Sculpey Ultra Light oven bake clay is my new favorite modeling medium! It’s awesome!! Let me tell you why this is a must have item for your art supply stash or homeschool supplies. It comes in white and can easily be painted with various art mediums. That’s great, but what’s phenomenal about this clay is that it stays soft! Like forever!! It’s so easy to work with and it’s so soft and malleable, but bakes hard, sturdy and lightweight. The only other oven bake clay we’ve worked with is polymer clay by Staedtler which is harder and more crumbly and hardens over time. Plus the ones we have are already colored, so you have to buy a variety of colors to have a full palette. Since we don’t use the oven bake polymer clay often, a lot of the supplies I stocked up on are useless now because they are so hard to work with it (pun intended).

Working with modeling clay or wax is part of the Waldorf philosophy. While working with natural products like potter’s clay or beeswax is preferred, I think I’ll make the exception and have copious amounts of this clay on hand. We’ve all had a blast using it. The package advises you work with clean hands because dirt and stains easily transfer to the clay. But if you decide to paint it, I think it doesn’t matter as much, and indeed my hands had black ink stains that transferred to the clay! No big deal, it was easily covered with paint. This clay also stays soft even if it’s been left out for days making it very forgiving for the busy (sometimes absent-minded) homeschooling mom who accidently left the clay out for days…Can’t imagine who would do that! Hehe…

We used both acrylic paint and soy paint to paint these, and I’m so impressed at how well the clay took to the paint. We got a nice smooth matte finish. There are products you can add after to give it a sealed shiny look. We opted for a more natural look. We also added Tim Holtz Distress Ink Spray in Bronze to the detail on the chrysalis.

We make these pieces to accompany our homeschool project on the Life Cycle of a Butterfly. We made most of the pieces out of clay, but there were a few things we made from beeswax and wool. I have a tutorial on the wool felted caterpillar which we ended up using for our Life Cycle of a Butterfly rather than the clay caterpillar.

Inspiration for this project came from a plastic Life Cycle set for the Monarch Butterfly by that we got from Nature Watch.

This project was part of our Butterfly and Caterpillar unit study.

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