Y2Klay Revisited

This recent week has seen me working with Y2Klay first hand and to give you a further insight into the use of this clay I can confirm that the first initial report is very close. The clay does adhere to itself very well, with the use of a good keying surface and just for good measures a heat gun to bring the surrounding surface up to speed. The clay does tend to harden very quickly so if you are going to drag in a surface make sure that the amount added is in small quantities to give yourself a chance to put in the surface.

One of the main issues with this clay is after a few days in the oven it will get a crust that will never blend in with the rest of the billet. As in the normal procedure when packing a model, the billet is kneaded like dough to bring it to an even consistency before applying to the buck. What I am finding is the crust breaks up and gives little hard pieces in an otherwise creamy clay.

This is something that needs to be remembered, only have enough clay in the oven that is going to be used by the next day to avoid this crusting of the surface. This is especially important if adding to an already finished surface, otherwise the hard pieces will give a mottled effect to that surface.

The beauty of the current formula is, the oven can be refilled as clay is removed as it takes approximately three hours at 140°F to reach working temperature.

In this particular instance when the clay has hard crust particles, the clay is only good as a backing up material or underlying material which can then be covered with a fresh layer of clay. In the event of steeling, the crust particle surface gives the impression of going through sulphur particles with that very gritty sound, even though the filler used for this clay is something inert. To obtain the best finish to the model this should be avoided at all costs.

The other aspect of this Y2Klay is the hardness, it is so hard that the tools have to be sharpened more frequently than when using the previous I307 clay. The pressure on finger joints and wrist when packing is quite apparent by the aching of the joints at the end of the day, more so than any other clay that I have used.

I can understand the need for hardness in industrial clays especially as the majority of studios are now using milling machines to realize their first design impression but the modeling bucks still have to be prepared by hands on modelers. The majority of the resulting changes from the first milled model will also be dealt with by skilled clay sculptors. It will be interesting to see what percentage of sculptors suffer from arthritic problems at a later date from the constant loading of industrial clays.

To combat the aching joints I have resorted to a product called Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM by Nature’s Plus which is an advanced therapeutics cream. This is applied by hand and rubbed into the offending joints, it seems to work quite well but that may be purely a state of mind.

I have also found that there is a distinct lack of oils in this clay, making it difficult to soften by hand warming especially when filling small scars or holes in the model surface. It requires an additional trip to the oven or a nearby heat gun to soften it sufficiently. That said, the surfaces do finish crisply and edges hold without crumbling, no doubt time will tell to fully realize the potential of this clay.

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