The key difference between cold porcelain and polymer clay is that the cold porcelain clay contains cornstarch and white glue as the major components whereas the polymer clay contains PVC resin and a liquid plasticizer.
Both cold porcelain clay and polymer clay are modelling materials. We can use them for making folk-crafts and jewellery. Although the name cold porcelain clay implies that it has porcelain as a component, it doesn’t have. However, as the name implies, polymer clay contains polymer material as components.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cold Porcelain Clay
3. What is Polymer Clay
4. Side by Side Comparison – Cold Porcelain vs Polymer Clay in Tabular Form
What is Cold Porcelain Clay?
Cold porcelain clay is a modelling material that contains cornstarch and white glue. Despite its name, this material has no porcelain as a component. However, it has trace amounts of oils and glycerin that can give this material porcelain-like, smooth texture. Moreover, we can easily make this material at home using cornstarch.
Most of the constituents in this material are biodegradable. Therefore, we can add lemon juice or sodium benzoate to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Though it is non-toxic, this material is non-edible. Furthermore, it is inexpensive and easy to handle.
If we are to make this at home, we need cornstarch and PVA or white glue at 1:1 ratio. Also, we need to add a small amount of glycerin, baby oil or cooking oil to make the mixture smooth and to reduce cracking when dries. Then, we have to heat the ingredients in a microwave or a stove until it becomes clay. Next, we can collect the mixture as a clay ball and allow it to cool. After that, we can knead and stretch it to get a smooth elastic paste. However, it should not be refrigerated. In fact, this material lasts at least a week without preservatives under normal temperatures if we wrap the material properly.
What is Polymer Clay?
Polymer clay is a modelling material that consists of PVC resin and a liquid plasticiser. As its name implies, this material has a polymer constituent (PVC resin is a polymer). Though its name suggests that it has clay, it has no clay component. However, we need to add a liquid to the dry material until it gets a gel-like texture and needs to put into an oven for hardening. These two properties are similar to that of mineral clay. Thus, we name it as polymer clay.
Apart from the polymer material and plasticizer, we can add mineral oil, lecithin, odourless mineral spirits, etc. to reduce the viscosity and change the working properties of this material. Sometimes, manufacturers add trace amounts of zinc oxide, kaolin and other fillers to increase the opacity and compression strength. Further, this material is available in many colours, and we can mix those colours to get a wide range of colours.
What is the Difference Between Cold Porcelain and Polymer Clay?
Cold porcelain clay and polymer clay are modelling materials. The key difference between cold porcelain and polymer clay is that the cold porcelain clay contains cornstarch and white glue as the major components whereas the polymer clay contains PVC resin and a liquid plasticizer. Moreover, there are some other ingredients as well. For cold porcelain clay, we need to add glycerin, baby oil or cooking oil. But for polymer clay, we need to add mineral oil, lecithin, zinc oxide, etc.
As another important difference between cold porcelain clay and polymer clay, we can say that cold porcelain clay is non-toxic and homemade whereas polymer clay is toxic but, we cannot make it at home. A further difference between cold porcelain clay and polymer clay is that, if there is a crack on the surface of the clay piece after drying, we can easily correct it if it is cold porcelain clay, but with polymer clay, once baked, we cannot correct it.
The below infographic provides more details on the difference between cold porcelain clay and polymer clay.
Summary – Cold Porcelain vs Polymer Clay
Both cold porcelain clay and polymer clay are modelling materials. The key difference between cold porcelain and polymer clay is that the cold porcelain clay contains cornstarch and white glue as the major components whereas the polymer clay contains PVC resin and a liquid plasticizer.
1. “Using Cold Porcelain to Make Miniatures and Models.” The Spruce Crafts, TheSpruceCrafts. Available here
2. “Polymer Clay vs Cold Porcelain Clay.” STACIE LAURELL CRAFTS, 11 June 2012. Available here
1.”16670717127″ by Judi Cox (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2.”Polymer clay examples”By Dan Bollinger – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
Based on your article it sounds like if one were to make an ashtray out of cold porcelain it would be safer vs polymer clay due to the toxicity. I unfortunately lack in knowledge of chemistry so I’m not certain. I plan on making a resin ashtray and using a cold porcelain bowl to put out the cigarettes. Would this be safe?
No, most white glue brands on the market today contain polymers of some kind.
You’d be better off using real porcelain, ceramic or metal for snuffing cigarettes on.