The problem with cold porcelain clay is once you start making it, it's difficult to stop. There's always one more tweak to make to the recipe, to make it even better, or one more project you just have to try. That's what happened to us today.
The candy pictured above, is what I made with the leftover bits of clay from the gingerbread ornaments of yesterday's post. The dough had turned out pretty good, and I wanted to see if I could get away with adding some food coloring to it, without ruining it. The candy turned out exactly as I hoped it would, in respect to the texture of the clay, and the pieces drying without cracking.
So, today, we decided to use up the leftover brown glue from our turkey "clings" (we did go back, and add beaks to the turkeys first - correcting an oversight I made in my excitement of seeing that they did stick to the window). Just in case you don't feel like clicking back to our original post on cold porcelain clay (where you'll find the recipe), let me assure you, it is a messy project.
The clay starts out quite sticky, and difficult to work with.
But, after kneading, becomes smooth, soft, and considerably less sticky. Don't forget to throw the dishes into the sink for a soak, while you're kneading the clay. Otherwise, the glue will dry on them, and you'll have a real mess to deal with. I think I've said that before, but it really can't be stressed enough.
My plan was to turn the brown clay into the pieces of a gingerbread house. Since, dried pieces of this clay can be attached together with Elmer's glue, I figured we let the pieces dry, glue them together, and then glue on the candy pieces. But, I wasn't happy with the way things were going, so I scrapped that project, and we made some tiny (big nosed) bears instead. Sometimes you just have to let the clay tell you what it wants to be. Our clay wanted to be bears.
At the last second, I decided the bears should have some little hooks, so they could become pendants on necklaces, or Christmas tree ornaments - or even better, ornaments until Christmas morning, and then pendants on necklaces. With the clay already beginning to dry, I rummaged futilely through my husbands work bench looking for tiny eye hooks. He didn't seem to have any. Finally, I cut apart a paper clip with an old pair of scissors (he does have wire cutters, but I couldn't find those either), and bent it to the shapes I wanted.
Then, I stuck the paper clip loops into the top of the bears' heads, just behind their ears, and left them to dry. If the hooks don't stay in, they can be reinforced with glue later on, but at least the bears will have the right size holes in them.
We gave one a trial run, even though they're not completely dry yet, and the loop seemed pretty secure. You'll have to excuse the paper clip, but I couldn't locate my bag of necklace do-dads either, and the Christmas hooks are still in the attic, but you get the idea.
I'll revisit this post after the bears are completely dry, and we've tested the hooks for a bit longer - maybe by then I'll have found a proper fastener. Judging from the thickness of the bears, I'd say, they'll take at least 24 hours to dry.
One word of caution - you might want to think twice about making these, if you've recently made candy corn turkeys, or tootsie rolls. Even though the children were involved in making the clay, they still asked if it was something they could eat.
You have to admit, tootsie roll teddy bears do sound good. Hmm...I think I see tonight's project coming into focus.
It's great to be a homeschooler.