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lilipil

Oil based "plasticine" clay recipe

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Hello!

Could anybody recommend or point me to the recipe of basic oil based clay? Please!

I know that's a weird question with a lot of "why would you do that".

I'm currently using plasticine – oil based clay for my master models, and then make slipcasting forms out of them.

I use hardest type of it, available at the art/hobby shops. It is usually grey or terracota-red, but this doesn't matter, just to understand what am talking about.

My current guess is to use dried earthenware or stoneware powder, add some wax or parafinn and some oil (like cooking oil, or motor oil – i think i need some type of non-dryeing oil).

Why do i need this?

1) I want to control the ingredients, so i can make harder or softer oil-based clay. Currently i can only heat up or cool the clay from the hobby-shop to change it's plasticity.

2) I need a huge batch of plasticine (like 100kg) and i have almost infinite supply of regular water-based clay.

3) Why wouldn't i use regular water clay if i have so much of it? I need something, that does not dry/shrink/crack and can be reused.

 That's the idea

Thx!

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@lilipil

Welcome to the forums. Interesting request.

Not an area of clay I have researched, but I do know a few things about it.  There are a combination of oils; linseed, petroleum jelly, and bee or paraffin wax. I assume you know this clay has to be blended hot?  The heat thins the oils and melts the wax, before any materials are added. From what I recall of a conversion back in 2016; the white variety is powdered limestone and the red body is made from Redart.  Redart is available from most any pottery supply house. My friend is at NCECA at the moment, but I will email him to see if he has a recipe. Might be a bit before I hear from him. I would think there would be a recipe floating around in cyber space somewhere.

Tom

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Hi and welcome!

Laguna makes this specifically for the entertainment industry and design models. It's not meant to be fired, but the info sheet does cite a 5% +/-  2% shrinkage.

http://www.lagunaclay.com/clays/western/em217.php

Google comes up with loads of oil based clay recipes, but like Nerd said, they all require heating, and doing 100 kg on your kitchen stove is going to be a time consuming load of hard work. 

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Thank you!

Yeah, mixing hot is a good tip.

Really looking forward to your friend's answer – advice from someone who tried it is highly appreciated.

---

I've ran into this (haven't tried it yet though):

  • 20 lbs. microcrystalline wax
  • 1¼ gal. #10 weight oil
  • 7 lbs. plain automotive grease
  • 50 lbs. gritless dry clay powder (Such as Kentucky ball clay, or Gordon clay)

Melt wax, oil, and grease together in an electric frying kettle; stir clay in slowly once melted. Pour into shallow microwave-safe plastic containers, or into a wet plaster mold.

from  “Sculpture Casting,” by Kowal and Meilach, ~1972

----

I should convert it to metric, but apart from that:

Microcrystalline wax – i wonder what's that and how much different it is from parafine

Regular "10W-30" should work as 10 weight oil

Plain automotive grease – "solidol" should work

For clay – pretty much any fine clay (non-chamotte) will do.

 

I'll keep posted if i try anything of this.

 

 

 

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Microcrystalline wax has a finer grain and a higher melting point than parafin. It's used in cosmetics. You can get it on Amazon, too.

If you're talking about chamotte, I'm assuming you're in Britain somewhere?

Kentucky Ball clay is one of those very fine grained clays, and tends to be inexpensive. I would think that any kind of kaolin would also work. The purpose is to provide bulk. Most internet recipes seem to call for powdered limestone, petroleum jelly and some form of oil that contains stearic acid. I think I'd rather avoid the 10w30 personally.

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I'm from Russia, Moscow  B)

So ordering anything in pottery volumes from Amazon or Lagunaclay is hard hehe. But i'll source something local instead. Looks like paraffine consists of microcrystalline wax and some other wax.

Yeah, i'm a bit worried about skin contact with industrial oils and lubricants too. Maybe i'll try the recipe with vaseline and paraffine first.

 

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Ah! So your searches will come up with different things than mine. According to wikipedia, plasticene is:

Plasticine is approximately 65% bulking agent, (principally gypsum), 10% petroleum jelly, 5% lime and 10% lanolinand stearic acid.[1] It cannot be hardened by firingmelts when exposed to heat, and is flammable at higher temperatures.

So, looks like chalk, petroleum jelly, whiting and stearic acid, which is a solid waxy substance at room temperature. It also is used in candle making, cosmetics and creams. Making soap and lotions and cream was a popular hobby in North America about 15 years ago, and stearic acid is pretty easy to source here. I don’t know if there was a similar fad in your area.

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@glazenerd Thx anyway! What does it me mean about sulfur?

@Callie Beller Diesel

Yeap, stearine  is sometimes added to paraffin candles in this part of the world too. Which convinces me even more concerning the use of vaseline and paraffin.

Looks like something waxy (so it doesn't move while cool) + something greasy (so it sticks to itself) + some fine filler (clay, talc, chalk whatever)  = oil clay aka plasticine

I'll try and write back sometime soon!

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38 minutes ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

@Rae Reich 1kg=2.2 lbs (ish), so 100 kg= about 220-225 lbs. If you google lbs to kg, you should come up with a converter you can use in the browser. Works for F to C as well. 

Thanks! Converted backwards ;( 

That's an even bigger heated kettle - restaurant?

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On 3/17/2019 at 11:01 AM, lilipil said:

Regular "10W-30" should work as 10 weight oil 

Not necessarily.  10W-30 motor oil is designed to be '10 weight' when cold, and gradually increase to '30 weight' (thicker) as it gets warmer.  (The idea is that a lower viscosity helps the car crank easier when it's cold).  I don't know the temperature at which the viscosity changes - but since your recipe calls for heating it, you may find it becomes too thick just about the time you think it would be getting thinner.

Also - in addition to concerns about prolonged skin contact, any petroleum-based substance (motor oil, automotive grease, parafin) can give off some pretty nasty fumes when heated.  Sounds like something you definitely want to do outdoors.

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