Clay Properties & Blast from the past

Olivia Newton John critter
Olivia Newton John critter

The reason this is going up, is not only to show off the cool leg warmers, but the shine on this clay.  This is Kato clay.  I only bought a little bit to experiment with.

This clay SHINES without even trying.  If you look closely you will still see fingerprints in the clay, but still it shines without so much as wiping it.

Most polymer clays do not sport this property.  The downside is that Kato is sort of expensive.  It is also quite strong.  (The pink clay, by contrast is not Kato)

– This is a critter I did a long time ago.  I didn’t have a lot of technique back then, but I loved to sculpt.  I have a lot of little figures like that.


  1. I love this! You have amazing talent! I’ve seen Kato clay, but I’ve been too timid to try it. How does it compare to Premo and Fimo?

    • Thanks so much. Kato is stiffer and needs more work, but the shine is so much nicer. It is essentially the same once well conditioned. I believe that it is supposed to be stronger, but I haven’t really needed to test it out so I cannot confirm that. What are you using it for? Maybe I can help.

      • Currently, I’m working on pendants up to 3 inches in length and width. I’d like to work on statues and figurines that are considerably larger. I’m also looking to paint my Premo pendants, and I’ve read it’s best to prime them with something like Sculpey Gloss, then paint with acrylics, then seal it with the gloss again after it dries. Can you paint on Kato just the same?

        • For pendants you can use any sort of clay. The strength in a small flat area should be very strong. (Which I saw photos of and like your idea on. 😀 I am also hoping for more updates from your blog!!!)

          For sculptures… Depending on the size you are looking at, you are going to want a core. (something other than polymer clay) First the clay is expensive, and second it doesn’t cook very well if it is very thick. When you have a very thick piece of clay there is more of a tendency to develop cracks in the cooking process as well.

          Painting Polymer Clay: There is no real need to put an undercoat on your clay before painting. At least not for adhesion. It might be that you would want an undercoat if you want to even out your clays surface for a smoother finish, but there are other ways to do that. (like sanding, and buffing and more sanding, but before cooking, you can use some dilutant to paint the surface smooth) Gloss is usually a top coat which seals your paint. – You can paint onto any polymer clay the same way without worry. If you make a mistake acrylics come off very easily. (I prefer simple green, but lots of stuff works) Also for a bonus.. a very nice (and cheap) sealant might be Future Floorwax.

          Let me know if you have any more questions

          • When you say that I need a core depending on the size, do you mean like tin foil, wire mesh, or armature wire? Something that I can mold around before baking?

            • Yes, exactly! When I say BIG, what I mean is anything that is going to leave your clay more than a half inch thick, (or 1 inch altogether from side to side)
              The cool thing I have started finding is that you really can use ANYTHING for a core. (Depending on if you are baking it or not.. for example you wouldn’t use a styrofoam core for polymer clay because it would melt)

              You can use tinfoil, you can use cotton, or strips of rags, newspaper, duct tape etc, anything you have laying around. These things make up the BULK of your project.

              Think of an armature as the bones or skeleton of your sculpture. So you might create your armature, and then still want to bulk it out with mesh or whatever else.

              This is not to say that you NEED to have one or the other. That choice is yours. So you could skip the armature and go straight for bulk. But the armature will help you remember what your sculpture is supposed to look like after.

              My favourite bulking out material right now is paper mache. I started experimenting with it and it makes an excellent easy to sculpt (when wet) and easy to carve out when dry.
              My paper mache is nothing more than newspapers and brown paper bags soaked and then tossed into the blender with water. Here is my recipe Then for shaping it I use a plain old wood rasp to get my roughed in shape when it is dry.

              If you have more questions .. you know what to do 😀

  2. Whoa this is too cool! And I had no idea this type of clay existed! It must be unique because they don’t sell it in stores around here. I’m definitely going to get some thought. Thanks!

    • Thanks Raul! It is actually a pretty common clay these days. What are you looking at using it for? If you can’t get it readily I can suggest some recipes you might use in the meantime. (IE you can make some of your own clays to model with, though they are airdry, but have a nice texture)

      • I would use it for “robots” or armor. I wonder how many colors it comes with. What types of recipes do you have? So this is air dry?

        • Hit the search on my blog for clay recipes, using ‘clay’ for the search word. Also, there are lots and lots of recipes on the internet for different clays as well. Lots of people use air dry clay due to the fact that you can make it, and that it is less expensive than polymer clay. Polymer clay, or air dry clay comes in any color you can think of. The reason is that you can color it yourself, or you can mix colors to get the color you desire. You just knead the colors together.

          If you make your own clay, add a little bit of color (from paints.. acrylic would work best) at a time and knead it into the clay until you get the color you are happy with. If you have leftovers, make sure to keep it in an air tight bag that you have pressed all the air out of.

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