How to Make Japanese Paper Clay

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Also known as fuwa fuwa, Japanese paper clay combines the use of paper and clay to create a light and fluffy craft medium. Japanese paper clay makes it easy to create a wide range of craft items as you would with any other art clay. The difference between paper clay and other art clays is that it doesn't need to be baked or fire-glazed to dry and set. Knowing how to make homemade Japanese paper clay gives you the ability to experiment with a different sculpting and craft medium.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Paper shredder
  • Medium saucepan
  • 1 cup craft clay
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 qt. tempered glass or ceramic bowl
  • Waxed paper sheet
  • Spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Feed several sheets of paper through a paper shredder until you have 1 cup of shredded paper.

  • Add the shredded paper to the medium saucepan. Any type of paper works for this project from toilet paper to printer paper.

  • Add the water to the pan. Set the stove to a medium-simmer and cover it. Let the paper and water simmer for 20 minutes. This turns the paper into a sloppy pulp.

  • Place the clay into the bowl. Use an uncolored natural crafting clay, which can be found in craft and art supply shops.

  • Pour the hot paper sludge into the bowl of clay. Use a spoon to squish and stir the ingredients together for one minute. Don't worry about mixing it thoroughly at this point. Let it cool a little first.

  • Knead with your hands firmly to thoroughly mix the papery sludge into the clay for several minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.

  • Pour the warm, light paper clay onto the sheet of waxed paper. Let the clay cool and then wrap it with plastic wrap for storage.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a paper shredder, you can use scissors to shred the paper into small 1/8-inch strips.
  • Keep the clay refrigerated to keep it soft. If it air-dries it will harden.
  • Use candy or soap molds to create intricate shaped creations from hearts and stars to flowers and animals.
  • Use food coloring to tint the Japanese paper clay.

References

  • "Paper Clay"; Rosette Gault; 2005
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