Quote of the Day

The idea of me is better than the reality of me. - Verity

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cold Porcelain and Polymer Clay: What is the Difference?

The thing about cold porcelain and polymer clay is that it is not an "either/or" case. They have specific pros and cons and choosing which one to use will depend on your specific needs or situation.

As far as quality is concerned, take a look at Little Bane and Little Shawn Michaels below:

Can you guess which one was made with polymer clay and which one was made with cold porcelain? Exactly. After painting and sealing, you won't be able to tell the difference. They're also equally durable (my kid has thrown and dropped both figures numerous times and they're still intact.)

The two biggest differences between polymer clay and cold porcelain is A.) cost and B.) ease of use.

A. Polymer clay is expensive. I have already posted a guide on how to create your own batch of cold porcelain, and the total cost of ingredients for that one will only buy you an eensy weensy small pack of polymer clay.

Basically, Little Bane is made from a single pack of polymer clay. Little Shawn Michaels is made from a batch of cold porcelain, along with 7 other similar-sized figurines. And there's still a small lump left over, leaving ample room for do-overs.

B. Cold Porcelain can be difficult to work with. You can sculpt and mold a lump of polymer clay until you're satisfied with how it looks. Take as long as you want. Afterwards you just bake it for 5 mins (or more, depending on how big your clay is or what the package instructions say) and you're done.

With cold porcelain, you have to work against the clock because the clay will start to harden after a few minutes. Once it does, it starts to get brittle so cutting and squeezing will result in cracks (something you need to avoid if you want your figurines to be sturdy). Cold porcelain also takes a lot of time because you need to let it cure and dry by itself for a day or two. You can't apply paint nor sealant until it hardens completely.

In my case, I work mostly with cold porcelain but I keep a batch of polymer clay in stock. If there's an order for something, I let the client pick between something that costs a little bit more but can be delivered in a day or two, or something that costs less but takes 3 days (at the minimum) to finish.


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