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Air-dried clay

The air-dried clay doesn't need an oven to hardens. Instead it just hardens by exposing it to the air after it's been conditioned.
One brand I've used in the past is Darwi. You conditioning it by adding some water to it and knead it thouroughly. After that, you've got approximately an hour and a half before it's not workable anymore.

I found it quite hard to use because the type I had (there are a few different Darwi clays around) didn't have a very fine grain so I couldn't bring the details that I wanted into the model. Furthermore, after adding water it's a rather messy clay.

For larger sculpures it's really great because you don't need a big oven and it isn't a really expensive clay.

Strong points Weak points
Hardens on air, great for larger sculptures Not for small details
Quite cheap clay Quite messy


Round about 2002, I discovered a new brand: Formofit. It's easier to use as Darwi, and you don't need to knead it before using it. And you need only a little water to let it stick to another surface.

It's still a very soft type of clay, too soft to create really small details in a model, but good enough for most uses. It's not as cheap as Darwi, but certainly worth the extra money.

Strong points Weak points
Hardens on air Not for very small details
Not as expensive as Fimo/Premo
Ready to use