Cold Porcelain~

Hey guys~ I've been making cold porcelain cabochons recently since I consider it less constricting compared to working with polymer clay and it's air dry so no baking during hot days of the summer! I look to Lisa on dA for charm inspiration because everything she makes is so cute!

C A B O C H O N S!!! ~taste the pastel rainbow~

What is cold porcelain?
Cold porcelain is an inexpensive, non-toxic, easy-to-work-with material. Despite its name it is not porcelain. It does not require heating since it gets hard by exposure to fresh air.
Originally from Argentina, its main components are cornstarch and white glue, having also low quantities of oils and glycerol which give its porcelain-like texture. Because most of the constituents are biodegradable, lemon juice and sodium benzoate are some times used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. It can be made at home very easily and it's used for small projects.
Yes, this is such an inexpensive air dry clay! My first exposure to it was from CuteTanpopo, a Brazilian youtuber that makes such kawaii cold porcelain charms! There are many cold porcelain recipes online but the best one is from Sangeeta Shah:

(skip to 1:45 to get to the recipe)
Or you could watch this variation from mypetitecakes:
(this youtuber is known for clay charm tutorials)
Recipe (cut ingredients & cooking time by half for normal size batch)
Cold Porcelain Paste Recipe by Sangeeta Shah
- 2 cups of Corn Starch 
- 2 cups of Elmer's Glue or wood glue (should be white)
- 1 Tbs of lemon juice (it acts as conservative) or 1 tsp of citric acid
- 2 Tbs baby oil (you could use any oil be it mineral, cooking, baby or even Vaseline petroleum jelly will work) 
- 1 Tbs of white liquid tempera paint
- 1 Tbs of cold cream (non greasy, without lanolin and silicone, I use Nivea or Ponds)
- Glass bowl (microwave compatible) 
- Wooden spoon 
The glue
The glue, one of the main ingredients of the recipe, must necessarily be high tack, white wood glue, Elmer's school glue or PVA glue.
The lemon
Some recipes for Cold Porcelain recommend the use of Formalin as conservative. This product, beyond being of difficult acquisition, causes damages to the skin and the health. This recipe substitutes lemon juice (or you could use citric acid if you are out of lemon). Both are easily found and safe to the health. Both are helpful to conserve the work after it is dry. 
The cream
Used only at the moment of kneading the paste and only 1 Tablespoon. It must not be greasy. The commonly used brands are Nivea & Ponds, which are found easily in stores selling cosmetics such as pharmacies or supermarkets. 
Mix all the ingredients in the bowl, excluding the cold cream, which is used for kneading the paste. I use a hand mixer to mix as it removes all the lumps and is a very uniform mixture.
Place the bowl in the microwave and cook it during 3 minutes on maximum power. Open the oven on each minute and mix the paste with the wood spoon, so that it cooks all around equally. Variations in the electric supply, differences in the size of cups used as measured and the different models of microwaves can modify the cooking time of the paste. Therefore it is essential that you observe it minute by minute. If necessary, monitor it every 30 seconds for the last minute, always moving to each last minute. 
As soon as the paste will be cooked, spread only 1 Tablespoon, as it indicates the recipe, on a marble or kitchen counter top surface and place the paste, still hot. The hotter the paste when kneaded, better the results. 
Knead the paste for some minutes; say about 5-7 minutes. The trick, the more you to knead, better it will be to work. 
When the paste is well kneaded, make a coil, thus preventing the formation of air bubbles.
Place the paste in a well closed plastic bag or in plastic film of kitchen Saran Wrap or cling film to prevent it from drying up. (I use a plastic bag lightly greased with the hand cream)
Essential tips
- The secret of a good texture is in kneading the paste while it is still hot, using only the amount of cream indicated in the recipe: 1 Tablespoon.
- The paste can be used as soon as it is completely cold. (with my experience I like its best results after I have kept the paste for 24 hours)
- While working, keep all the paste that is not needed covered in a plastic bag or cling film, so that it does not dry up.
- Color only the amount of paste needed. Colour paste does not keep for long 
- Very important: If you work with children, do not let them place the paste in the mouth or swallow it. The glue used has a low degree of toxicity but it should not be ingested.
What ingredients do I personally use? 
$1 cornstarch from Walmart (1 box = 16 oz = 2 cups)
Elmer's glue (8oz = 1 cup)
OR tacky glue (since I find the larger 16oz at Michaels for large batches)
Vinegar instead of lemon juice (another conservative & likely to find in your kitchen)
Craft paint/acrylics to color clay (use small amounts to prevent quickened drying time)
Baby oil (because you can always use the extra to soften your skin!)
Final tips:

EXPERIMENT with the type of glue and make sure to never overcook the cold porcelain! My last 2 batches were overcooked... It's only worked out for me perfectly on my Hz microwave with the 2 cup recipe. Remember, it should be able to shape it into a lump after kneading and when you pinch a piece away from the batch, it should form a teardrop and NOT short, ragged edges (this means you overcooked it!). Don't be afraid to add a tablespoons of water to help mix in the corn starch before microwaving. When kneading after it's been in the microwave, wear gloves if you have your nails done or powder your hands lightly in corn starch or add lotion to your hands to prevent sticking! IF you don't add white paint, then the clay will be transluscent~

When using molds, make sure to dust with corn starch or powder thoroughly so you can pop it out quickly! Otherwise it will stick to the mold and won't dry properly. I suggest only using silicone molds for cold porcelain (buy from Miniature Sweet or homemade).

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I am glad you are using my recipe and is working for you.
    I see you have posted my video on your blog. I don't mind that at all as many can benefit from it. I would like to add my website address for my cold Porcelain flowers
    Please add this with the old one as well so people can find me as I have lots of cutters for cold porcelain.
    Happy Crafting