Materials: The paperclay, which is not papier mache.

Today I want to talk to you about materials. I think you know that I started with needle felt (or if you don't know, I tell you now!) But I've always been a lover of "mixing" media to get something new.

So I approached the paper clay which I love because it is a non-toxic pulp based on paper cellulose that it looks warm when combined with wool. In the last couple of years I have started using another material that I love  which is wood clay. But today I want to talk to you about paperclay.

On-line you will find many posts by competent people who talk about this material. This is my very personal experience.

What is paperclay and how is it used?

The paper clay is a modeling paste that dries in the air and therefore does not need to be baked in the oven, based on cellulose fiber and other ingredients that change depending on the formula but basically are: cellulose of paper, talc, pumice and binders. Paperclay is also one of the most used materials to create art dolls due to the subtlety of the result and the possibility of creating the most subtle and delicate details. The most valuable paper clay in my opinion is that of Padico which is Japanese and exists in different varieties, the precise formula of the paperclay remains secret in the quantities but the ingredients are known.


Paper Clay is a wonderful material because once dry it can be sculpted with small tools like wood, but much more easily. It can be sanded to smooth and brushed with a wet brush for a silky result. Once dry, you can still make additions with fresh paperclay. You can work it using it more solid like a clay or very wet for some effects.

Here I present my personal ranking of paperclays on the market.

  • Padico Premiere, my favorite: soft and very mouldable it costs quite a lot so it is suitable for the most precious pieces like the face of the dolls. It hardly makes cracks whe it dries. For me this is the top, its main feature in addition to softness is lightness. When dry it is very light and also lends itself well to being sculpted. Click here to see my latest Premiere doll.

  • Padico Premix is a mix of Premiere and La Doll also by Padico, it combines the lightness of Premiere with the solidity of La Doll. This is also expensive, very good, very solid when dry, slightly darker than Premiere, when it dries it is ivory. The only flaw, for my taste, is that it is too hard and needs to be conditioned, softened before using it and this takes some time. Click here to see Some things made with Premix

  • On a par, Creative Paper Clay soft and silky to work, perfect for making detailed things and to use with molds. Click here to see a creation made with Creative paper clay

  • I also tried other types of Paper Clay, less expensive like Jovi which is also on Amazon and costs much less. The thing I don't like is that it gets very dirty on your hands while the ones I listed above leave them practically clean. When it dries it's a little heavier and it can make a few small cracks, but it's great to start with and works well with molds. This drying paste is the whitest of all, it has a color that is almost optical white. Click to see little things made with Jovi.

My paper clay

Finally, I developed my personal recipe starting from the basic recipe that you can find on the internet based on flour, joint compound and other materials. If you are interested in the topic, I can make other posts where I will tell you how I use colors on it and maybe a post where I teach you the recipe. Click here to see my first ever doll that I made with self-made paper clay, very sturdy and quite easy to model.

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Commenti: 1
  • #1

    Katy Poenaru (giovedì, 22 ottobre 2020 12:36)

    Wonderful! I use air dry clay and silk clay. Air dry clay like Jovi is heavier when dry but more easy for details to work with. Silk clay is feather-light when dry, it can be used in combination with air dry as a detail addition. I would love to learn more! And I'm curious about your paper clay recipe. I've tried one from the internet but it was difficult to work with.

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