Don't forget to poke the photos to enlarge!

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Literally stonewalling...I got out the new air hardening clay this morning.

I took out about a quarter of it out of the package.  I put half of that and the remaining clay back in plastic bags and smooshed all of the air out.

This stuff lasts for years if the air doesn't get to it. 

I have a lot of tools for working with poly clay, but actually, I only used the blade, the rolling pin, a small stiff brush and a manicure cuticle stick.  The kind that is pointy on one end and shaped like a screwdriver on the other.  I really prefer those to the sculpting tools for doing stone work.

Here's the start of the chimney and staircase end wall.

If you try this and have not done it before, I suggest that you go look on the net at stone walls images and try to copy one that you like.

After a while an a lot of stone walls later, you will be able to wing it like I do.

I always work left to right.  Being mostly right handed, if I work in that direction I won't mess up the section that I have already done. 

First I use pencil lines to draw and idea of where the stone is going to go.  Then I roll out the clay to 1/8" or thinner... I stick it to the wall, where I want the stone, with white glue.  I use my fingertips to press it into the glue.  Leaving fingerprints, in this case is not incriminating.  They will be destroyed in a few minutes.  I forgot the next step and had to go back and add it after I had done some of the work.

I take a stiff brush and texture the whole thing.  A stencil brush or a toothbrush will work....Don't plan on either stencilling or brushing teeth afterwords.  They are now for texture only and gritty teeth are very unpleasant...
The next step is drawing in the stones with the flat end of the cuticle stick.  Don't drag it....Simply press it in and move to the next place in the line that you have to do.  Dragging can cause unpleasant ragged edges that you have to go back and do again.

The last step is to go back an knock down some of the edges of the stone so that they don't look "cut".  You want them to have natural edges.  You will also do some denting here and there so that the stone is not a flat surface.  It takes practice to get it to look right. 

As I said before, the photo that you choose to follow will help a lot.  Also, every once in a while, step back and take a look at it from a few feet away.  That is how you will be seeing it most of the time....Does it look real?

If you are doing it for the first time, don't try to do it all at once.  A three or four inch square will be plenty to tackle at a time.  When you want to add the next section, wet the edge and press in the next section of clay. That will bond it some.  Also don't forget to add the white glue before putting on the next section.  Even I forget to do that once in a while....Be warned....It will be easily chipped and fall off if there is no white glue beneath the clay.

From here, I will be going up the right side of the wall.  The clay will be added in at the top right and go up from there.  I will work the seam so that there is no line of demarcation.  Wish me luck.

I have to go back and throw some more rocks at the wall.  Right after I go test the apple pie that I just finished baking.

See you tomorrow.


Minteriors said...

Now that is nice looking stonework, Casey! Amazing how "realistic" it can be made to appear with such a little bit of effort. Obviously, it takes practice, but it does give one hope. : )

Fabiola said...

Your stone are perfect.
Bye Faby

Lucille said...

Thanks for the refresher course, Casey! This would even be good for a fireplace wall or even a wall in an old country cottage! I'm sure your pie was delicious because you sound like a good cook!

Phyllisa said...

Hi Casey. Your stone wall looks great! I will have to find a wall to try it on here.

Steinworks said...

thanks for the tutorial, I have to give it a try :)

Kathi said...

Thanks so much for mentioning the GLUE! You have saved me from disaster. I was wondering if air dry clay would stick to anything. Now I know! :D

You are a master of stones no matter what medium you use. They all look so real!

Carmen said...

Gracias por el consejo de la cola, estoy con un proyecto que ese tipo de piedras le vendria muy bien y no sabia como hacerlo. Muchas gracias. Saludos. Carmen

mcddiss said...

veo que esas piedras te tienen bien entretenida , se ven muy bien , espero ver los siguientes avances



Giac said...

Hello Casey,
Thank you so much for this post. Your stonewrok is beautiful and I might try this ont he foundation of the manor.
Have a great weekend.
Big hug,

Lina said...


Thank you for the tutorial! I plan to make some parts of my new dollhouse with stonework. So your tutorial is very usefull for me!

Hugs, Lina