My Newclay models keep cracking during drying. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
Newclay is one of the lowest shrinkage clays available, but some shrinking (an average of around 10% should be allowed for) is inevitable on drying. In most cases, unrestricted drying of the model should not result in significant cracking; any slight surface cracking can easily be repaired using a little Newclay. More serious cracking is usually caused by strains in the drying model arising from rigid parts of the structure, e.g. wire armature or mounting board. In this case, try constructing a wire frame in such a way as to allow flexibility during drying or allow the model to dry first before attaching the base. Try to dry Newclay models slowly and try to repair minor cracks immediately to prevent them from becoming major imperfections at a later stage.
My Newclay models keep falling apart during/after drying. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
Newclay is one of the lowest shrinkage clays available, but some shrinking (an average of around 10% should be allowed for) is inevitable on drying. Models falling apart is almost always associated with joins in the clay. As the model dries and shrinks slightly, the joined surfaces pull apart and dry independently, losing adhesion with inevitable consequences. When joining pieces of Newclay, try to ‘weld’ the surfaces together as far as possible. In that way, the model dries effectively in one piece and should remain intact.
How long does Newclay take to air dry?
Precise drying times are difficult to predict as they depend on the size and shape of the model as well as on room temperature and humidity. A model should be surface dry overnight. The interior may take several days, or even weeks, to dry completely if the model is very large. While drying can be accelerated in a warm room or even a warm oven, we do not recommend this as it increases the risk of cracking.
Can Newclay be kiln fired and glazed?
As well as being designed to be air drying, Newclay can be kiln fired very effectively and with great results. Indeed, the nylon fibre burns off during firing, which results in a slightly porous texture with reduced risk of exploding in the kiln. All conventional firing and glazing techniques can be used.
Can Newclay models be painted, and what type of paints should I use?
Dried or fired Newclay models can be painted with great results. We recommend the use of good quality acrylic paints. Newclay Products also manufacture Gloss and Satin finishes for Newclay.