can you use air dry clay on a pottery wheel? [Comprehensive Guide]




Key Takeaways

  • For working on a pottery wheel, air dry clay isn’t ideal and definitely not as strong, as traditional pottery clay is.
  • Air-dry Clay: Choose good enough clay to suitably use in a pottery wheel according to Clay types, Texture, & Project Requirement.
  • There are several trusted brand names available with air-dry clay for pottery wheel usage.

When the topic comes to pottery, the question arises: Can You Use Air Dry Clay On A Pottery Wheel? Let’s explore this topic.

A pottery wheel is an amazing tool if you want to mold clay into some lovely stuff. but not all clays can be used on the potter’s wheel. Because it’s easy and doesn’t need firing, air-dry clay  like Cryoll’s  is a goodie for all sorts of arts and craft bits.

can you use air dry clay on a pottery wheel

The pottery wheel is available to intermediate and advanced students. It resembles a clay-like body of white porcelain clays when damp. It must never be covered with common glazes and fired.

So in a nutshell, air clay may be great if you want something to sculpt with your hands, but it probably isn’t ideal for making pots on a potter’s wheel. When throwing pottery on a wheel, it’s recommended you use the classic pottery clay that’s made for just that. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make air dry clay food safe or craft beautiful air dry clay plant pots, air-dry clay is an excellent choice for these creative projects.

Can You Use Air Dry Clay On A Pottery Wheel?

One of the most popular methods of using air dry clay on a pottery wheel is very famous for several handy works. Note that this isn’t a choice on the average pottery wheel. You have been forewarned! If you’d still like to take a go. Below are my quick instructions on using air-dry clay on a potter’s wheel, considering the constraints and specifics.

  • Air-dry clay (like Crayola Air Drying  Clay)
  • Pottery wheel
  • Water
  • Pottery tools (optional)
  • Patience

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare Your Workspace to Set up your pottery wheel in a clean environment with good air circulation. Ensure availability of all needed equipment and materials.
  2. The air clay has to be kneaded to become useable since it is hard. Dampen the clay’s surface with water and mix it until it is easier to work with. It would help if you did not submerge the clay in water for an extended period, as it will become very gooey.
  3. As with any wheel turned Work, centering is crucial to stability in working with this clay (as with traditional pottery clay). Your conditioned air-dried clay should be pressed into the middle of the ball on the pottery wheel head.
  4. While you build the wheel, go slower. Ordinary pottery clay may fare far better at extreme rates of spinning when compared to air-drying clay. Pay attention when working with malleable or pliable materials, and be mindful of the limit of the clay as you begin shaping your piece.
  5. Once you’re done with it, could you remove it from the wheel? Clay that dries in the air takes time to cure. Keep your Work out of the reach of breezes and direct sunlight in a mild or low-temperature place. This process generally requires numerous days (even up to several weeks), depending on how thick the clay is.
  6. After the sculpture is completely dried, you can use acrylic paint or any other suitable material to paint on it. With air-dry clay, the clay is generally more porous than with ordinary clay, so be careful when you add the color.

Your air-dry clay pottery is now ready for use or display after painting and sealing.

What Are The Various Types Of Air-Dry Clays?

Air-dry clays come in various kinds. Each with its unique features and uses. In this section, we will learn about what they’re best for.

What Are The Various Types Of Air-Dry Clays

Can you use crayola air dry clay on a pottery wheel? Crayola modeling clay requires no baking and is easy to mold with kids and people use it for decoration. But if you go with something detailed and functional, then this step should be more challenging.

Polymer clay is very flexible there are many colors to choose from. And you can shape it, and when you bake it which makes it strong. Perfect for making jewelry, sculptures, or small models.

For pottery, you want to avoid overloading with glaze, and earthenware clays work great in giving it a more natural clays appearance. You must bake them for sturdiness and paint them with acrylic for a vibrant finish.

It’s made from this clay stuff containing paper fibers, so it feels pretty cool to the touch. It retracts and then slightly while drying. This is perfect for modeling, and it air-dries well or can be baked for more durability.

It is made out of cornstarch and baking soda. This homemade clay is a very light DIY and great for ornaments or simple items. It hardens in the air but is not strong at all.

These non-drying clays are meant for decorative purposes of crafting with air drying clays. Knowing these differences will help you play with Crayola clay or make jewelry on a day of Crayola fun with polymer clay.

Advantages Of Using Air-Dry Clay On A Pottery Wheel

Have you been curious about what it would be like working with Crayola Air-Dry Clay on the old faithful pottery wheel? Yes, the answer to this is a big YES!!. Let’s see the advantages of this fun combination in an easy-to-read and compact presentation.

  • No Kiln, No Problem: Say goodbye to expensive kilns. No, it would help if you had none for air clay: less fuss, less price, more art.
  • Easy-Peasy: Forget about endless kneading. Air-drying clay is a cinch (at least for the first attempt). You’ll save yourself prep time and make more art.
  • Consistent Sizes: “Traditional” clay can shrink quite significantly when it is dried and fired. Air-dry clay? Not so much. Your Work of art stays intact.
  • Go Green: Many air-dry clays are green. They even have cornstarch and paper inside. Earth-friendly art? Yes, please!
  • Get Decorative: Paint it up! Acrylic paints are loved by air-dry clay. Let your creativity flow and make cool designs!
  • Versatile Vibes: All different  type of clay  equal infinite possibilities. Play around with textures, colours, and materials.

So keep in mind that although air-dry clay offers many significant advantages, it may only work best for some projects.

Disadvantages Of Using Air-Dry Clay On A Pottery Wheel

Durability Dilemma:

Air-dry clay tends to be less complicated and long-lasting compared with regular clay ceramics. This material tends to break or crack, often on things meant to withstand wear — drinkware and dishes specifically.

Limited Size:

Bigger projects could be more complex. That means air-dry clay will give you little support if you build more oversized items of pottery.

No High Temperatures:

Air-drying Clay is not heat resistant at the same level as ceramic clay and will melt under high fire temperatures. That means you won’t end up with the beautiful, shiny glaze that high temperatures provide.

Speedy Work Required:

It dries quickly, so you have to work soon. It is terrible because when learning the ropes or if you don’t exactly go fast with your clay, this could be an issue.

Moisture Sensitivity:

Air-dry clay is sensitive to moisture. Once it’s dry, it won’t handle water well. So, avoid using it for pieces like plant pots that need to hold water.

Less Texture Flexibility:

If you’re into intricate textures, air-dry clay might not be as forgiving as traditional clay, which can be moulded more easily.

Which Kind Of Air-Dry  Clay Should You Use On A Pottery Wheel?

So, are you curious to try your pottery wheel with air-dry clay? But which type should you pick? Let’s make your answer easy to help you make this choice crystal clear while keeping it user-friendly. We’ll even explore how to add glitter to air-dry clay to give your creations that extra sparkle.

Consider Using Air-Dry Clays Made for Pottery Wheels: Not all air-dry clays are created equal. Look for those explicitly formulated for use on pottery wheels. They are engineered to handle the wheel’s spinning action.

Polymer clay, however, is your pick if precision and details are what you crave. You get to add more layers on the sides whenever you want. It’s smooth, easy to shape, and perfect for wheel stuff.

If you want a little bit of ‘old school’ pottery feel, earthware is excellent. They feel like clay and lend themselves wonderfully to wheel-thrown Work.

When creating minis or more giant sculptures, choose an air-dry clay that has low shrinkage. It helps you keep your pieces according to what is the actual size.

Do you want to make pottery paintings? Search for non-hardening (air dry) clays compatible with acrylic paints. It will be great to add colors and designs.

Choose the more eco-friendly option of air-dry clay with natural clays components such as corn starch or paper fiber if you care about nature. They’re gentle on Mother Earth.

Just keep in mind you want ones designed for pottery wheel use. These clays are formulated for the wheel and ensure you have an enjoyable, smooth time making pottery.

Is Air-Dry Clay A Good Choice For Your Pottery Wheel?

Air-dry clay is a convenient option if you prefer working with wet clay that doesn’t require a kiln or firing process. Unlike porcelain clay body that demand high-temperature firing, air-dry clay can be shaped and sculpted without the need for a kiln.

Is Air-Dry Clay A Good Choice For Your Pottery Wheel

Plus, you can save unused clay for future projects, and once your creation is complete, it will air-dry to become a finished product without the need for additional firing. If you’re interested in adding glitter to your air-dry clay creations for that extra touch of sparkle, or if you’re looking to mix air dry clay and polymer clay to make earrings with air dry clay, you’re in for a treat.


