Clay art has become one of the most prominent and rapidly growing art forms in recent years. Its appeal stems from the breadth of its uses, increased creative flexibility, and ease of use. If you’re new to clay making, you’re undoubtedly curious about the different varieties of clays that are widely used in clay art.
In general, air dry dough and polymer dough are the two most popular types of clay for clay art. Each sort of clay does have its own features and advantages, varying in makeup, finish, and other factors.
If you’re interested in learning more about the distinctions between polymer and air-dry clay, please continue reading below.
What Is Air Dry Clay?
Let’s start with an explanation of what air-dry clay is. As the name implies, air dry clay is clay that hardens or dries in the open air. Its characteristic texture is squishy, spongy, and lightweight, making it very easy to handle and mould. As a result, air dry clay is suitable for a wide range of tasks, the most typical of which are novice craft activities and kids’ toys.
Based on the thickness of the artwork, air dry clay takes 1 to 2 days to completely set (though the clay may shrink a little during the drying process). The clay will also have a spongy and porous feel once it has cured. While air dry clay is available in a variety of brilliant colours and is frequently packaged in sealed bags, it can also be painted with acrylic paint.
In fact, air dry clay can be treated with a glaze to make it more water resistant. It’s also appropriate for kids that are three years old and up.
What Is Polymer Modelling Clay?
Because of its flexibility, polymer clay is amongst the most preferred types of clay. Polymer modelling clay, which is based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVS), is very easy to utilize due to its fast-working time. When the clay comes into contact with your hands, it becomes loose and flexible.
After you’ve completed shaping the clay, you’ll need to heat or cure it to make it set. The best aspect is that you could use your own oven, which means you won’t need to hire a professional to brick fire it or acquire any special drying furnaces.
Polymer modelling clay is used to make a wide variety of items, including beads, keyrings, trinkets, figures, statues, jewellery, and much more. You are only restricted by your imagination when working with polymer modelling clay.
Polymer vs Air Dry Clay
So, what are the main distinctions between polymer and air-dry clay? The way each clay dries is one of the most significant distinctions. Polymer modelling clay cures by heat, but air-dry clay hardens by air. Polymer modelling clay, in fact, will not set if left out in the open for days. Unlike air dry clay, polymer modelling clay does not shrink as it hardens.
Another significant distinction is that polymer modelling clay is considered to be more resilient after heating than air dry clay. Once cured, polymer modelling clay is waterproof and long-lasting. Air dry clay, on the other hand, has a tendency to dissolve when exposed to heat or water.