Thursday, March 24, 2011

Marisol's Cold Porcelain Recipe

Stovetop Method

Cold Porcelain is a "clay" or paste that can be made at home and is composed of white glue and cornstarch.  Cold porcelain is known throughout the world by many different names. It is also known as porcelana fria,  masa flexible,  biscuit, pasta di mais, among others.   It is soft, white and flexible and can be modeled into small figures or large.  Hard and durable when cured.

Cold porcelain requires no baking to cure and air-dries at room temperature.  As it dries, it will lose 15% to 20% of the original volume and this shrinkage must be considered when modeling.

Marisol Romero of  Porcelana Fria Paso a Paso has created the following 2-part video demonstration showing her stovetop method for preparing the cold porcelain paste.   There are many other recipes for cold porcelain, including microwave recipes.  Which one to use depends on your own experience and what you will be making with the cold porcelain. Some recipes are softer, some harder, some more flexible or rigid.    See our Recipes page for a few other recipes and try a few different ones to see which you are most comfortable with.


Marisol says:   The quality of the paste and elasticity of the dough often depends on the vinyl glue or adhesive you are using, always use known brands of good quality.

This is the recipe used for the cold porcelain in the following videos:

500 grams white glue   (about 17.6 ounces)
250 grams cornstarch    (about 8.8 ounces)
1 / 2 tablespoon stearin  (used as tallow in the manufacture of candles and soap)
1 / 2 teaspoon sodium benzoate  (preservative)
1 tablespoon glycerin  (a preservative, lubricant and thickener)
1 1 / 2 tablespoons of Vaseline

Spanish is spoken in this video demo for preparing the cold porcelain paste.   Even if you cannot understand what Marisol is saying, you will be able to see how she mixes and cooks the paste and learn the consistency when done.

Mix everything in a non-stick pan and remove the lumps, mix until everything is smooth and then cook over slow flame until everything starts to gather…keep stirring.   You can see the paste, as it cooks, begins to hold together like a firm dough and very little sticks to pan.  She cooks it for a little bit and takes it off heat to stir well and then cooks some more.

Marisol also demonstrates the kneading and stretching of the cooked paste.  As you knead it, if you are doing it right, it will have no lumps and be extremely smooth and easy to handle.   When ready, she divides the CP into smaller chunks (let rest for a day before using).

Video doesn't show Marisol putting the CP in plastic wrap or a container to store until used, but it should be always be stored air-tight.  Wait until it cools to wrap.

Part 1 of 2



Part 2 of 2



Thanks to our friend Morena in the Air-Dry-Clay Yahoo Group, we have a translation of some tips Marisol suggests in the above videos.   Marisol says:

  • The white glue known as "school glue" is not the best quality for cold porcelain, use a glue that has more consistency, like white carpenters glue.
  • Use a Teflon pan and wooden spoon.
  • Follow the amounts in the recipe. If you double the recipe it will be very heavy and difficult to mix.
  • Use low, low, low fire. Important to keep mixing while it is cooking, scraping around and folding the clay. That allows clay to cook evenly. Remove pan from fire if you feel you are not folding fast enough.
  • If there is shine, that means the clay is not cooked; shine means the glue in it is not cooked.
  • It is best to put the paste on marble to knead it, because it will stay cool. Marble or aluminum.
  • Once clay is mixed, separate into parts, cover with plastic until it is cooled down. Then wrap in plastic bag and put in glass or air-tight container. 
  • Best to wait 24 hours before using clay.

42 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the video tutorials. Just trying out the cold porcelain glue at home. I have been purchasing ready made. This is the first try of preparing it my self. Shall try out all of them,and make up my mind on which will be my choice. Thanks again

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  2. do you have to wait the 24 hours before use?

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    Replies
    1. Its better to wait the 24 hours..

      But, if you don't mind, your free to use it right away.
      I suggest just waiting a few hours before use.

      I hope this helped you in some way.

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  3. To Anonymous: Most teachers recommend letting CP paste rest for a day.

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  4. I made my first cold porcelain sample sculpture using Sangeeta's paste receipt but then it started to show cracks all over it's surface as it dried out, why is this happening and how can I prevent it?? appreciate the help.

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    1. Because your not using carpenter glue.

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    2. maybe because you didn't kneaded it long enough.. i'm using sangeetah's recipe but there's no crack at all.. and it's even my first time to make it..

