Saturday, February 6, 2010

Paper Clay Stuff....

Wendy, from Wendies Mini World showed her lovely fireplaces for Hagatha's Skool on her blog...quick go see; they're really nice:

Several people commented that they couldn't find PaperClay or had difficulty working with it. You can always order it directly from the manufacturer in 16 oz packages...which is twice the amount you get at your local hobby shop

Here are my favorite tools for working with the stuff. The rolling jig was made by my friend, Larry Bolduc from Unicorn Studios. He is a master at PaperClay stonework. See his work:

The jig is simply a wood frame around a square of plywood into which a square of vinyl floor tile fits nicely. The top of the frame is a scant 1/8 inch above the tile when it is in place. The length of PVC pipe is such that it rides on top the frame, rolling out a perfect 1/8 inch thin piece of paperclay. It's very slick, really. The tile can be removed for clean up and the pipe comes squeaky clean with water.

I treat the papercly like pie crust. If it is too sticky, I dust it lightly with talc; too dry, add a drop or two of water and knead it up a bit. I work fairly quickly with it and always seal whatever I am applying it to first. You can actually used a PVA glue to do this and it serves the second purpose of assuring a good adherence. Remember, since this is an air-drying clay, the "substrate" (your wall or whatever) will also absorb the moisture as the clay dries and eventually warp if not sealed....except probably for 1/2 inch plywood. :-)

Until it has been painted (sealed) you can spray it lightly with water to rework the texturing but after you've painted it, that won't work. I tend to texture as I go and cover the area with a damp paper towel if I am not going to finish at one sitting. I also try to wait to paint until the stuff is completley dry as the paint does two things:

#1. It adds more water back into the mix as I usually uses washes to achieve the "look" I want;

#2. As a result of #1, the possiblity of warpage increases because once sealed with paint, the moisture has no where to go but into the substrate.

I know people who have given up on paper clay because of this but if you take just a few steps to avoid warping, the results are dynamite! It's lightweight and very authentic looking.

Have fun...!



Debie Lyons said...

This is brilliant Tabitha. I have never worked with paper clay as I have never been able to get it. Off to look at Larry's site. Thank you so much for sharing. I have put my ruin tutorial up on my second blog now if you want a looksee.
Debie xxxxxxxxx

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Hi Susan. I know of a few uk suppliers that stock paperclay and will pop back here later with the links. It is so easy to get in the states but here everyone seems to have difficulty.
I love papercaly and have never had a problem with warping. I too add the texture while it is damp, but i also add further texture when dry by stippling with pva and perhaps a seperate texturiser. It also seals the surface prior to the painting and will prevent any more damp and warping if thats a problem with the surface you are working on.
We used boards like that at school to achieve the same thickness through the clay but i do it all to eye.
I never roll the full length of the clay i am working on and go about one third up from the bottom to roll up. Then reverse it and go down. I also flip and work from both sides. The pin then doesnt stick and the clay you can pick up because you have not pressed it down on the entire surface.
Hope that makes sense.
Here is a link for making papercaly at home. It would be ever so easy to make, the materials needed are easily available and you could save a fortune due to the larger quantities.
Ooops i cant for some reason copy and past the link here, but if you pop over to my blog on the post dated 1st Feb you can find it there.
Nikki xxx

nikkinikkinikki72 said...
You just add water to this one but it is exactly the same containing paper and earth clay. You also get the chance to add other stuff to this in the mix if you like. The possibilties are endless.

I cant find the other sites that sell it ready made but will keep looking.

Tabitha Corsica said...

Thanks for the tips, Nikki! ...and the links. I haven't tried rolling out both sides of the clay but I will.

Tallulah Belle said...

Larry's work is awesome...I really love it. You are lucky to have him as a a friend.

I have a similar set up to roll paperclay but mine isn't as posh as yours....just skinny sticks, a rolling pin and some wax paper...same theory though :-)

Peach Blossom Hill said...

Great information about Paperclay! I've used it but am no master by any stretch! I tend to go heavy with my 'washes' and end up with very colorful stonework. I will refer to this when I get ready to do my stone work fireplace in the cabin DH is building me! Thank you for the info and what a great jig!


WendiesMiniWorld said...

OOh fame at last ! LOL great info on paperclay too, I just roll mine out between two sheets of clingfilm and sort of guestimate the thickness, but love the jig youve made, might have to make one like that for myself!
for anyone in the UK having trouble finding paperclay, I found a link to a supplier here

Whittaker's Miniatures said...

At last I can leave a comment! This is fantastic, all these tips thankyou so much!! I always wondered the best way to roll it out etc. Do you have to knead it first or just roll straight from the pack in a lump? Its when I try kneading it just breaks apart in my fingers and i get in a tizz!! I cant seem to get the hang of rolling out larger amount, enough for a wall for example, I need to practise more. Will try the clay Nikki suggest too that you add water too. Fancy having a go at the homemade recipe, Kate xx

Tabitha Corsica said...

Kate, I don't knead it. I just take about 1/3 of the package and roll it out. However, I do mash any "cut out" pieces I have together and then roll sometimes. I'm referring to bits that were cut away. If it is breaking into pieces like that it might be to dry. I find it really handles just like pie crust dough.

Norma said...

Lots of good info and tips, thanks to you all :)