Exploring clay

For the last class of the winter session, the home-school art students explored using oil-based clay.

Oil-based clays are made from various combinations of oils, waxes, and clay minerals. Because the oils do not evaporate as does water, oil-based clays remain malleable even when left for long periods in dry environments.

Oil-based clay is not soluble in water. It can be re-used and so is a popular material for animation artists who need to rework their models. It is available in a multitude of colors and is non-toxic. Oil-based clays are referred to by a number of genericized trademarks.

Oil-based clays are also suitable for the creation of detailed sculptures from which a mold can be made. Castings and reproductions in a much more durable material can then be produced. Items made from oil-based clays are not fired, and therefore are not ceramics. Because the viscosity of oils are inversely related to temperature, the malleability can be influenced by heating or cooling the clay.

Students learned about building with clay through various methods of slab, coil and pinching the clay.

Students explored hand-building traditional three dimensional shapes.

Students learned to roll coils, spheres and cylinders.

Part of the fun was exploring all of the many things your hands can do to turn clay into many exciting and wonderful three-dimensional objects.