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  6. To Natasha the reason it cracks it does not have any elasticity grind up quick cooking tapioca and in a double boiler over low heat Cooke in milk until very thick must be coverd and mix every 5min let cool and youse in making cold porcelain another one buy a package of model magic in craft store to a cup of glue add 1 tsp of model magic melt it slowly in a maicrovave and mix until completely smooth then add other stuff and make cold porcelain I tried it and it works

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  7. Is the stearine very important, i can't get any stearine here :(

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  8. Hi Sliekie
    Stearic acid is used in making soaps, candles, lubricants, and other products. Used as a hardener in candies and as a softening agent in other applications. You could probably find some at a candle supply, but there's other CP recipes that don't use stearic acid. See recipe page. http://coldporcelaintutorials.blogspot.com/p/cp-recipes.html

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  9. Hi Mary,

    I want to thank you for the recipe. I found all the ingredients :). Made my first one and it was great, very stretchy and fine to work with. But now i made a second one but i had to put all the ingredients ecxept for the glue together in a bag, and make the clay hours later.... So now i baked it in a pan, but it isnt as stretchy as my first clay was. Can i somehow put some more stearine or vaseline or glycerine in it to make it more stretchy or do i need to reheat it somehow?

    thank you in advance for your answer.

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  10. Hi Sliekie, Wondering...did you use the same brand of glue both times? Some glues don't work as well as others when making cold porcelain. If your 2nd batch of CP is stiffer, maybe all you need to do is add a bit of water and knead it in.

    If your cold porcelain is sticky, it needs more cornstarch... if it is too dry add a couple of drops of water.

    Marisol says: "The quality of the CP dough often depends on the vinyl or adhesive glue you use, test another brand because the elasticity of the dough depends a lot on that."

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  11. To Natasha,
    Sorry I missed seeing your post back in January. If it helps, Marisol posted on her blog on July 10th, 2012 that.....
    Cracks usually appear for two reasons:
    1 - if cracks appear on surface, then it is the poor quality of the dough. The dough quality often depends on the glue that you're using, change glue and make a test. You knead CP paste until it cools or at least until it stops sweating.

    2. if cracks are appearing in modeling, it is often because the dough dries in the heat of your hands. Try to do modeling or a little quicker or add a little cold cream to your hands.

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  12. Hi Mary,

    thank you for your quick answer :). It was exactly the same glue (carpenterglue) not cheaper ones or so, but what i did was: i mixed four ingredients in front, and after a fews hours i could put the glue in it, and then warm it up, that should be avoided i think. But today i worked with it, and it was still a little bit stiffy with water too, but I could work with it like usual, as in for flowers. Only thing i notice is that if you compare this clay with for example clay I bought from Thailand, you cannot roll out the clay as much as Thai clay can, but that is no problem at all. I want to try to make dolls too and its ok for me now when i spill some clay because this recepie makes it cheaper, so its great clay to work with. Thank you for your tips and answers if we are having problems ;).

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  13. Hi Sliekie, Thanks for sharing the details of your experience with cold porcelain. I'm sure it will be helpful to someone else.

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  14. Hi Mary,
    After having followed tutorials and recipes and techniques on cold porcelain fir over a year now I finally managed to get all the ingredients together to make Marisols recipe. The. Cooking but was very well explained and I took it off the fire once it was not glossy and could form a ball without sticking to my fingers. How ever the mass when I was kneading it became verry sticky and stretchy. I kneaded it till it was cool and placed it in a ball in a sandwich bag. Used Vaseline on my hands to keep it from sticking but now 24 hours later it is all adhered to the sides of the sandwich bag and is quite sticky, stringy, and soft. Eg. I made a stump like tube and placed it on a surface, the base stuck to the surface it was on. Do I need to cook way past the shiny phase till a proper consistency is achieved?...I work with fondant and gum paste a lot so I am guessing I need the gum paste consistency. Can I returit to the fire now and lcook it some more or should I just try a new batch. Sorry for the lengthy post. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  15. Hi Topsy-turvy, I haven't had that sticky problem myself but I'm told it's because the paste needs more cooking. Another issue that's been mentioned often is the fact that all glues are not the same. In particular discount brands may not work as well for CP. I don't know the science behind it. Why not try returning your batch to the fire, can't really hurt because it doesn't sound usable right now.

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  16. Tried using it as it is. It is soft but when kneaded and aired bit it does tend to stiffen slightly. Also noticed once I added acrylic colors it was a lot drier and stiffish. I made a little model to test out the drying time and coloring aspect. It did spread a bit because of the softness. Used a little Vaseline on my hands to keep it from sticking. Will be trying a different version of the glue soon and more cooking. Will post results. The glue used now is a high quality carpenters glue but it has a horrible gluey smell. My entire room smells of of the wood glue paste now...:) Thank you for your response. I am in south Africa and there aren't any cold porcelain artists that can refer to here. I am half Portuguese so can follow most Brazilian and Spanish instructions.

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    1. Hi Sugablaster, It just might be the glue. Did you use the "yellow" carpenters glue? I think a white glue might work better. Sangeeta says "Elmer's Glue or wood glue (should be white)". Edith says "white glue" or "adhercola" glue (which I'm not familiar with). Another recipe calls for Aleene’s Tacky Glue Original" (which is white). I think when "carpenters" glue is called for in recipes it's a language/interpretation problem. I would interpret it to mean a yellow glue and apparently so did you, but white glue seems to be the desired choice. I used Elmers and didn't get a gluey smell at all. Not sticky either. Good luck with next batch.

