Thursday, 18 March 2010

Adventures in Cold Porcelain

I made Horace Butt-Bott from cold porcelain air drying clay.  He was inspired by the polymer clay creations of Lesley Levings.  He is made from the following recipe

Cold Porcelain (Microwave method)
N.B.  Read these instructions carefully before you begin.

one cup of  cornflour
one cup of white glue (Non Toxic) Tacky Glue
2 tblsp White Vinegar
2 tblsp  Baby Oil
Nivea cream (regular blue jar )
Glass bowl (microwavable)
oven proof heat resistant sheet or waxed paper (work surface)
medium sized plastic bag (food bag)

Mix the cornflour and glue in the glass bowl. Mix until you have a smooth paste.  Add vinegar and baby oil and mix again until all ingredients are combined.  This really does not take long and is worth the effort.

Using 30 second bursts start cooking the mixture in the microwave. After each interval of cooking, stir using your spatula.  This can be hard work, again is not a long process. Don't worry about the Nivea it is used at the end. 

How long the entire cooking process takes will depend on your microwave wattage. I work with an 800w  so I  need 1 minute 45 seconds. 

You will know the mixture is cooked when it is stiff, and in one lump.  The mixture will be hot so be careful at this stage.  It should be sticky but not stick to you too much.  If you pull at it and it sticks to you it is too moist.  Continue cooking until you can pull a piece off and manipulate it without it sticking to you.  Now for the Nivea. 

Take a tablespoon of the cream and smear it onto your work surface ovenproof sheet or waxed paper.  Spread an even layer all over the sheet.  Now take some for your hands.  Take the mixture out of the bowl.  It will still be warm so be careful.  You do need to work with it while it retains heat.  Knead your paste.  Keep needing until you are happy with the consistency.  It should be smooth and consistent.  When you are happy pop your paste into a plastic bag which has been smeared with Nivea.  Wait until it is cool.  Most recipes recommend waiting 24 hours before using your batch so would I.

Remember this is an air drying clay.  How long your creations take to dry will depend on how thick your clay is.  Horace has a tacky centre  He has been drying overnight.  I think he will take a day or two to be completely dried out.

N.B.  Your creations must be varnished or they will perish.  Use a water based varnish in matt, or gloss depending on your preferences and if you want to see what can be done with Cold Porcelain, I suggest you google, but don't get lost in the the web have fun.

Happy playtime.  If you do decide to use this recipe please leave a comment with a link, I would love to see what you achieve. 

I love this as a safe alternative to Fimo/Sculpey etc for kids.  It dries really hard and can be painted. 

Oh the possibilities.

Colouring your clay is easy.  Once you have decided on a project, take the amount from your batch.  Knead. You want to dry your clay out a bit.  Keeping it in the atmosphere dries it out.  Kneading it dries it out which is why you keep your batch in plastic and use cling film to cover smaller pieces of you design until needed.  Use acrylic paints directly squeezed onto your piece of clay continue kneading unitl the colour is what you want.

Right that's it.  My adventures in cold porcelain will continue to day in Scrapsville.


  1. I think I'll have to give this one a miss - I'm allergic to Nivea :)

    looks cool though

  2. Hey Sarah you can sub Nivea with vaseline and or ponds cold cream.

  3. NO WAY!

    You can make this stuff yourself!!!!!

    HOLEY COOL! I am so gonna have to try this! How amazing!


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