Durability Of Air Dry Clay | Discover The Breakability




Key Takeaways

  • Air dry clay has pretty decent longevity out of every type of clay out there. 
  • It requires special care and maintenance from the user’s side.
  • Adding paint or sealant over air dry clay can help decrease its breakability. 

Air dry clay is one of my favorite materials because making something with air dry clay is interesting for me.

I often use air-dry clay in my craft work. The last time I worked with my clay in the mid-time, unfortunately, broke my project. At that time, I thought about the durability of air dry clay. 

Durability Of Air Dry Clay

After a long time of research, I picked my answer and cleared my confusion. I Found many interesting things:

In this article, I will discuss with you the breakability or durability of air clay; I also discuss with you factors influencing durability, sealants, and finishes for added strength and so many things. So let’s dive into

Durability Of Air Dry Clay: Core Facts

Air-dry clay is a popular material for craft projects and sculpture making. Also called regular clay. It’s easy to use, versatile, and doesn’t require any special tools or equipment. Air dry clay is known as traditional clay.

However, one of the main concerns about air clay is its durability. Here are some core facts about the durability of air dry clay:

Durability Of Air Dry Clay Core Facts

1. Not as Durable As Kiln-Baked Clay: 

A common question among us does air dry clay break easily? Air-dry clay is not as durable or strong as kiln-fired clay or polymer clays. Are you still thinking is air drying clay strong or is air dried clay durable? It can break more easily if dropped or mishandled.

2. Vulnerable To Water: 

Air-dry clay is not waterproof like other types of clay. If it is exposed to water or moisture over time, it can soften and disintegrate.

3. Can Crack During Drying: 

Air-dry clay can crack during the drying process if it dries too quickly or unevenly. To prevent this from happening, you should give time to air dry clay take to dry slowly and evenly.

4. Can Be Made More Durable: 

Although air-dry clay isn’t naturally very durable. There are some ways to make it more durable, such as sealing varnish or sealant.

5. Suitable For Indoor Projects: 

Due to its lack of strength compared with other types of clays. Air-dry clay is best suited for indoor projects that won’t be exposed to harsh conditions.

6. Careful Handling Required: 

Your finished projects made of air-dry clay need careful handling.Because of their fragility compared with other materials like ceramic or metal.

7. Not Ideal For Large Sculptures: 

Because of its lack of strength large sculptures may not hold up well over time. Now, a question can arise in your mind: What is the best air-dry clay for large sculptures? The answer is: one highly recommended air-dry clay for large sculptures is La Doll Premier Lightweight Stone Clay.

Understanding The Composition Of Air Dry Clay

Air-dry clay is made from natural materials such as clay, talc, and other natural fibers. Air-dry clay is a versatile and popular crafting material. 

Availability of air dry clay wide range. As the name suggests, dries and hardens upon exposure to air. So, if you think how to harden air dry clay without oven? Then dry your cay properly in the air.

Understanding The Composition Of Air Dry Clay

Air-dry clay is often used for sculpting, modeling, and other arts and crafts projects. Here are some air dry clay generally contains:

  •  Air dry clay helps the particles of clay stick together.
  • Filler materials are added to give volume to the clay without adding weight.
  • Plasticizers are added to make the clay more flexible and less likely to crack when it dries out.
  • Water makes your soft clay workable in its initial state. But avoid excess water it creates wet clay.
  • Some types of clays contain coloring agents or pigments that give them different colors. Besides natural white or gray shades.
  • Most types of air-dry clays are non-toxic due to their composition.

Ingredients And Formulation Air Dry Clay In Home

Here are easy homemade formulas and ingredients:

Ingredients And Formulation Air Dry Clay In Home


  • 1. 2 cups of baking soda
  • 2. 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 3. 1 and a half cups of water


  • Step 1: Mix the baking soda and cornstarch in a saucepan.
  • Step 2: Add water to the mixture in the saucepan.
  • Step 3: Stir all ingredients together until they are fully mixed.
  • Step 4: Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken and looks like mashed potatoes.
  • Step 5: Once it reaches that consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  • Step 6: After cooling down, knead it on a smooth surface until it becomes smooth and pliable like clay. If needed, you can add more cornstarch if it’s too sticky or more water if it’s too dry.