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  17. It was White wood glue and I had a nice White colored paste too. School glue is not smelly but might not be tacky enough either. Will keep experimenting...:)1/4 recipe at a time so as to not drown myself in the paste.

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  18. I used Sangeeta's recipe for my first time and I am having the same problems at Sugablaster it seems. Sticky and very soft. The paste doen't seem to hold details well as it dries (such as ridges on a pumpkin) I'm not aiming to make flowers, but figurines and so I think I need a stiffer consistency. I'm thinking I might not have cooked it quite long enough. Is Marisol's recipe stiffer than Sangeeta's? It has some different ingredients.

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    1. Yes...it may need more cooking or could be the glue used. Cold porcelain is a soft clay and not intended to hold fine detail but some recipes are stiffer than others. Personally I've only used Sangeeta's recipe but Marisol does a lot of cartoon-style figure sculpting so her recipe could possibly be stiffer. I know Sangeeta has a collection of different recipes and could probably tell you which is stiffer. Her website: http://www.everlastingblooms.webs.com/

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  19. Hi i have a big doubt. This video teaches how to make the CP, let it cool down and use it after 24 hours but, in which moment can i color the clay?

    I hope you can help me. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. You can color the clay at any time, however, it's usually recommended to add colorant just before using because the tinted clay doesn't seem to store as long as the untinted. Does this answer question?

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  20. @mary

    Yes, thank you. That was really helpful :D

    (reply to Nov, 28th)

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  21. Hola Marisol estoy muy interesada en aprender sobre este arte, me gustaria saber si en Melbourne conoces algun sitio donde den seminarios de este arte. muchas gracias por tu respuesta..

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  22. hi, i'm in India. i can't get white glue but i used fevicol to make cp. but some cracks appear on the finished piece. should i use water in fevicol?.( i don't have microwave. i always make cp in non-stick pan). plz hellp me.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Sorry I missed this question. But I'm not much help, I don't know what fevicol is. Maybe a visitor to site can be of some help.

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  23. hi, I've made the CP paste using Sangeeta's microwave method, but the paste isn't smooth. even after kneading, it keeps tiny little cracks everywhere and when I break off a piece, it is quite 'rough' looking on the inside. What did I do wrong?

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    1. Hi Stella, I'm not sure but it sounds like it might have needed more cooking...or maybe it got cooked too much! Sangeeta's microwave method is the one I use and I haven't run into your problem. Could it be the quality of the glue? Here's answers to some of the most frequent problems: 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 should NOT contain lanolin and silicone..plain cold cream works well. 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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  24. Where do you buy sodium benzoate in the States?
    This is the best video I have seen so far, you can tell she really wants us to be successful with her recipe:) Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Sodium benzoate is a preservative, used as a food additive and also as a preservative in medicines and cosmetics. You may be able to purchase at a bakery supply but I know Amazon carries it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064O8OAE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0064O8OAE&linkCode=as2&tag=10012009-20

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  25. Hi again! Thanks for your help!
    The Vaseline she uses is liquid instead of looking like an ointment. Should I replace it with baby oil here in the States?

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  26. One more thing, sorry. Can I use Elmer's glue all? I have not found white carpenter glue.

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  27. I use mint or peppermint extract it never goes moldy lemon juice will go rotten

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  28. I know this blog-website-tutorial-whatever was made a while back and is one of my favorites to use, but after reading some of the older posts of people complaining about it being too sticky, i think the problem is in fact that people are using a measuring cup instead of weighing out the ingredients. 17.6oz of glue has the same mass as 8.8oz of corn starch, but corn starch is lighter, of course. When I'm doing this recipe, I usually measure out two cups of glue and two cups of corn starch and it turns out perfectly. I use this recipe to make flowers becuase it never cracks and is easy to spread :)

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  29. Just wanted to add a note to the above tips Marisol stated in her video:

    She said you can knead it on aluminum, however, aluminum holds heat and the objective is to cool it down, so marble is best suited to knead on.

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  30. You can use micronized calcium carbonate (2 microns or 5 microns) as a filler to make a very cheap clay compound. Calcium carbonate is bought usually in a 25 kilograms sacks.
    If you want to add cheap color, just buy the iron oxide and mix it in oil (mineral oil, paraffin oil), with a wooden stick in a plastic jar until it becomes a thick paste. This way you don't mix in acrylic or other chemicals that don't fit this dough and that will change the properties of your clay by reacting with some of your ingredients. Just mix the corn starch and calcium carbonate thoroughly with a fork, then add other ingredients, use your mixer to smooth everything out and only after that cook it. This way you get rid of particles sticking to each other..

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