Intro: I recently purchased an air dry clay that I have used in the past for a senior inquiry project (college). This clay is a little different from the other air dry clay you can purchase in-store (not counting the online clay) because you can mix the colors while the clay is wet and it is extremely flexible, even after drying. I wanted to make something from this clay to test the durability (Amaco Cloud Clay) and also to see if the pigment added to the clay had to be something specific to last longer... so I used Simply Art Acrylic Paint and Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow to see if the durability changed depending on the medium used to add color.
What I created: I decided to make something for every-day use to test the durability of the clay on a small scale... So I created custom hair pins by adding air dry clay flowers to bun pins. I made a pink and purple flower using the dye to give color to the clay (I purchased only the white clay from Jo-Ann Fabrics); and for the green I made two different sections, one using the dye and the other using acrylic paint. I also used beads as the center to add some shine to the flower as the colors were pastel... even after adding so much medium to just a small amount of clay.
In Summary: I wore each pin for a whole day (roughly 10 hours) so far and there is already a difference showing in quality. The petals made with the acrylic paint mix did not even last that long, perhaps because I was not bending the petals to see just how flexible they truly are before reaching the snapping point. One petal broke off just an hour after wearing and the other fell off just as I was removing the pin at the end of the day. As you can see in the images below the petal did not come off from the core (where it was attached to the flower) but just in half where the clay was the thinnest. The pink flower is doing great so far...it has lasted a whole day at work and even some hours at home. To make it clear: the pins were placed in a bun and I did not touch the pins after placing them in my hair (except to remove them again at the end of the day). I actually even had my head covered with a veil while having the pink flower on for a few hours. I did not have my head covered while keeping the purple flower pin in.
Closing thoughts: I am thinking about further trying to make these flowers with DAS Air Dry Clay, perhaps using an acrylic sealer for more durability. I want to for sure now using the dye create a larger flower to see if the clay spread out on a bigger scale is weaker or not. I'll be posting a tutorial at a later date on how to make these quick and simple flower pins. Any ideas on what else could be used...?
At any rate I enjoyed making these...and wearing them (while they last).
I used to be a digital artist but switched back to traditional art as I feel more connected with the art I create this way. Currently, I create art whenever I can for art trades and commissions. I have worked with clay (earth clay to modern forms like Polymer, Sculpey, even Air Dry clay) along with watercolors, acrylics, oil paints, pastels, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, India ink, Chinese Colors, wires, felt fabric, yarn, weaving, basket making, and the list goes on and on. I am currently working on exploring nail art, make-up, dress making, scrapbooking, and small canvas art.
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