The main difference between polymer clay and air-dry clay is that polymer clay needs to be baked (or fired), whereas air dry clay simply dries in the air.
Polymer clay and air dry clay are two popular crafting materials. However, they have some distinguishable differences in them.
Key Areas Covered
Polymer Clay, Air Dry Clay
What is Polymer Clay
Polymer clay is a type of hardenable modelling clay based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mixed with plasticizers and pigments. However, it does not contain any clay and is a synthetic modelling material. This clay is available in a variety of colours. We can model and shape it into a wide range of forms. It is baked in a standard oven or a dedicated polymer clay oven to create durable, hard-wearing objects. It is a versatile medium and helps to make many objects, such as sculptures, home decor items, jewellery, and figurines. We can shape polymer clay using hand or tools such as cutters, knives, and rollers. We can even compress it into molds. Polymer clay is available in a variety of colours, but special effects like translucent and fluorescent colours are also available.
One distinctive feature of polymer clay is that it is incredibly malleable. This means that you can shape the material easily. This feature makes polymer clay ideal for making complex designs. Mixing colours is also possible to create custom shades. Moreover, after baking, you can even decorate or paint it.
Another feature of polymer clay is the ability to blend with other materials. For example, you can mix it with metal powders to create a metallic finish or with liquid clay to make a marbled effect. It also can combine with other materials, such as metal, wood, or glass, to create mixed art and sculptures.
What is Air-Dry Clay
Air-dry clay is a type of clay that dries or cures with air. It is a versatile product. It is a type of clay that hardens without the need for firing or baking in a kiln. The composition of this clay includes natural materials such as water, clay minerals, and other organic materials. Many people use air-dry clay for various arts and crafts because of their versatility and convenience. Air-dry clay is available in various colours and textures. This material is used in the making of ornaments, jewellery, sculptures, and household items such as vases. Some people also use materials such as beads, fabric, and wires to add extra details. and textures to the final product.
Furthermore, air-dry clay dries quickly. It takes between a few hours to a couple of days for the material to dry, depending on the thickness and humidity of the environment. When dried, the clay becomes durable and hard, which allows it to be painted, sanded, or drilled. After drying, it gets a purpose and spongy texture.
Air-dry clay is affordable since it is less expensive than other types of clay. Moreover, you can seal the air-dry clay with the glaze for it to become more resistant to water.
Difference Between Polymer Clay and Air-Dry Clay
Polymer clay is a type of hardenable modelling clay containing polymer polyvinyl chloride mixed with plasticizers and pigments, while air-dry clay is a natural earth clay in which air dries to a hard solid.
Polymer clay is made up of synthetic materials such as PVC and plasticizers, while air dry clay is usually made up of natural materials such as paper pulp and clay.
Moreover, polymer clay needs to be baked (or fired), whereas air-dry clay simply dries in the air.
Polymer clay needs baking in an oven to cure and harden, while air dry clay can dry and harden naturally by air evaporation, usually within 24-48 hours.
Polymer clay is more flexible than air dry clay when it is at its raw stage, allowing for easy molding and shaping. But, once you bake it, it becomes very hard and durable. Air-dry clay, on the other hand, is more brittle and may crack if bent or twisted too much.
Polymer clay and air dry clay are two popular crafting materials. The main difference between polymer clay and air dry clay is that polymer clay needs to be baked (or fired), whereas air dry clay dries in the air.