Salt Dough Art

In the 70’s crafting was very popular. I had a book about making items with salt dough. However, salt dough is much harder to work with then it appears. I was never able to make anything with salt dough that looked even remotely like the items in the book’s photos. I would like to find that book again, but it seems to be long out of print. The same objects could have been made with modeling clay. I also tried to make objects with polymer clay, but the learning curve is steep. It may take as much time to become good at dough and clay molding as it does to learn to use and control water color paints. Water colors look easy because they are less permanent then oil paints. However, they tend to spread out on the paper and all blend together to make a sort of brown shade. What you need to work with salt dough or modeling clay and create little animals or object ornaments is sharp cutting tools. This makes it unsuitable for children to work with. Furthermore the objects in the book were created by experienced artists. Food coloring was used and also some of them were painted and or glazed with egg coatings to create shiny effects, then baked in a low heat oven. Ultimately the book became a symbol of how impossible it was to to create art. I lost the book somewhere, but I wish I still had it. Polymer Clay is dangerous for children because it contains plastic, so salt dough is still recommended for children to play with, as long as their expectations are not set to high. Sculpey is a brand of polymer clay that can used to create elaborate art objects by adult artists. Polymer clay can be used to make sharper lines and can be cut and shaved into position. Salt dough spreads out and does not hold shapes as well.

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