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Review of Pluffy Modelling Clay For Children

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Pluffy modelling compound by Polyform Products

Polyform Products Pluffy modelling compound for children's crafts is a soft clay which remains soft out in the air but hardens with baking.

Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

The Bottom Line

Pluffy is a soft, easy to use non-toxic modelling compound designed for children age 4 and up. The slightly sticky clay does not harden if left out in air, but can be hardened by baking in an oven. When baked it forms a hard but flexible material which is very light weight. Finished pieces can be colored with markers or acrylic paints. The clay is soft, but resists smooth blending with modelling tools or fingertips, although separate pieces will stick together easily with slight pressure. Polyform Products, who make Pluffy, have a Pluffy Club online with projects for children.

Pros

  • Available in 16 colors, including Glow In The Dark
  • Does not Dry Out. Hardens with Baking at 275 degrees F. or 130 degrees C.
  • Suggested For Use by Children Age Four and Up

Cons

  • Sticky Residue Remains On Hands Despite Washing with Soap, Alcohol or Alcohol Wipes
  • Packaging Suggests Using Product On Glass or Metal Work Surface, or on Disposable Foil or Wax Paper.
  • Manufacture Recommends Keeping Unbaked Pluffy Away from Fabric, Wood and Finished Surfaces

Description

  • Good range of colors for bright children's modelling projects
  • Finished objects can be painted with acrylics or colored with markers
  • Comes out of the package soft and ready to work, little or no conditioning needed.
  • Remains soft but slightly tacky until baked. After baking it is firm but lightweight with a hard non absorbent outer surface.

Guide Review - Review of Pluffy Modelling Clay For Children

Pluffy modelling clay is a new soft modelling compound aimed at the children's craft market with a range of fifteen colors of clay plus a glow in the dark clay. Labelled Non Toxic, it is a soft, squishable modelling compound which does not dry out in air. To permanently save a creation, it can be baked at 275 degrees F or 130 degrees C for fifteen minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness. When tested a 3/4 inch diameter ball developed a crack when baked. Baking gives it a hardness and slightly glazed surface compared to the unbaked clay. It does darken or brown slightly when baked. (White turns slighty off white).

The clay is sold in 4 oz. individual packages or in sets of mixed colors. It is made by Polyform products, who also make Sculpey and Premo brands of modelling clay. Suggested Age Range is 4 years old and up.

The clay has no odour, and is easy to work straight out of the package. It is fairly elastic and thinner sections of baked clay are flexible after baking. The clay is lightweight and objects will float after baking. Unlike polymer clays, or most other modelling clays and paper clays, Pluffy resists blending, tending to stick to fingertips rather than previously applied bits of clay. In this way it resembles sticky fondant icing or marzipan in texture. It does stick to itself well enough to hold add on pieces, wings fins arms, but it is difficult to bend smooth seams or blend contours on a figure's face. This lack of blending makes it less useful for teaching children higher modelling skills, and limits use by adult artists. The clay can be rebaked to add on additional sections, but when baked sections of the clay are heated, they turn slightly 'rubbery' and may need support for a second baking.

Although Non Toxic, the packaging comes with thorough warnings about damage to working surfaces on both the inside and the outside of the package. It is suggested that the clay be used on waxed paper, foil, metal or glass working surfaces, and not left on fabrics, wood or finished surfaces in its unbaked state.

While easy to use, and offering the option of reusing as a modelling clay until a permanent design is baked, the clay's sticky tendencies make it less appealing than some other children's modelling products, including many air dry clays. Unbaked Pluffy models left in the air, tend to gather dirt and dust due to their soft surface.

The clay can be finished after baking by coloring with markers or acrylic paints. It appears to accept small amounts of acrylic paint as a colorant while unbaked, and this color remains during baking (I tested this only with common liquid acrylic craft paints). The surface accepts paint and marker ink well, but markers must be chosen carefully as the color can rub off the smooth surface.

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