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Which clay to use on mounts

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by bowmantax, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. bowmantax

    bowmantax New Member

    Which clay do you guys prefer. I have been using Critter Clay for the low shrinkage, but wandering about wet potters clay or Dakota Clay. Do they shrink more than critter clay or is it plenty good enough to use for say setting eyes and such. Never tried them, just wandering about them since they are a lot cheaper than critter clay.
  2. Jim Town Man

    Jim Town Man New Member

    Potters clay will shrink and sometimes crack, for me anyways, I always use Critter Clay. I have never used Dakota Clay so I dont know about that..

  3. Kyle Lakey

    Kyle Lakey Active Member

    Its been discussed quite a bit before. Critter clay is best to use on the eyes and facial areas where you want minimal shrinkage and regular potters clay can be used on ear butts and such. I use my clay in this mannor as well. Saves money and the results are good.
  4. batshouse

    batshouse Member

    What T3 Kyle said!
  5. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    For eye work, and facial work of all kinds, for all size specimens, Critter Clay is Numero Uno! Number one for the rest of us. ;) I've come up in this field in the days before Critter Clay was developed, and we used so many different water based clays, it would make your head spin.

    AVES Studios developed Critter Clay for the Taxidermy industry, and I have found there is none better. It has low shrinkage, and nearly zero cracking, plus, it dries hard as a rock!

    For building ear butts - especially on deer and other medium to large size gameheads - even better than plain Potter's Clay, is either WASCO's Sallie Dahmes Ear Base, or Joe Coombs Ear Base. These are dry powder mixes of Potter's Clay with an extender ... I think possibly paper pulp or some other sort of fibrous filler ... NOT ASBESTOS! This gives the Potter's Clay base more strength than it would have alone.

    You mix it with plain water until it is real thick, and as firm as Critter Clay. I ususally mix it up a day or two before I need it, and let it sit in the fridge to further firm up.

    To use it, I pack some up around the installed and set earliners to start the earbutt structure, pull the cape onto the form, mount the face - getting everything set in place - then further fill out and shape the ear butts, and sew the cape closed.

    I never need to use a wire of any sort to support the ears ... the firm ear base is solid enough to hold their own shape. I further shape and refine the ear butts over the next few days, and when they dry, they are dry!

    Sure beats the old days when we used plaster mixed in water with liquid hide glue added, then squeezed dry in newspaper, and shaped in the ear skins! You had maybe twenty to forty five minutes to get those ear butts filled, set, and looking correct.

    Best of luck to you.
  6. I use critter clay for all the crucial areas and super white fish clay for the ear butts and top of skull.
  7. dhart

    dhart Active Member

    Critter clay around eyes, I buy clay from the Paoli Clay co. for the ears ($10.55 for 25 lbs.) no shipping because it is only 5 minutes from my shop.
  8. racksandspurs

    racksandspurs facebook page...racksandspurs taxidermy

    I've never had any problems with critter clay
  9. KansasBuck

    KansasBuck New Member

    I recently attended a couple of seminars at the Kansas convention. The presenters both used Roma clay for the eyes. It is an oil based clay that becomes firm but can be resoftend with heat.