Are you starting your journey as a pottery artist and worried that an expensive kiln could put you off budget? Well, the key is to use air-dry clay. This clay variant’s versatility and affordability make it a top choice among beginners as well as expert crafters who are on a budget. It can be molded and shaped any way you like with no need for firing to achieve permanency. However, with so many brands to choose from, it could be a tad difficult to find your very first air-dry clay brand. To help you find the perfect air-dry clay brand from the options available in the market, we have reviewed some of the popular choices that fit any pottery artist’s needs.
Crayola Air-Dry Clay
Given its ease of use and affordability, Crayola Air-Dry Clay is among the top choices for pottery artists. It is perfect for simple home projects or even for your pottery class. You can also make a business out of air-dry clay figurines made of Crayola air-dry clay, given how durable they are. Another fantastic benefit of using Crayola is the fact that it can either be purchased in plain white color or a range of vibrant and bright colors.
However, Crayola Air-Dry Clay might not be as refined and smooth in terms of texture, and it also takes longer than other brands to dry. While you might have a longer time to work on your sculpture, the drying time will be slower.
DAS Air-Dry Clay
With the DAS Air-Dry Clay, you get access to a stress-free crafting experience. The smooth texture adds to the clay’s moldability and pliability factor. So, you can form and mold your clay into a desired shape fast and easily, especially if you pair it with the dedicated modeling tools by DAS. Moreover, DAS Air-Dry Clay dries faster than other air-dry clay brands. So, you can craft projects in big batches. However, when working with DAS, one has to be fast in terms of crafting to ensure the clay doesn’t dry out mid-sculpting.
Additionally, DAS Air-Dry Clay is prone to gentle cracking due to its fast-drying feature. So, it would help if you didn’t place the crafted piece in direct sunlight. This will slow down the drying process and prevent cracks.
AMACO Air-Dry Clay
AMACO is popular for the strength and durability reflected in the final project. This air-dry clay is ideal for creating projects meant to be kept for a long time. When sealed the right way, it can also be kept outside. AMACO Air-Dry Clay can be used for both hand-sculpting as well as wheel throwing. It dries out slowly, giving you enough time to work on your models perfectly. Additionally, the clay’s smooth texture ensures you don’t really have to sand down the final piece after it dries out.
However, AMACO doesn’t have a variety of available colors. So, you will have to color your project with the help of acrylic or any other coloring medium of your choice.
ACTIVA Supreme Air-Dry Clay
The ACTIVA Supreme Air-Dry Clay is known for its exceptional plasticity that helps with better moldability and craft sculptures of varying sizes. This premium-quality clay has superior strength that helps artists achieve exceptional details during the crafting process. Whether you are a hobbyist, a home pottery creator, or learning the art at a studio, ACTIVA Supreme is a preferred choice of clay variant.
The best thing about ACTIVA Air-Dry Clay is that it has minimal shrinkage even when dried fast. It doesn’t crumble into a powder when carved. However, you might not have a lot of time when working with this clay as it dries too quickly, which can, of course, be controlled with some moisture added to the clay during the crafting process.
Mont Marte Air-Dry Clay
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly air-dry clay brand, the Mont Marte Air-Dry Clay is a perfect choice. The clay is smooth and easy to knead, with a fine texture that aids moldability. It also allows crafters to create clay sculptures that are intricately detailed. Moreover, this air-dry clay variant has a delayed drying time as compared to other brands available in the market. So you get ample time to perfect your project.
Yet, Mont Marte Air-Dry Clay can be a bit stickier than other variants. So, you might have to use some baby lotion to avoid the stickiness.
Just like any other clay, air-dry clay too requires practice to attain perfection. These brands reviewed are a top choice for beginners as well as expert crafters that are on a budget. While all five of these brands are great for your pottery practice or DIY project, if you are looking for the top choice, the Crayola Air-Dry Clay is the one to choose. Apart from being a pocket-friendly choice, it also has a longer shelf life when stored properly. Moreover, its durability makes it ideal for outdoor projects. So, start your air-dry clay crafting journey with these clay brands.