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Waste Clay


From Claire Ehman

Tip: "I use my waste clay to make fake cookies: you just mix your scrap clay to one solid color then you take a brownish color and roll it into a snake and bake it. Once it's out of the oven you cut it into little chips. Then you mix the chips with the scrap clay and shape the clay into cookie shapes. Put cocoa powder onto them and finally you bake them at mthe manufacturer's recommended temperature and time."

From Shauni McGarva
Tip: "I find myself having a variety of scraps lying around. Chop up a variety of the coloured scrap into small chunks then roll into a ball. Beads a plenty! Never wasted!!"

From Erin Hoyt
Tip: "After I have collected scrap clay to about the size of a computer mouse, I will firmly press it all together, then slice down through the mound. I have found some great combinations of colors and/or patterns this way! With just some shaping, but without any further mixing, I have made some very nice faux gemstone cabochons that have looked like various kinds of agate, jasper, etc. Also some have turned into fabulous fall leaf pendants. Almost like Christmas for a clayer!"

From Emily Busby
Tip: "I guess the same thing goes for me as well, I never use the words 'Waste clay' When I'm caning, I generally use the scraps to make the beads to surround my focal bead. I'll usually use the pretty cane slice as the focal, and whatever is left over, I roll into smaller filler beads. This way they are the same color tone as they came from the same cane!"

From Kristy Kelly
Tip: "I use my left over clay to make sturdy boxes and containers. I make the box, or any shape you want, pretty thick then I cover it with thin "good clay". This makes the structure sturdy and there is no waste. I also like that I can stamp really deep into the sides & top because it is so thick. Don't throw out clay, didn't your mother ever tell you there are starving artist out there?! ( :"

From Kathy Canuel
Tip: "I use my scrap clay to make stamps out of clay or to make molds. I roll out clay on the thickest setting of my pasta machine, then cut little circles out of it with some Kemper cutters. I then like to trail little snakes of scrap clay in various shapes onto these small circles. I put tiny balls of clay for a ball texture, make a spiral for spiral texture, three long snakes for a basket weave texture, etc. I even made an entire set of the Hebrew alphabet in this way (if you make letters, be sure to form them backwards on your stamps!). I baked the little circles with designs and then used other scrap clay to make snake handles on them, attached to the circles with Kato Liquid Polyclay or Transluscent Liquid Sculpey. Many artists marvel at my texture work, and they are even more amazed when they see all of my stamps, and I mean ALL of them, are handmade! Who wants to spend the money when you can just make them yourself?"

From Elliott Baker
Tip: "I make mainly figurines with my polymer clay. I just finished a project which created much left-over clay. The scene is of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus exchanging gifts next to a sign for the sale of a used reindeer and the reindeer itself, looking a bit worriedly at the sign. This project alone left me with an approximately 5-inch ball of assorted color clay. What I tend to do with my left-overs is this: I use the extra clay in non-visible applications. I hate building armatures, and when I can avoid it, I will make my underlying armatures from multi-colored waste-clay that no one will ever see. For example, if you were to cut Mrs. Santa in half, you would find she has tie-dyed guts - hehe."

From Indy Plummer
Tip: "I don't call it 'waste' clay either. But I have a small polymer clay bowl that I made a long time ago and I put all my scraps in there and when it gets full I twist them together and they make a great cane. I've made tons of pens out of scrap clay."

From Lorie Penrod
Tip: "I use my waste clay to create new colors by grouping like colors and running them thru pasta machine until colors are blended. Works great and who know what color you end up with."

From Jacque
Tip: " 'Waste' is like a four letter word. I use my 'leftover' clay to form the base and insides of pendants and beads to give them body and a little weight, then I just lay the 'good' stuff on top. Works great for using sheets of faux stones, and such!"

From Brian Knepper Sr.
Tip: "I am new to polmer clay sculpting and this site is verrry helpful. I use scrap clay (better then saying waste) to make beads by flattening then wrapping it around a wooden skewer. Then I roll it smooth and twist it to the desired look. Roll the end with your knife to trim or just taper it down. This makes quick, easy awesome beads."

From Kathryn Scharf
Tip: "I sometimes experiment with cane ends. Just gather them together and form into a log. Slice from the long end and apply to scrap clay as a patterned sheet. Some interesting results."

From Valerie
Tip: "Waste clay?? hmm... never heard the term. ;-) I use my waste clay to make feather canes. They make the most amazing feather canes I have seen."

From Linda Hess
Tip: "I agree that there is no such thing as 'waste' clay. I teach classes to children. We have used our 'waste' to make mud (colors completely blended together) for projects (vases, votives, weaving). Small bits get cut into natashas which are then used for pendants, pins, and/or ornaments. We also use it for the backs of mirrors (the blends can be quite beautiful). There is always a way to use it. Happy Claying!"

From SueLee
Tip: "Waste clay...hmmmm... is there such a thing? I have found that there is no "waste" when working with polymer clay as there are so many applications for this wonderfully versatile medium that every scrap is a treasure waiting to be explored! For example, I had a "mudpile" of seemingly disharmonious color scraps which when mokume gane'd (my term - 'scuse please!) made the most beautifully patterned desk set - a nice surprise! Leftovers become beads, embellishments, buttons, you name it - your imagination is the limit. The only time i threw any clay away was a thinly rolled piece i forgot to cover with plastic and one of my cats decided to take a nap on.... "

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