Make Your Own Cold Porcelain
Make delicate creations using this easy to make homemade air dry clay. Cold porcelain dries to a beautiful and durable finish perfect for making tiny flowers and other miniatures. It can be used alone or combined with other mediums like polymer clay, resin, or paper.
Cold porcelain uses common ingredients you can find in most kitchens plus plain old white glue.
What is Cold Porcelain?
Cold porcelain is an inexpensive, cornstarch based, air dry clay which is relatively easy to make at home. It’s easy to use and requires few specialized tools aside from a basic set of sculpting tools and a smooth work surface covered with wax paper.
Cold porcelain is not real porcelain, it got its name because the finished product looks like porcelain. It is an air dry clay that does not require firing or heating of any kind.
Cold porcelain when dry is slightly flexible and quite durable if it’s sealed with a waterproof sealer, this makes it perfect for thin, delicate creations that would be fragile if made from other materials. Cold porcelain will be damaged or even dissolve if it’s exposed to water without being properly sealed.
Noadi’s Cold Porcelain Recipe
There are many cold porcelain recipes available, this is the one I prefer because it gives good result and is non-toxic.
Please supervise children while making or using this clay, non-toxic doesn’t mean edible and pieces of cold porcelain could pose a choking hazard.
1 cup pva glue (white glue like Elmer’s Glue All)
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon mineral oil (babyoil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, witchhazel, or clove oil (these are natural preservative that help prevent mold, optional but recommended)
1. Combine ingredients in pot. Don’t use your good cookware for this because it can be hard to clean off.
2. Cook on low heat stirring constantly for 10 minutes or until dough forms and begins to come away from the sides.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can handle it.
4. Knead to a smooth clay consistency.
5. Store wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.
6. Color is translucent cream but can be tinted with acrylic or oil paint. White paint gives a true porcelain look. If you are using this clay with children make sure the paints are also non-toxic, some paint pigments contain toxic chemicals so check the label.
Model as you would any other clay, metal and smooth plastic work best for me as does keeping my fingers lubricated with a little mineral oil. The clay has a tendency to stick to wooden tools.
Keep any clay you are not using either wrapped in plastic or covered by a damp cloth to keep it from drying out while waiting to be used. If the clay it too sticky dust with a little more cornstarch and if it is a bit crumbly add a few more drops of mineral oil.
Dries in about 24 hours, expect 20-30% shrinkage.
Originally from Noadi’s Art Tutorials
What Can You Do With Cold Porcelain?
Cold porcelain was originally invented for use in sculpting miniature flowers and that is still the most common use for it. Cold porcelain works bet for thin delicate creations such as flowers, leaves, feathers, fabric, etc.
Because cold porcelain shrinks the only armatures that should be used with it are floral wires, cardstock, or a “soft” armature like styrofoam. To allow for even drying it really should be 1/2 inch (1cm) thick or less. Otherwise cold porcelain can be used much the same way as polymer clay.
Sealing Cold Porcelain
Cold porcelain and water are not friends so you really need to seal your cold porcelain creations for durability. I personally prefer spray sealers but brush on acrylic varnish also works well.
Just about any clear spray or varnish will work but acrylic or polyurethane based sealers are best. If children are using cold porcelain either brush on acrylic varnish should be used or an adult should spray the sealer for them.