Understanding Terracotta Clay

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to clay or you’ve been working with this medium for many years. With so many types of clay out there, it can be hard to remember exactly how they’re similar or what their unique characteristics are.

Terracotta and polymer clays represent two different types. If you’re new to this craft, or even if you have lots of experience, you probably want to learn more about the products you’re working with. Read on to learn more about terracotta clay and how to choose between the advantages of terracotta and polymer clay.

What Is Terracotta Clay?

Terracotta is used in several ways. Some people use it as a term for pottery or other items after they’ve been baked, while others use it interchangeably to describe any clay. Some others use it in reference to clay products that are a particular reddish-brown color.

The term “terracotta” is an Italian word that means “baked earth.” Terracotta needs to be fired in a professional potter’s kiln at a high temperature. It only makes sense, then, that the literal definition of the word identifies how it is crafted!

Terracotta’s Usefulness in Pottery and Jewelry

When you take a walk through your neighborhood or stroll into a home improvement store, you’ll probably see garden pots of all shapes and sizes. This type of pottery is perhaps the most common use for terracotta. These pots may be the most commonly associated product with terracotta, but they’re not the only thing this clay is used for.

Terracotta is often an unsung hero in jewelry-making. This clay has a porous texture after it finishes baking, making it lightweight. The lightweight nature of terracotta makes it perfect for pieces of jewelry such as necklaces and earrings. You can also glaze terracotta clay to give it a shinier look or paint it to display any pattern or color you want.

Terracotta v. Polymer Clay

If you’re trying to choose between polymer and terracotta clays, it comes down to what you want to make. If you love the look of terracotta pottery and don’t mind the more porous texture, terracotta clay is an excellent choice. But if you want a more durable clay that’s better suited to a broader variety of work, then you should choose polymer clay instead.

Polymer clay is easy to manipulate, making it a great clay for everyone no matter their skill level. You can leave it out for a while and it won’t dry out. Plus, it comes in a number of different colors and finishes. Unlike terracotta clay, you don’t need a professional kiln to finish a polymer clay creation.

Check out Sculpey® polymer clay for the best form available. There’s Sculpey® III — a great beginner’s clay — as well as the Bake Shop® line, which is a great multi-pack choice for kids. Clay artists and enthusiasts can share in the fun with premo Sculpey®, the premium choice for many crafters.

These are only some of the Sculpey® polymer clays available. Check out the various types available to find the perfect clay for your next project!

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