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Creating with Cold Porcelain

Updated on February 9, 2017

Make Your Own Cold Porcelain

Make delicate creations using this easy to make homemade air dry clay. Cold porcelain dries to a beautiful and durable finish perfect for making tiny flowers and other miniatures. It can be used alone or combined with other mediums like polymer clay, resin, or paper.

Cold porcelain uses common ingredients you can find in most kitchens plus plain old white glue.

What is Cold Porcelain?

Cold porcelain is an inexpensive, cornstarch based, air dry clay which is relatively easy to make at home. It's easy to use and requires few specialized tools aside from a basic set of sculpting tools and a smooth work surface covered with wax paper.

Cold porcelain is not real porcelain, it got its name because the finished product looks like porcelain. It is an air dry clay that does not require firing or heating of any kind.

Cold porcelain when dry is slightly flexible and quite durable if it's sealed with a waterproof sealer, this makes it perfect for thin, delicate creations that would be fragile if made from other materials. Cold porcelain will be damaged or even dissolve if it's exposed to water without being properly sealed.

Cold porcelain works great for making delicately shaped flower petals. Ideal for Spring or Easter decorations.

Noadi's Cold Porcelain Recipe

There are many cold porcelain recipes available, this is the one I prefer because it gives good result and is non-toxic.

Please supervise children while making or using this clay, non-toxic doesn't mean edible and pieces of cold porcelain could pose a choking hazard.

Ingredients:

1 cup pva glue (white glue like Elmer's Glue All)

1 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon mineral oil (babyoil)

1 tablespoon lemon juice, witchhazel, or clove oil (these are natural preservative that help prevent mold, optional but recommended)

Directions:

1. Combine ingredients in pot. Don't use your good cookware for this because it can be hard to clean off.

2. Cook on low heat stirring constantly for 10 minutes or until dough forms and begins to come away from the sides.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can handle it.

4. Knead to a smooth clay consistency.

5. Store wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.

6. Color is translucent cream but can be tinted with acrylic or oil paint. White paint gives a true porcelain look. If you are using this clay with children make sure the paints are also non-toxic, some paint pigments contain toxic chemicals so check the label.

Model as you would any other clay, metal and smooth plastic work best for me as does keeping my fingers lubricated with a little mineral oil. The clay has a tendency to stick to wooden tools.

Keep any clay you are not using either wrapped in plastic or covered by a damp cloth to keep it from drying out while waiting to be used. If the clay it too sticky dust with a little more cornstarch and if it is a bit crumbly add a few more drops of mineral oil.

Dries in about 24 hours, expect 20-30% shrinkage.

Originally from Noadi's Art Tutorials

Buy Cold Porcelain - Don't want to make it yourself? You can buy cold porcelain too.

Makin's Clay Air Dry, 500-Gram, Multicolor
Makin's Clay Air Dry, 500-Gram, Multicolor

Makin's Clay is the closest to cold porcelain that I've found in a commercially produced clay and it comes in many colors.

 

Cold Porcelain Videos

What Can You Do With Cold Porcelain?

Cold porcelain was originally invented for use in sculpting miniature flowers and that is still the most common use for it. Cold porcelain works bet for thin delicate creations such as flowers, leaves, feathers, fabric, etc.

Because cold porcelain shrinks the only armatures that should be used with it are floral wires, cardstock, or a "soft" armature like styrofoam. To allow for even drying it really should be 1/2 inch (1cm) thick or less. Otherwise cold porcelain can be used much the same way as polymer clay.

Sealing Cold Porcelain

Cold porcelain and water are not friends so you really need to seal your cold porcelain creations for durability. I personally prefer spray sealers but brush on acrylic varnish also works well.

Just about any clear spray or varnish will work but acrylic or polyurethane based sealers are best. If children are using cold porcelain either brush on acrylic varnish should be used or an adult should spray the sealer for them.

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    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 5 years ago

      I was looking for the recipe, than you for sharing. Great lens.

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 5 years ago

      I have some cold porcelain and molds, but haven't used them yet. I'll have to check out some more of the tutorials you posted before I'm brave enough to tackle it ;o)

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      Valuable art and craft form. Can this be linked to strengthening art forms associated with ethnic voices, for example, Native Amercian cultures ? Congrads on your Squidoo level 63. Thanks.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This sounds like a great project to do with my grandkids. I love that we won't have to use the oven!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I never knew about this-- thanks

    • profile image

      brynimagire 5 years ago

      Great resources listed! Blessed and liked.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Thanks for the recipe. Looks like a lot of fun. Who said art can't start at kitchen?

      ;-)

    • profile image

      SimplyTonjia 5 years ago

      This is a great lens. And, a definite must try. Thanks for being so thorough.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Thanks for sharing the cold porcelain clay recipe and tips. Your work is stunning, and I would love to try some of this just for fun.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      How wonderfully informative - you certainly know your crafting! :) Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Great idea for the creative beast when let loose. Never heard of this product before.

    • LilliputStation profile image

      LilliputStation 6 years ago

      My son has been using cheese wax to model. (I made a Squidoo lens about his hobby.) He is very interested to try your recipe. Thanks!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      This somethibg I would like to try. Sounds like fun.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      This looks like something I should try some time. Excellent instructions.

    • profile image

      evadeda 6 years ago

      i add instant fondant and it is satiny smooth and does not crack

    • spider-girl profile image

      spider-girl 6 years ago

      I make this clay often but with a slight different recipe, thanks for sharing yours!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      I have never heard of this method before. I will add it to my crafting collections. Thank you for sharing.

