I’ve been experimenting with different air dry clays lately. I’m just unhappy with polymer clay’s limits as far as finishes and mediums that are compatible with it. It’s perfect for my illustrated jewelry but for my sculptural works, I wanted something less limiting and also a bit more environmentally friendly.
The PaperClay has been great in a lot of ways, but it takes forever to dry. I’m working on several new finger puppets with it and I really do love the texture which is slightly rough and way more organic than polymer can ever be. Still, I wanted to explore other options so I did some more research and read about La Doll – an air dry clay from Japan that a lot of doll makers swear by. I decided to get some and try it out on my next art doll.
I found La Doll to be smoother than the paperclay but still feels organic…more like stone which is what it’s made of. The drying time is definitely faster which is a plus because even when I use the oven to speed up the PaperClay it still takes days or even weeks to truly become dry and safe to paint and finish. I use armatures and don’t make it really thick but it still takes forever. I still love PaperClay but so far I like La Doll very much as well. More projects will tell whether or not I fall in love and use it exclusively. As far as textures go, both can be sanded nice and smooth if that’s your desire but I like a little grit to my work. It feels more honest to me somehow. I suppose as a human, imperfections are something I can relate to.
So anyway, without further ado, meet Grissel. She is wearing repurposed fabrics including vintage lace and doilies and sports a fancy brooch made of tiny rusted nails and cloves. She is around 6.5″ tall when seated.