Modeling clay

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1) A composite, non-hardening material used for modeling. Modeling clay originally made in Italy consisted of a high quality clay mixed with tallow and sulfur (Mayer 1969). Later imitations were made from clay mixed with inert fillers, grease, and oil. Examples of current commercial modeling clays are Plasticine®, Klean Klay, FIMO, Farcolina, and Alix modeling clay.

2) Any natural clay used for modeling.

Synonyms and Related Terms

modelling clay; Plasticine®; Plastilina; plastiline; plasteline (sp); modeling wax; Klean Klay; Farcoline; Alix modeling clay; Sculpey; FimoClassic; Premo; Kato Polyclay; Formello; Modello


  • Some commercial products may contain corrosive sulfur components.
  • Oily components may migrate into porous substrates.

Resources and Citations

  • R. Mayer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques, Viking Press, New York, 1981
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992

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