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seeking recommendation for modeling clay


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 05:00 AM

I'm looking for the type that never hardens. Can anyone tell me a reasonable source to buy it from too?

TIA

#2 Steve Klc

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 05:30 AM

Plastilina--different degrees of firmness, different colors--we usually use "white" which is really a kind of manilla file folder color. $4 for a block that looks like a pound of butter. Try Pearl or other art and craft stores.

If you can afford it, I'd recommend you use the black rubber neoprene mats and cut your own forms instead of the plastilina--much cleaner, much easier than plastilina--especially if you want to reproduce your poured sugar pieces--like if you were going to make seasonal showpieces each year or multiple table centerpieces for an event.
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#3 bripastryguy

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 07:31 AM

sinclair-

I must say, Please listen to Steve. I did try and use the modeling clay even after Steve said it wasnt the way to go. The final piece didnt release with ease, in fact alittle difficult, then I calld a local plumbing supplier and got some left over neoprene matting and it worked a hell of a lot easier.
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#4 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 07:50 AM

Thank-you for the help. I attended a sugar demo by Stephan Treand, (whom was the person that air brushed the clown face on the French teams sugar piece last year) he lays regular plastic wrap in his cut out clay shape before pouring the sugar. The plastic natural smooths out as the hot liquid hits it. That made it release perfectly and the plastic gives the sugar a nicer edge then when it hits a hard edge.
So I want to try his technique. I'm only making small carrot shaped suckers for Easter and I thought this method would work great (cheap too).

Different degrees of firmness bothers me. I hope I'll be able to feel it through the packaging.

#5 Steve Klc

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 08:03 AM

Yes--and another thing to keep in mind is it's tough to cut very irregular or intricate shapes into the neoprene--for those--and depending on the thickness you want--plastilina can be the better way to go. It will be interesting to see how your carrot-shapes come out Sinclair--and after the kind of volume you're doing--which method you feel might have ended up being more efficient and more cost effective once you start doing "x" at one time and factor in labor. Please report back after you start cranking these out with what you discover--ok?
Steve Klc

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#6 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 08:15 AM

I'd be happy to, but I won't begin until we are much closer to Easter.

P.S. I have a carrot shaped cookie cutter, so it should be a breeze, I hope.

#7 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 08:31 AM

I made aprox. 100 suckers for my sweet table. They were a huge hit. I glued together two sheets of green styrofoam for thickness, then wired white picket fence aroung the edges. I wanted variation in my carrot patch so I made two different sized carrot cookie cutters and used 3 different sized sucker sticks. From end to end they ranged in size from 8" to 18".

I did manage to make this more complicated then it needed to be, but the over all effect was worth the effort. I also learned several things along way.

First, I made my own cookie cutters out of copper sheets because the cookie cutters I owned all included the green tops making it impossible to pour two colors. That was a good experience. I've made stencils before and hand cut items but making the cutters is something I've always wanted to do. I made previous attempts at making cutters but never found the right materials before.

Then, after much shopping I couldn't find any clay for a reasonable price. Along the way I learned how to make my own clay from flour, sugar, oil and water. After re-pouring into the same shapes, the hot syrup began breaking down the molds a bit. Thankfully not enough where I had to stop and reshape them. I think a purchased clay would have held up better and not been affected by the prolonged exposure to heat so I'll continue shopping for it.

Lining the molds with plastic worked great. I was able to pick up a whole sheet pan, minutes after pouring so I could re-use the molds quickly. It prevented the edges from being sharp too. The sugar didn't stick to or melt the saran wrap at all.

As to cost and time spent, well I can't believe I could have done it cheaper. I did over complicate this by making my own cutters, making several sizes and pouring two seperate colors and flavors. But I learned several things making it worth the journey.

#8 elyse

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 12:34 PM

Sinclair, I'm glad they turned out well. I too have been toying with the idea of making my own cookie cutters for a few years.

Now to be a pain in the ass: while heating plastic wrap may have worked out fine, I do believe heat releases toxins that you may not want to eat/serve. On the other hand, you may. But it may be worth looking into. :smile: