Friday, August 13, 2010

Recipes to make your own cold porcelain paste

Cold porcelain is an air-drying clay (also called 'paste') ideal for making flowers and figures.  It can be purchased commercially (although hard to find in USA) or can be made at home.   Cold porcelain has a much finer finish than bread dough or even polymer clay.   When making flowers, you can get wafer thin petals.  When making figures, you can use Styrofoam shapes as armatures.


There are many different recipes for cold porcelain but basically it is made with cornstarch, glue, oil and preservatives.   The paste is cooked on the stove or in the microwave for a short time and then kneaded until smooth. 



Below are some of the easiest and best recipes to start with.   You can find many more recipes by  searching the web, but be cautious.   Some will call for ingredients that are not as 'user friendly' as other recipes.    Also, not all mineral oils, cornstarch, glues, etc will work the same, therefore, some experimentation with different products may be necessary.

Notes:   
  • Cold porcelain paste will dry translucent unless a whitener is added to paste recipe as you make it.   Wilton "White-White" (for cakes) can be used or white tempera paint or similar products.
  • Store paste in an airtight bag or tightly wrapped in plastic.
  • Keep in well lighted area.  Do not place in a dark drawer for a long period of time, this will make the paste moldy.
  •  Store  in a dry area at room temperatureDo not refrigerate, but you can freeze.
  • Use cold cream or dust with cornstarch to keep paste from sticking to hands, work surface or molds.
  • Paste that has been tinted with color will dry out faster than non-colored paste.   
I haven't personally tried every one of these recipes.   Please tell us about your experience with the ones you've tried, especially the 'no cook' options.


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Basic recipe #1 for microwaving (by Sangeeta

2 cups of Corn Starch
2 cups of Elmer's Glue or wood glue (should be white)
1 Tblsp of lemon juice (it acts as preservative) or 1 tsp of citric acid
2 Tblsp baby oil (you could use any oil be it mineral, cooking, baby or even Vaseline petroleum jelly will work)
1 Tblsp of white liquid tempera paint
1 Tblsp of cold cream, non greasy, without lanolin and silicone (Nivea or Ponds)

Glass bowl (microwave compatible) & wooden spoon 

Mix all the ingredients in the bowl, excluding the cold cream, which is used for kneading the paste. I use a hand mixer to mix as it removes all the lumps and is a very uniform mixture.

Place the bowl in the microwave and cook it during 3 minutes on maximum power. Open the oven
on each minute and mix the paste with the wood spoon, so that it cooks all around equally. Variations in the different models of microwaves can modify the cooking time of the paste. Therefore, it is essential that you observe it minute by minute. If necessary, monitor it every 30 seconds for the last minute.

As soon as the paste is cooked, spread only 1 Tablespoon, as it indicates the recipe, on a marble or kitchen counter top surface and place the paste, still hot. The hotter the paste when kneaded, better the results.   Knead the paste for some minutes; say about 5-7 minutes. The trick, the more you to knead, better it will be to work.

When the paste is well kneaded, make a coil, thus preventing the formation of air bubbles.
Place the paste in a well closed plastic bag or in plastic film such as Saran Wrap or cling film to prevent it from drying up. (I use a plastic bag lightly greased with the hand cream.)


(Note:  I can vouch for the ease of making this recipe.   It's the one I use myself, except I use the 'White-White' by Wilton to whiten the paste.)

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Basic Recipe #2 from Creations by Edith (stovetop)
2 cups or corn starch
2 cups of white glue
2 tablespoon of glycerin
2 tablespoon of stearic acid
1 tablespoon of sodium bensoate.

Mix them all together and cook it on low heat until it does not stick to the pan any more.


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No cooking needed, recipe #3

This recipe is made with non-toxic ingredients. It does not contain any chemicals that could be hazardous for your health and does not need to be cooked at all.

When kneading this paste, if too sticky, add some cornstarch,.  To keep from sticking, rub a dab of shortening (or cold cream) to your hands and keep the rolling pin very clean..... rub a dab of shortening on the table too, Small amounts, do not overdo it.

1 cup Aleene’s Tacky Glue Original
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon Tylose**
1 tablespoon Wilton liquid white color (this is add to the paste to prevents it from becoming transparent when dried)

**Tylose is a gumpaste used by cake decorators. It is the product as CMC.   

Mix all ingredients and knead to get a soft paste. If too sticky, add cornstarch.

Do not cook. Store in well lighted area, tightly wrapped in plastic. Do not refrigerate. 

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Instant CP, recipe #4

Edith sells a glue specially formulated for cold porcelain, this makes a real flexible paste, ideal for flowers.
Mix 4 spoons of adhercola glue and 4 spoons of corn starch.
Mix them together and it's ready!  No cooking needed!

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Video demo by Sangeeta showing her microwave method.




21 comments:

  1. Excellent vid, thank you so much for showing us. Love your beautiful flowers too. Thanks again.
    Lesley from Australia.

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  2. thank you for the paste recipes am going to try them out now, Your flowers are so beautiful, i will feel so lucky if mine are a quarter as good

    Joan

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  3. Thank you Joan and Lesley, but I can't take credit for all the flowers. Most are made by other artists but I encourage you to try making your own flowers. Cold porcelain is wonderful to work with!

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  4. which is your favorite recipe to use? So many options it is hard to know which one to try! Thanks for such a great site!

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  5. Hi Jen, I have to admit I haven't tried them all. I like using Basic Recipe #1 for microwaving (by Sangeeta) because it is so simple to make, but experimenting with the different recipes is really the only way to find one that suits your own personal preferences.

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  6. The recipe I use is 1 cup cornstarch plus a little extra for dusting hands. 1 teaspoon glycerin, 1 teaspoon cold cream (like ponds), 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cups of white glue (Elmer's school glue)This is an easy recipe. Mix all wet ingredients till smooth and cold cream is melted on top of stove. Then add the cornstarch mix first it will look like cottage cheese and then goes together quickly. Mix on s stovetop till you can lift it out of the pan. Make sure to put everything to soak while kneading. It will be very hot at first when you start to knead. That is when I put everything to soak so it cools a little to knead. My problem with this recipe is the first time I made it, it worked beautiful. Was very pleased with the feel of it. But the last 2 times I made it, it is so sticky to handle and it is like it never finished thickening up. I still use it but everytime I use it I have to add more cornstarch to be able to handle it again. Does anyone know what or if anything went wrong? And maybe how to fix this problem. Thank you.Linda H.

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  7. Hi Linda, Did you use the same brand of white glue both times? The quality of the glue can effect the quality of the CP. Also, it is very important to make sure the cornstarch is actually made from CORN, not wheat, it can make a difference.

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  8. hi, very easy receipe of cp. but i didnot know the tempra paint, what is it?

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  9. hi i have a new recipe for cold porcelain it goes like this in a glass bowl put 2 tbs peppermint extract and 1/4 cup water in that add 2 large tbs rice flour mix well and microwawe 30 sec mix well until it is creamy then add 1/2 cup white glue and 1tbs glycerin and 1cup corn starch mix till smooth then microwawe in stages at 12 to 15 sec mixing each time until very thick let cool and kneed well wrap in plastic and store in a tightly closed container

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  10. very easy and nice recipes... thanks for sharing them here.. :)

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  11. I'm pretty sure I made rubber today LOL, I followed your recipe for the Basic #1 clay. I used everything exactly as you had in the recipe...EXCEPT I used Tacky glue (I don't know what possessed me!)...I have a ball of rubber now! I knew it was wrong before it got in the microwave, mine was already a pretty sticky,thick, waded up ball of a mess :O)It looked nothing like the video. You couldn't pull off a bit of that thing without a saw! My fault though, back to try again. I might even use Elmers glue this time!

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  12. hi is thi clay just temporary or is it forever lasting?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eva, Cold porcelain is much more durable than the homemade bread dough clay you may be familiar with. Cold porcelain, when properly prepared and properly sealed, it should last indefinitely. In some countries it's more popular than polymer clay.

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  13. can I use cold porcelain to patch a small crack in the lid of an otherwise perfect teapot?

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    1. If this is a teapot that is actually used to make tea, I would NOT recommend. The steam could cause the CP to soften. If it's decorative use only, give it a try.

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  14. Hi Mary I tried to email you but it just bounced back :( I made recipe no 1 yesterday but it was very wet. I used school PVA glue, is this different from wood glue? I find it quite soft too and it marks quite easily as it dries very quickly when modelling. I used a Vaseline body lotion and it just made it stickier so ended up putting more cornstarch in it to get it workable but it sticks quite easily. I just wonder if I am doing it right!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kim, Elmers Multi Purpose Glue is recommended in more recipes than any other. As long as it's a GOOD QUALITY white glue, it should work. The body lotion could be causing problems, it should not contain lanolin and silicone..plain cold cream works well. (Are you getting Vaseline lotion mixed up with the Vaseline jelly that's recommended?). It is is also important to make sure the cornflour/cornstarch is actually made from CORN not WHEAT...there is a difference. Label should read "100% corn starch". If clay is too soft it may need more cooking or more kneading.

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  15. I made a gnome with CP. Body first and jacket on top of it. The jacket shrunk showing the body underneath. In addition I had a hard time smoothing the face of the gnome.
    Please let me know what to do.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I missed seeing your comment & replying in a timely way. Working in layers can help avoid problems similar to what you had. Cold porcelain will always shrink as the water evaporates....it's the nature of the beast. You could make a slip of thin CP to help smooth the face. If face is cured, dampen it slightly, then add the thinned CP to fill uneven spots.

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  16. tnx a lot for ur recipe . it was wonderful. do u know about ceramic paste if I want to make ceramic flowers?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, no. Not familiar with ceramics.

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