Cork clay?

I saw Dale Jenssen at a Fiber Arts meeting this week and she gave me a package of Cork Clay. “Ever hear of this stuff?,” she said. I hadn’t, so I took it right home to play with it – play first, research later is my motto.

It looks for all the world like gingerbread. It has a dryish texture and can be flattened with a clay roller.

Naturally, I wanted to see how it would work in one of my earthenware face molds, so I pressed it in.

It came out easily and looked like – well . . . a cork face.

Kinda weird, but kinda interesting, so I let it dry overnight, and then sprayed it with some walnut ink to see what would happen. Yikes, it totally absorbed the ink! Looks like lava rock, but very lightweight.

Next, I tried a bit of silver wax on the surface. I think this would work well as a collage element.

Here’s what the back looks like – very cork-y!

Once the experimentation was done, I decided to see what people really use cork clay for, and discovered that its main use is as a mold or armature for Precious Metal Clay before it’s fired. The PMC is molded around the cork clay, which then burns off in the kiln. I found these photos in a London artist’s blogvery interesting!

My jeweler pals, Jan and Nancy, are probably thinking, “Well, DUH, Lyn – of course that what cork clay is for!” And if anyone else uses cork clay it for artful endeavors, tell me what you do with it.  Thanks, Dale, for the sample and the introduction to a new medium!