happens due to the shrinkage that is caused by the water evaporating away during the drying process. Cracking is majorly an issue when sculpting is done over the armature, or a bulk of the water is used for clay mixing or sticking various parts together.


DAS Air-Dry Clay: Is it Waterproof?

DAS Air-Hardening clay needs to be dried for a minimum of 24 hours for each centimeter of thickness. Make sure you leave it in a dry and warm place for hardening, such as a versatile airing cupboard. However, you need to keep in mind that the clay isn’t waterproof, so you must not use it as a mug or other items for drinking purposes.


How can you store the DAS Air-Hardening Clay after Opening the Package?

In order to keep your air-hardening clay reusable for the next lot, make sure you store the remaining clay in an air-tight container or plastic bags that are sealed with the help of rubber bands.


Can I keep my Clay Item Made with Das Air-Hardening Clay Outside?

Any air-drying clay isn’t food-safe in nature or even waterproof. However, you can apply varnish in order to prevent it from cracking. This is especially required if you plan to keep it outside.




All-in-all, the DAS Air-Hardening Clay is ideal for the beginner as well as expert level pottery enthusiasts that need a versatile material to work with. This versatile clay can be used for creating decorative items, sculptures, plaques, or planters. So, the next time you plan online shopping, make sure you add DAS-Air dry clay to your cart.

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