I do hope you’ll experiment with these two new slightly-altered paper mache clay recipes if you have access to a few cups of powdered ceramic clay.
The clay I used was ordered from Georgies in Portland. It’s their Wonder White clay. I think any ceramic clay without grog would work the same way. (You probably won’t want to order a whole 50 pounds, but that’s the smallest amount I could get. If you want to play with this, call your local pottery supply store and ask if they have any powdered clay).
I haven’t had a chance to try any of this new paper mache clay on a sculpture yet, but I have used paper mache clay that has wet ceramic clay mixed in, and I haven’t seen it crack when it dries – but it’s always possible that it could crack, as Steve suggested sometime last year. (Anything’s possible, right?) Once more people have a chance to try it out and give us their feedback, we’ll have a better feel for whether it’s worth going to the extra trouble to make this version, or if we should stick with the original paper mache clay.
One important point, though – I don’t think you can mix it with a small hand-held kitchen mixer. I’m pretty sure it would burn out the motor. A really heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook might work. But watch carefully, so you don’t lose your expensive equipment. (That would make for a very expensive batch of experimental paper mache clay.) It seemed to work just fine today in my food processor.
The specific proportions I used are below the videos. This first video is the latest one, showing the changes I made to the recipe after receiving your feedback. I really like this version, and the recipe you’ll find down below are for this version. The second video is the one I made a few days ago.
Latest Recipe for Paper Mache Clay with Powdered Clay Used as Filler:
- 3/4 cup Elmer’s Glue-All or Rich’s home made glue
- 1 cup Joint Compound (any brand except Dap)
1 tablespoon boiled linseed oil (or substitute glycerin or mineral oil/baby oil, instead)
- 1/2 cup powdered ceramic clay
- approximately 1 1/2 cups damp toilet paper, with as little water left in as possible
I have now decided, after using both of these new recipes, that the version using Elmer’s is “faster” when covering a large area of an armature. It goes on very smooth, is easy to spread, and can be sanded when it’s dry. The version with Rich’s glue, however, can be modeled with extremely fine details, and that’s what I’ll be using for eyes, noses, fingers, etc. The detail you can get are truly amazing. Try both ways, and see what you think.
If you’re wondering if this clay is stiff enough to make a sculpture without an armature, I can’t answer that. I haven’t tried it. It might work, but I’m not sure it would dry all the way through. If you try it, please let us know. If you’re thinking about using it with kids, don’t use the boiled linseed oil – it has chemicals in it. Use mineral oil or glycerin instead.
If you try these new versions of the clay, please let us know how they turn out, and if you like them better than the original recipe for paper mache clay. Do they go on smoother, can you get details easier, did I add enough clay, or too much? Does your clay crack or do any other weird thing that we should know about? Let us know.