Clay modeling is one of the oldest types of fine art. Nowadays, in the stores of goods for artists, you can often see clay, already ready to make toys or dishes from it. You can also buy it at a hardware store. However, there are craftsmen who prefer to prepare the material for sculpting on their own. There should be no pebbles or other debris in it. The clay needs to be cleaned.
- - clay;
- - dishes for soaking;
- - water;
- - pipette;
- - a hammer;
- - burlap;
- - fine metal sieve.
In nature, clay is found mainly in damp places. The property of this material is such that it retains water. You can find a place where you can dig up this material by looking at the plants. Mother-and-stepmother grows superbly on clay soils. Almost any body of water is formed because clay prevents water from seeping into the ground. The whole question is how deep it is. It is advisable to find places where it comes to the surface. Most often these are the banks of rivers and swamps, but it may be just a lowland between the hills. Most often there are blue and green clays. The color depends on the composition. Collect the required amount of material.
Check how good the clay is for sculpting. Break off a small piece. Moisten the clay with water to completely absorb the moisture. Mash up the clay. If, when pressed with your fingers, a visible glossy mark is obtained, the material is quite suitable. Roll up a small "sausage" and bend it into a ring. High quality clay will not crack noticeably.
Check the material for foreign matter. Clay should not react in any way to acid. Put a little hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid on a piece of damp material. If there is no boiling, which indicates a reaction, then everything is in order.
Break the clay into small pieces. Even a wooden mallet will work for this purpose, but you can also use the most common hammer. Place the pieces in a large enough metal container and let them dry completely.
Heat the water and pour it over the clay. Small pieces of the surface may remain above the surface. Wait for the clay to swell. Stir and knead.
Place a piece of burlap or other rough cloth on the table. Place the clay dough on the cloth and let it dry out excess moisture. In the process, do not forget to mix and knead the material.
Go to the actual cleaning. Clay can be cleaned from impurities in several ways. You can tear off small pieces from the dough you already have, knead them with your fingers, simultaneously freeing them from small pebbles and pieces of debris.
Use a metal mesh. This can be, for example, a sieve. Push the swollen clay that has already lost excess water through the mesh. All that is superfluous will remain on the surface.
If there is a lot of clay or it is heavily contaminated, you can do another way. Place the clay pieces in a large metal bowl and cover with water. Stir well to get a mass that resembles liquid sour cream in consistency. Let it stand for two hours. Pebbles will settle to the bottom, and small debris may float to the surface. Collect them, being careful not to shake the contents of the pot.
Drain the clay gently into another bowl. Place it in a warm place to allow excess moisture to evaporate. It is best to do this outdoors, in a sunny area. Do not cover the container. Wait until the contents of the bowl or pot thicken, acquire the necessary plasticity and become suitable for sculpting.