Sonntag, 21. Juni 2015

Fimo Air Light - Clay Review


Fimo Air Light is one of my favorite clays to make fake sweets. In this post I'll give you some general information's about this product, and I will share my opinion and experiences with you.

General information's:
Fimo Air Light from the German company "Staedtler" (formerly famous under the name "Efaplast", from the company Eberhard-Faber), is a really lightweight and soft modelling clay that can be air-dried. It can also be dried in a microwave oven within some minutes. After drying, the clay can be modified with paints, glue or varnish. For painting, acrylic paints, water-based paints or school paints, are suitable.
Because the clay is so lightweight, it's perfect to make jewelry, figurines, masks, door signs or home decorations.

The Fimo Air Light packages are available in three different sizes - 125g, 250g and 500g. The 125g packages are available in these colors: white, yellow, red, blue, green and black. The 250g ones in white and the 500g packages you can get in two different colors - white and terracotta.
The clay comes in a special foil packaging, which prevents a drying of the modelling mass.

My experiences:
As I opened and used Fimo Air Light for the first time, I was shocked, how soft it is. The consistency is similar to a soft marshmallow. Before I started to work with Air Dry Clays, I worked with the oven-hardening Fimo Soft, which is in comparison with this product, hard as a rock. ^^

It's not stretchy at all, like as for example cold porcelain. It will break easily while modeling. Also it becomes crumbly and dry quickly, so you need to work really fast.
In my opinion it's really hard to avoid cracks in the surface. You can smooth the surface with wet fingers, but while the drying process, the cracks often come back. You should never place finished pieces in the sun or close to a radiator, also you shouldn't use a hairdryer, to accelerate the drying process, because this can cause cracks. After your piece is completely dry, you can use sandpaper, to smooth the surface.

After drying, the clay is really hard, lightweight and durable. The surface feels a bit like paper.

How to color Fimo Air Light:
It's not bad that the big Fimo Air Light packages are just available in two colors, because you can color the clay itself, with different paints.
You can use acrylic paints, watercolors, chalk pastels and ready colored Fimo Air Light packs, to color the clay. On the left picture, you can see the results.

I just used a little of the paints and so I got cute pastel colors. If you want to get brighter colors, you need to use a bigger amount of paints.
In my opinion, the best paints are acrylic paints and watercolors. The watercolor is more bright, but the acrylic paint is good too.
With chalk pastels, I haven't made good experiences, because I think, it makes the clay more dry and crumbly while kneading.

To color the clay, just flatten it a bit, add the paint on your clay and knead it together, until the clay and color blend together really well.

Note: The clay is often sticky to your hands while kneading it and if you mix some paints in, it's more sticky as normal for the first moment, also the paint could make your fingers really dirty. So maybe you need to wear gloves or you need to clean your hands with a wet cloth. Especially when you change the colors, you should clean your hands from paints and clay.

The drying processes:
1. Air hardening: Depending on the thickness of your creation, it will harden in a few days. For a even drying, you should rotate/turn your piece from time to time, during the drying process.
Because there is water in the clay, the piece will shrink slightly (maybe about 5% of the original volume).
As I just wrote above, you shouldn't put your piece under the sunlight or near a radiator!

2. Microwave hardening: You should heed the instruction manual for your microwave, and if you are a young person, let a adult person help you.
Take a microwaveable cup and fill in at least 125ml of cold water. Place your clay and the cup of water on the turntable. The water will guarantee an even hardening and will avoid overheating.
You should harden your project within 1 hour after completing it. Do not use the microwave variant to harden Fimo Air Light pieces, which are already air-dried!
Dry your Fimo Air Light at 600 Watts for approx. 10 minutes.
A more detailed description about the microwave hardening, you can find on www.staedtler.com

Why I like to use Fimo Air Light:
I don't know a lot of people, which use Fimo Air Light. The most don't like the texture and consistency. But I really like the consistency, it's so soft and because of this, it's great to work with. In contrast to the most Polymer Clays, which are really firm, my hands won't hurt while kneading it.
The clay is maybe not really suitable for making figurines or for other fine things, I guess, but it works very fine for my fake sweets projects. For me it's not bad that the clay get cracks while I work with it or during the drying process, because the most things I've make out of it got strong textures anyway. The small cracks make my projects more realistic, I think.
Also the clay picks up textures really well, so it's great to use it with molds too.
After drying, it's durable and hard to break. Many other clays are not as durable as this product!

Here in Germany or in many other European countries too, it's hard to find good Air Dry Clays. The most good clay brands are from Japan (in my opinion), but these are often expensive and not easy to get. Fimo Air Light is obtainable in every big craft stores here, so I don't need to wait a long time for an order. Also I think, that Fimo products have a pretty good quality!

What I make out of Fimo Air Light:
I just use it for things with strong textures for example pastries like cakes, donuts, eclairs, macarons and so on.

Prices:
125g costs about 4,49€ (ca. 5,04$)
250g costs about 5,49€ (ca. 6,16$)
500g costs about 10,80€ (ca.12,11$)
The prices are without shipping costs and they are from German online shops.

Note: Depending on the shops, the prices can vary strongly. It's good to compare the prices.

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Everyone need to make his own experiences, so if you are interests in Air Dry Clays, you should give it a try. Maybe you will like it as much, as I do.
I hope my post was helpful for you. If you got any questions, you can leave a comment down below.



Here you can read, how to store air dry clays. *click*

Kommentare:

  1. Hi dear...have you tried making flowers with this clay.

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    Antworten
    1. Hello, I don't. The clay dries fast and get cracks easily, but with some practice it shouldn't be a problem... I guess. :)

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  2. Hello, and thanks for your review!
    How is the Fimo Air light compared to Fimo Air basic (https://www.modulor.de/en/fimo-air-basic-modelling-clay-coloured.html) or Fimo Air Natural, do you know?
    Does it have the same texture?
    Does it crack more?
    And how much lighter is it?
    It would be very interesting to read about your comparisons!

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