  • It doesn’t require a kiln and is cost-saving.
  • It’s simple to prepare with no need to fire.
  • Different types of clays offer texture and finish.
  • Natural ingredient-based air-dry clays are some of the most common brands.


  • Less durable than traditional ceramic, can impact functionality.
  • Big projects may fall apart.
  • Will not reach the high-gloss finish from high-fire applications.
  • Dries fast, so work swiftly.
  • Dries out quickly and doesn’t hold up well with water.

All in all, if you want a simple, easily affordable, and innovative utilization of a pottery wheel on air-dry clay, this is the best option. Know its limits and customize your projects according to them.

What Are The Best Brands Of Air-Dry Clay For Pottery Wheel Use?

Selecting the best air-dry clay for pottery on a wheel is essential to choosing the right brand. Here are some trusted options to consider:

  1. Amaco: Amaco’s line of wheel air-dry clays is easy to handle, has excellent consistency, and comes in a variety of colors.
  2. Activa: Activa’s air-dry modeling clay line (which includes the Plus Clay and La Doll) is renowned for its silky texture and flexibility.
  3. Crayola: It’s easy to use and widely available for beginners as well. This is an excellent option for beginners in clay modeling.
  4. DAS: “DAS” stands for Direct Air Dried, indicating that the clay has already been allowed to cure via air drying. This results in a beautiful texture with little if any cracking, which is helpful for wheel-thrown Work.
  5. Laguna: Laguna Clay has launched a range of air-drying clays with reliably predictable working properties for potters of all abilities.
  6. Creative Paperclay: This brand is focused on paper-based air clay for lighter-weight Work on the wheel.

Remember that your demands and tastes will determine which brand is ideal for you. Think about things like the sort of clay, its texture, and any unique requirements for your project. To find the perfect complement for your pottery wheel experiences, investigate these brands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Can I Use Crayola Air-Dry Clay On A Pottery Wheel?

It’s certainly doable to use Crayola Air-Dry Clay on a Potter’s Wheel, but it’s not ideal. I recommend using pottery wheel specific clay for the best outcome.

How Do You Stop Air Dry Clay From Cracking?

To prevent air-dry clay from cracking, you can follow these tips:
Work on this clay when kept moist.
Do not roll/shape too large cylinders of clay.
Let your clay sculptures dry naturally placing cover with plastic or clothing moist.
Ensure there is good air flow in your work space to prevent quick evaporation.

Are Pacifica Pottery Wheels Good?

Pacifica pottery wheels are usually very highly rated among potters. They are stable in performing, and considered suitable for novice as well as experienced ceramic artists.

Who Makes Potters Wheel?

There are different potters’ wheels produced by several companies such as Shimpo, Brent, Laguna, Pacifica, etc.

How Old Are Pottery Wheels?

Potters have been using pottery wheels for over 4000 years.  As far back as the ancient civilizations of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians.


Can You Use Air Dry Clay On A Pottery Wheel? Working with air-dry clays on the wheel is fun and cheap for specific projects. However, its long-lasting property and extensive work are limited. There are different kinds of air–dry clays to cater to other art projects or preferences. 

You are providing flexibility as well as eco–friendly alternatives. Its unique formula doesn’t intend to replace the original pottery clay completely. But only enhances what you have been doing with it in your pottery journey. If you have any queries or need more info about how to work with air-drying clay using an electric pottery wheel. Please do not hesitate to leave your comment below. 

Suppose you help this article find the right way to use air clay for a pottery wheel. Please share it along with anyone who might get value from learning more about air-dry clay and pottery wheels.

About the author

Written By

William Prince

William Prince

Meet William Prince!

With over 20 years of ceramic artistry experience, William Prince is not just a skilled potter; he’s a passionate guide to your pottery journey. William holds a Fine Arts degree specialized in pottery and he was also nurtured under the guidance of renowned potters. With over two decades of experience, he seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary aesthetics.

William’s inspiration stems from nature’s imperfections, translating them into unique, organic pottery pieces. As a patient and warm-hearted teacher, he’s known for conducting pottery workshops and classes, nurturing talents with his expertise. Join William on “” and let his mastery inspire your own pottery adventure. Uncover the magic of crafting pottery with a trusted mentor who’s dedicated to both the art and the artist.

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