So, I wandered over to Hobby Lobby (a store we don't have back home) and looked through the clay options. I didn't realize until I had already made my choice that the speakers were playing Christian instrumental music. I'm a kind of proud that I didn't recognize it right off the bat. At any rate, now I'll have to make the stuff I bought into a bunch of little evil devils just to balance out my karma.

At any rate, I looked over the options. I'm switching away from Play-Doh because Play-Doh doesn't have much structural support and it dries into a crackly mess after a few hours. This project is all about keeping me busy on travel ("idle hands are the devil's workshop," you know), so portability is important, too. I want something that can be left behind and have a chance to be found by some stranger who'll (I hope) get a smile. So, it needs to be colorful, because I'm not going to be able to (or want to) cart paint onto the plane.

I like the look of that Sculpy stuff. There are so many colors available. But the vast majority of my hotel stays are going to be in rooms without an oven, so baking is right out. I also looked at the modeling clay, which seemed like a small step up from Play-Doh. But there weren't very many colors at the Hobby Lobby and I was worried that if it "never hardens" maybe it'll be too soft to stand up. That left me with Makin's Clay, "The Air Dry Clay." I got a good little set of colors, but no purple, sadly. I guess I'll start making the people have green heads.

Since I'm taking a more serious jump at this, I got a few plastic sculpting tools. I figure the metal knives wouldn't have been a good choice for air travel.

According to the instructions, I have to have an airtight container for the clay so it doesn't dry prematurely. I considered using the empty Play-Doh pots, but I'm not sure if they're really airtight. So I had to go out again, this time to the grocery store, to get some zipper bags. I got 2.5 gallon ones, so they'll be good as a working surface too. Don't want to ruin and hotel tables.

So I'm building up a little toolkit. I already had some tweezers and adhesive putty. I've also been grabbing paper clips and push pins from the office and using the straws from the hotel room's coffee service. I was so disappointed last night that the bar didn't have any little umbrellas. I really wanted my traveler to have an umbrella. But such is art on the road.

We'll see how this change turns out.

Oh, if you have any links to or tips on using Makin's Clay, especially about keeping from drying too early or just generally working with the stuff, leave them in the comments. Thanks!

1 thoughtful messages from friendly readers:

Bowie Mike said...

I would try putting a moist paper towel in the plastic bag with the clay.

Oh, and may the Lord be with you.