Monthly Archives: February 2013

paper clay china repair

I have to admit that I have been distracted by trying to finish my bedroom, and have neglected getting this paper clay project started.  And I can see this is going to be a constant challenge.  In my real life, I am an illustrator, there is an “about” page, and I will regularly post, things I have made, or painted, to give myself some credibility, because I think that’s important.  So after much consideration, I think the paperclay project will be a small animal, nothing too complicated, but something to get your feet wet.

But as I work to get the stages done and photographed, here is the list of what you will need for your own adventure in paper clay. You will also find pins, toothpicks and skewers handy as well as a good size chunk of styrofoam to stick your pieces in to dry.  I put a soaked folded paper towel at the bottom of a tupperware like container for my working paper clay.  It can sit in there for a long time and still be

And while you’re waiting let’s take a look at the repairing of my pigeon.wing tip

After applying the clay, allowing it to dry and sanding it smooth, I apply a coat of gesso and sort of blend it into the pigeon’s body.startingpaintingiamslob

Now working with acrylic, I will do my best to mimic the other wing.  You can see that I make a mess when I work.  Fact.  True story.pigeon finished

Once satisfied, I seal it with any acrylic medium, preferably with a little gloss to it.  And there you go.  Honestly you really can’t see the break.  I’ll look at it again tomorrow to see if it needs anything else, this photo doesn’t do it justice.  The next time something “nice” gets broken, you can try this technique.

I will be back as soon as I can with a step by step, that you can try or simply use as the impetus to start your own project.  I just want to say one more thing.  You have to let this clay dry as you build it up.  This is why I haven’t gotten the project together yet.  It requires planning and drying time.  You will need patience.  But it’s worth it.  And you might have more than one going at a time.

Thanks for reading.  It’s me viv.

Paperclay, because I love it.

First off, I just wanted to quickly point out that there now exists a subscriber button on the right side as you scroll down.  Sign up if you’d like to be pestered by me, viv.

About 8 years ago, I was contracted to do several gift lines.  To get through the initial stages, I had to create sculpted prototypes translating my flat illustrated figures to 3D.  Enter Paper Clay. Easy to work with, it is extremely light when dry, sandible and paintable. You can drill it, carve it, embed objects into it, the possibilities are endless.  This was my very FIRST sculpt.pumpkin stack

I have since also discovered it can be used it to repair porcelain. Here is a small bird that I broke off of a dish (intentionally). The bottom was ragged so I patched it so that the bird can sit.

fixed bird

The other fix, is this raku pigeon. One of the wings broke, so I patched it with the paper clay, sanded it smooth.  Photos of the finishing process will be in the next post, promise.


wing tipThis doll bust is a project I am in the middle of.  Unfortunately I don’t have “beginning” pictures but the head and the bust were each done separately.for scale

Both started with styrofoam squished and molded to the approximate shape. The clay was wrapped around the styrofoam roughly and then set aside to dry. Water is all that’s necessary to work the clay.  The second layer provided the final shape and details.  After drying and sanding to the desired finish, I drilled a small hole in the head and in the top of the bust, inserted a short but thick piece of wire and added a thin paper clay neck.

Finally this small bird may end up with the above bust.  Not sure yet.

tiny birddoll head

For more examples of what you can do with this amazing material, simply do a google image search of “paper clay”

Following is a list of what you will need to do a small project.

1. paper clay

2. small dish of water

3. styrofoam

4. wire and pins

5. rubber tipped sculpting tool

6. papertowels

7. fine sand paper

8. One Time spackling compound

THe next post will be a paperclay project. Oh boy.

I need to take some pictures. . . be back soon. . .

it’s me, viv

chalk paint, Viv’s second project

My camera has arrived, so now we’re in business.


As this project also still needs a wax finish, I did break down and buy a can of Annie Sloan’s soft wax for painted furniture and walls.  It will go a long way. I picked mine up in Boston, at Maison Decor.

a sloan wax

There were 2 panels and two drawers to be painted.

1.  tape off the areas to be painted


2.  apply first coat of chalk paint.  after it dries, check for smoothness, maybe lightly sand, and give it a second coat it you think it needs it.

3.  spray the back of your stencils with a light sprayable adhesive that allows you to reposition the stencil easily.  Try Michael’s or JoAnn’s.


4.  take a lighter chalk paint, and apply that coat over the stencil.  I was loose about this part.  The areas were small, and you really can’t screw it up.  This was my first attempt at sentciling furniture.  If necessary you can repaint the base coat and do it again.  Honestly this was less than a half a day of work.


5.  apply an acrylic glaze with a bit of pigment (I used umber) over the painted areas to tone it down.  So there it is.

full painted

In my next post I will be pulling out one of my favorite sculpting mediums, Paperclay.  Here’s a sneak peak of what you can do. . . This is my Humpty Dumpty action figure. . . Paper clay is amazing!


it’s me, viv