Jump to content
motox

Trimming Hardened Clay

Recommended Posts

Hi forum,

I am a newbie who just started doing clay 2 weeks ago. I have had some good lessons learned so far. But I am struggling after my clay has hardened with massive shrinkage.

Before I go on, I am using Air-Dry clay. Which they say hardens to Earthenware.

I added more layers around the piece to keep the clay from breaking (lots of cracks) but I have some other problems. The shrinking of the piece made some extensions of the part lift up or sideways, away from original design. Which are now rock solid. 

I would like to somehow trim some of it out (a good amount). Sanding sound like it will take ages. I have also thought about doing a horizontal drill where I get the drill to touch it the piece horizontally and remove some?

Basically clueless here and would appreciate any help. 

 

TLDR: I want to trim a lot of hardened clay from a piece. Is there something that's the equivalent of Hyper Sanding to get rid of a lot of meat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not used the air dry clay.  But my recommendation is how ever you choose to remove some of the surface, wear a protective mask.  The dust you will generate is not good for the lungs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have *never* used air dry clay, but I did a quick search, and it seems it can by rehydrated by soaking it in water. 

If that's true, I would imagine you can wrap some damp paper towels around your object, cover it in plastic to soften it back up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I often trim bone dry clay by wiping the area to be trimmed with a wet sponge, and then scrap the surface with a trimming tool.  The wet area is kept small and shallow to prevent cracking.  Slow going, but after a some practice, a rhythm sets in and the wipe, scrape, wipe, scrape gets the job done.  I have no experience with Air-dry clay bodies, but expect the technique would work.  

LT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

motox,  never touched air dry clay but it's name suggests that you must make everything perfectly the first time or lose it.   shrinkage happens with real clay too but this sounds really bad.

have you considered real clay?  is the problem that you do not have a way to fire real clay?    are you interested in becoming a potter or just trying to make one thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone

Sorry for the late reply. I live in Australia, timing is upside down :P

Thanks to everyone who replied. 

Thanks Benzine and Magnolia Mud Research:  I will try the damping method and reshaping. I thought the clay is set for good once dry. That's very good information to know.

@oldlady Thanks for the input. I haven't considered real clay. One problem is not having access to fire it, and also will be hard to move the object for me. The reason I got into pottery is because I want to make a motorbike fairing model. So pottery is kind of the means to get to a goal for me. If this works, then I will be making more models out of clay. Otherwise I might have to change method and try something else. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@motox you might want to try oil-based clay, otherwise known as “modeling clay.” Rather than air-dry clay or the water-based clays that need to be fired. Oil-based clay is used by sculptors. It doesn’t dry or shrink. It hardens when exposed to air or when it gets cold, but it can always be softened up again by warming it, 

I don’t know much about making fairing models, but the car industry still sculpts car models using oil-based clay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you thought of using fiberglass, resin and Bondo (body filler)? I rebuilt a riding lawn mower motor housing using body filler and window screen wire. You might also consider plaster to make the mold for the fairing for your motorbike...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.