One of the biggest things i remember when i started out and was learning about different clay's for making masks i remember everywhere telling me that water clay was a one time use and the plus with oil based clay's was that they could be used over and over again. Well i started out with what i could afford and fell in love with water clay and how i can work with it. Oil based clay's do have their place, but my own personal preference is water clay.
When working with water clay
- make sure to keep your clay covered when your not working on it
- try to get all the air out when covering it with a bag, if you do a light mist on the sculpture before you cover it the plastic bag will cling to the sculpt and keep the air out
- If you work on it for over the course of a few months make sure to uncover it and spray it a few times to keep it soft
- If your piece does start to dry out put a wet towel over it and cover with the bag, leaving it to sit over night or a couple nights will make soft again.
I have a video here on you tube with some more tips.
Now for recycling used water clay. They do have machines and equipment that can help and are suppose to do it for you, but this is my trick. It takes a little bit of time but i am able to get the consistency that i like.
Start with a gallon sized Zip Loc bag and some water at the bottom
Next i tear the clay into smaller pieces to fill up the bag.
After the bag is full seal the top getting out most of the air and let the water soak in. Flip the bag a couple times
After the clay softens up you can smash the clay together and have a fresh bag of clay
I put 3-4 bags together to create a block, depending on how much water you add you may have to let it sit out for a little while to dry out a little.
There you have it, I have used the same clay for at least a couple years. I have bought a new box for when i have a larger project or i let a piece dry out to save, but the same clay has done well for me.
Hope this helps, feel free to comment if you have any questions.
Thanks for reading.