Note: This air-dry clay can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container for future reuse of air dry clay. If you think about does air dry clay expires? Air-dry clay can technically last a long time if stored properly. 

However, over time, it may become less pliable and more difficult to work with.

Factors Influencing Durability

Here are some factors influencing durability:

Factors Influencing Durability

1. Quality Of Clay: 

The quality of the air clay plays a significant role in its durability. High-quality clay is more durable and less prone to cracking or breaking.

2. Drying Process: 

Your drying process can also affect its durability. If it’s dried too quickly, it may crack or become brittle. It’s best to let air-dry clay dry naturally at room temperature.

3. Thickness Of The Clay: 

Are you thinking how to make air dry clay less fragile? Thicker pieces of air clay are more likely to crack during the drying process. which can affect their overall durability. This is also the technique about how do you make air dry clay more durable?

4. Handling And Storage: 

How you handle and store your air-dry clay creations can greatly influence their longevity. They should be handled with care and stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

5. Sealant Application: 

Apply a sealant after the clay has fully dried. It can help protect it from moisture and other environmental factors that could damage it.

6. Environmental Conditions: 

Factors such as humidity, temperature, exposure to sunlight, etc. It can impact how well the air-dry clay holds up over time.   

7. Proper Mixing: 

Ensuring that all ingredients are properly mixed before use.   

8. Painting: 

Painting on top of your finished piece without sealing first might cause damage over time due to moisture absorption from paint products.

Guidelines For Building Durable Structures

Here are the guidelines that I usually follow:

1. Choose The Right Clay: 

The first step in building durable structures with air-dry clay is choosing the right type of clay and starting fresh clay. Air-dry clay that is non-toxic and easy to mold is ideal for creating long-lasting structures.

2. Prepare Your Workspace: 

Then ensure your workspace is clean and free from dust that could mix with your clay. As a result, creates a weak structure.

3. Conditioning The Clay: 

Before you start molding, condition the clay by kneading it thoroughly until it becomes soft and pliable. 

4. Building Your Structure: 

Start by creating a solid base for your structure, ensuring that it’s thick enough to support additional weight.

5. Adding Details: 

When adding details or attaching pieces, join and apply some water. Then press them together gently.

6. Drying Process: 

Allow your structure to dry slowly at room temperature away from direct sunlight or heat sources.Which can cause uneven drying, leading to cracks in the structure.

7. Reinforcing Structures: 

For larger project structures, try using wire armatures inside your sculpture for added strength.

8. Sanding And Smoothing Surfaces: 

Once completely dried, use sandpaper on your  dry clay projects to smooth any rough edges or surfaces.

9. Sealing And Painting: 

To increase durability further, seal your finished piece with a clear acrylic sealer before acrylic painting if desired. You can customize your paint if you want vibrant colors to look.

10. Remember Patience Is Key: 

Working with air-dry clay requires patience.  

11. Practice Makes Perfect:

Be practice! With practice, you’ll get better at working with air dry clay and creating durable structures.

12. Store Unused Clay Properly: 

To prevent unused clay from drying out, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Best Air Dry Clay That Doesn’t Crack?

DAS Air-Hardening Clay, Sculpey Air-Dry Clay, Laguna Air Dry Stone Clay, Amaco Air Dry Modeling Clay, and Activa Blackjack Low Fire Clay are recognized for minimal cracking, also known as the most durable air-dry clay. And also known as the best professional Air-Dry Clay.

Does Air Dry Clay Go Bad?

Sometimes, it gonna be bad, but whether it goes bad depends on storage conditions. If kept in an airtight container, away from moisture and extreme temperatures, air-dry clay can last a long time.

How Long Does Air Dry Clay Last?

When stored properly in an airtight container and kept away from moisture and extreme temperatures, air-dry clay can last for a considerable time.

What Is The Best Air Dry Clay For Sculpting?

One of the top choices for air-dry clay sculpting is Laguna Air Dry Stone Clay. It’s favored for its excellent sculpting qualities, smooth texture, and durability.


Air-dry clay is a famous material among us. This is the best material for showcasing your creativity. But when you start working with air dry clay you might stop or feel it is not good to think about the durability of air dry clay. 

Not only you, but I am also confused about this. But don’t worry! This comprehensive guide hopefully clears your all confusion. So, What are you waiting for; start your all-dreamy craft work today.

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 “fishingflora.com” 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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