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|Air Dry Clay Information|
|01How long is the clay good? Will it dry out before I use it?|
|Although it is double sealed, the clay will very, very slowly lose moisture over time. To assure the freshest product possible at any given time, we manufacture the clay kits about every 6 months. For best results, we recommend using the clay within about 2 years (and that date will be on the individual packages of clay). This will assure a "like-new" soft, fresh clay. However, we have tested and used clay that is 4, 5 and even 6 years post production and as long as the seals on the packaging weren't compromised, they performed very well - sometimes with the added help of a few drops of water. The friction and heat from kneading the clay loosens and softens the clay whether it is days or years old. The older clay may simply require a longer kneading time. If you receive clay that has clearly already air dried due to improperly sealed packaging, etc, (extremely rare, but things happen), we will gladly replace it.|
|01What do I need to do to prepare the clay?|
|There is no mixing involved. You simply remove the clay from the package, knead it for 2-3 minutes in your hands and roll and/or smooth it out into the frame (or onto a surface covered in plastic if you are not using a frame). To flatten the clay for the impression, you may either use the included mini rolling pin, or your hand covered with a plastic bag.|
|02How do I dry the clay? Do I bake it?|
|No, you DO NOT bake the clay. Any and all clay we supply is air drying clay. You simply knead the clay for 2-3 minutes, roll it out, make an impression and leave the clay to dry on its own in a cool, well ventilated area. For best results, cover the impression for 24 hours with a damp cloth until leathery hard. This will help prevent cracking in warm, dry environments. Do not attempt rush the drying process.|
|03Do I need to seal or paint the clay?|
|No, you do not need to seal the clay. The clay is self-sealing and when it is dry, it is water resistant. However, you may paint the clay with a water-based paint if you choose. Acrylics work well. Note, however, that because the clay self seals, it doesn't take paint extremely well. The paint will tend to sit on the surface so a couple very thin layers is best.|
|04Can I use the kits on my pet?|
|Although the air dry clay kits are not labeled as a pet kit at this time, it may be (and commonly are) used for pet prints. Follow the directions included with the kits as they are the same for both pets and children.|
|06Clay Preparation & Drying Tips.|
Preparation Tips: Always keep the clay covered with plastic unless you are actively kneading, rolling out the clay, or making the impression. Even once the clay has been kneaded and rolled out, keep covered with plastic until you are ready to make the impression. Just before making the impression, lightly mist some water on the surface of the clay. These steps will help prevent the clay from starting to dry out prematurely.
Drying Tips: It is rare, but occasionally we get reports about clay that has cracked while it dries. This is caused by the clay drying too quickly (most likely) and/or unevenly. When the clay cracks while drying, the surface and/or edges have dried much more quickly than the center. To prevent cracking, be sure the clay is rolled out evenly (not thinner on the edges, etc) and is as smooth on the surface as possible before making the print. We also strongly suggest placing plastic or a damp cloth over the drying clay for the first 24 hours, or until the clay surface becomes leathery hard. This this a must if the environment is warm and/or dry. After 24 hours, be sure to uncover the clay so that it can continue to dry thoroughly. Never allow the clay to dry in or near a direct heat source such as a heat vent or in direct sunlight. Overall, allow to dry in the coolest area of the home. The slower it dries, the better.