I chose to use clay as I had used before however, I had always been happy with the versatility and the texture of it. But found the air dried clay to be very different to clay that is fired. The results were disappointing, as it was brittle and marks made were not that defined. The surface of the clay was almost stringy, and made it difficult to achieve the results I wanted. This was due to the vegetable fibres within the clay. This raised the question of quality of materials and the results that need to be achieved. I am of the opinion this is sub standard, but obviously useful for mark making and prototype making. But I feel that the quality issue would raise its head again and again.
Raised and indented designs were created with implements in the kitchen.
The marks made were interesting and varied and reminded me of the previous mark-making exercises, which have been a useful tool in exploration allowing me to generate further ideas.
Three dimensional objects were difficult to do as the clay ‘split’ due to its properties. Firing clay would have less problems as the clay has more elasticity, and drying out can be rectified with the addition of water. I did try this on the air dried clay but it made the surface slimy.
If the clay was of better quality, I think the ideas would have been more forthcoming, but frustration hampered the creative flow.
It is non-toxic but gave off an unpleasant smell. But despite this there is no inhalation danger. Hands and skin should be washed thoroughly. (I found it dried my hands out). However gloves could alleviate this.
Disposal is important and should not be put down the sink. As used in schools, this in itself indicates it is safe to use as there are stringent health and safety policies in place