An Air Dry Clay for All: Creative Paperclay Review
Creative Paperclay (for brevity’s sake, I’ll call it CPC) is a water-based, air dry, modelling clay made in Japan. It should not be confused with paperclay, a term typically applied to a mix of ceramic clay and paper fibers that are fired in a kiln to create a light ceramic form.
CPC handles similarly to stoneware clay: You can soften and smooth it by adding water, and if it becomes a little too dry, spritzing it with water brings it back to life.
It blends easily, but it’s also stiff enough to allow for gestural work as well as details. It can also be carved and drilled once dry.
While not unbreakable by any means, CPC is surprisingly resilient. Depending on the object, it can survive a drop, which is not something that can easily be said for ceramics.
A strong internal armature increases strength. I use a stronger, but heavier product, such as Apoxie Sculpt, when working on really thin or exposed areas, such as ears.
CPC holds details very well (even finger prints), and it has the best adhesion from all the other air dry clays I’ve tried. It sticks to all sorts of materials including aluminum foil, wood, and Styrofoam.
It only comes in one colour, a sort of off-white, but once dried it can be painted with almost anything. I always use a gesso primer on my pieces to ensure a sealed and even surface.
Creative Paperclay allows for techniques that would not be possible with traditional ceramic due to the requirement for firing.
Where can I get mine?!
In Canada, CPC costs between $12 and $16 for a 16oz (about 450g) package. In the US, I’m assuming you lucky ducks can get it cheaper. It can be found at many art supplies stores as well as big chain craft stores such as Michaels, though it tends to be pricier there.
I purchase my stock directly from the Creative Paperclay company website.
CPC is largely enjoyed by doll makers and craft hobbyists, and many of the possibilities of this air dry clay are waiting to be discovered. Take the plunge to see what you can create.
Discover the secrets of sculpting with Creative Paperclay