    • LadyLovelace LM profile image

      LadyLovelace LM 7 years ago

      I didn't realise you could make the stuff! Very useful information indeed!

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 8 years ago

      Very nice lens. Something for my miniatures.

    • Sheryl Westleigh profile image
      Author

      Sheryl Westleigh 8 years ago from Maine

      [in reply to gico] Seal after painting but make sure the paint is completely dry first.

    • profile image

      gico 8 years ago

      hello!! thank you for the tips

      I have 1 question should i add the sealer after I painted of before?

      Thank u!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      Wow - some beautiful pieces on here. I think I'm going to have to give that recipe a shot, 5* and thanks! :o)

      Http://www.Squidoo.com/ConnieCrankpot

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 8 years ago

      This is really interesting and a great lens too 5* and a touch of Angel dust for you.

    • profile image

      wohlsson 8 years ago

      To answer those who are asking about what balls/shapes to use as a

      form or base under the cold porcelain. Here is a website that been well tested for this

      use. It is Smoothfoam and is smooth and very firm. Its not that rough styrofoam. Also there are lots of differest shapes and the prices are great. Good luck.

      Bill and Jean

      www.plasteelcorp.com or Smoothfoam.com

      [in reply to Noadi]

    • profile image

      CreativeGirlz 8 years ago

      I have made this clay several times and it had worked quite superbly. But when the last time i made it, the finished items are cracking. a 1 cm ball, for example, got cracked from center, resulting in two pieces. Kindly tell me what should I do now?? I will be very grateful to u!!!

    • profile image

      caa2327 8 years ago

      [in reply to Noadi] Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question. I will give the foam balls a try! Thanks again!

    • Sheryl Westleigh profile image
      Author

      Sheryl Westleigh 8 years ago from Maine

      [in reply to caa2327] I think it would crack if you tried to use a ping pong ball. What you could use though would be some of those little foam balls that craft stores sell (sometimes stores with school supplies carry them too for school projects). Those have some give to them so they would compress under the shrinkage.

    • profile image

      caa2327 8 years ago

      I was wondering if I could use a ping-pong ball as a form under the cold porcelain. I read about shrinkage; if I used the ping-pong ball and shaped cold porcelain around it -- would it hold it's shape or would it split and crack? I want to create some Christmas ornaments and ping-pong balls are the only things that I can think of using for a form. Help and advice, please?

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Thanks for the recipe. This is something I should try with my crafty daughter.

      You're officially blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      very well set lens:) well presented:)

      5 stars!

      Blak Prince

    • GlennaJones profile image

      Glenna Jones 9 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Wow, thanks for the recipe. I think I'll be back to try it once the gardening season slows down.

    • Sheryl Westleigh profile image
      Author

      Sheryl Westleigh 9 years ago from Maine

      There are different formulations of cold porcelain out there and most likely she had a more flexible recipe than mine. It also could be that larger sheets of my cold porcelain could flex more, I've only created very small flowers with petals of around 1/4 inch. The great thing is that making cold porcelain is cheap so mix up a small batch and experiment a little!

    • profile image

      mozayko 9 years ago

      Thank you for your prompt response!!! I once saw these flowers made out of this cornstarch based clay that made the petals very flexible and nothing would happen to them. I remember the lady who made them would flex completely the petals and they would go back to their original shape. It seemed like a plastic kind of thing. I thought cold porcelain was this material since it has the same cornstarch base. It's flexibility is as I am describing it or the material I saw is something else? The pictures you have of the flowers look exactly like the ones I saw. Where can I buy cold porcelain? Thanks!

    • Sheryl Westleigh profile image
      Author

      Sheryl Westleigh 9 years ago from Maine

      It's slightly flexible, so if a petal is bent a little bit it will pop back to it's original position but bend it too much and it will break. You can add color mixing a few drops of acrylic or oil paint into the clay or paint it after it's dry.

    • profile image

      mozayko 9 years ago

      Hello! Thank you for all of this useful information. I had a question regarding the finished look of cold porcelain. Is it flexible? Like if I were to make flowers, once its dry, can I move the flowers without breaking? and how do you color cold porcelain?

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      wow! looks very interesting and fun idea. never tried this before, thanks for the heads up! :)

    • profile image

      gods_grace_notes 9 years ago

      Oooo, this looks like fun! I'm going to have to try this! Thanks for the easy instructions!

      Connie

      : )

    • profile image

      stacirosedesigns 9 years ago

      Am looking forward to experimenting with this medium. As an English speaker, it's difficult to find specific information that is not in Portuguese or Spanish! :) Thanks for creating this lense!

    • hearthealth lm profile image

      hearthealth lm 9 years ago

      Aha, the perfect experiment for all budding artists out there! 5* and faved, I hope you could visit my carnival glass lens!

    • cappuccino136 profile image

      cappuccino136 9 years ago

      This is a lovely and informative lens. Your sculptures are beautiful!

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 9 years ago

      This is fascinating, didn't even know cold porcelain existed. Thank you 5*

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 9 years ago

      This is interesting. Had never heard of before. Very beautiful.

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 9 years ago

      Very informative and sweet~~!!

    • Janet2221 profile image

      Janet2221 9 years ago

      Nice lens! Your sculpters are beautiful. Thanks for featuring my Fondant Cake lens. Rated 5*'s and lensrolled. :)