Light coloured clay picks up dirt from your hands and dark lint from your clothes. I protect the clay in a bunch of ways while working and thought it was time I shared the tips here.
I always work on a clean protected surface, usually white card-stock covered with a layer of parchment paper. Parchment doesn't leach the polymers out of the clay the way paper or card will. If you leave the clay directly on a piece of regular paper for extended periods the paper will absorb the polymers out of the clay and leave the clay dry. It will make it harder to get a good cure from the clay and the end product will be brittle.
Be leery of leaving your clay in plastic also. Polymers in the clay will react with some plastics and dilute them leaving a sticky residue...... not pleasant.
I wrap unused pieces of clay up in parchment paper and place them into a resealable container for storage and future use.
|I wash my hands before and after working with the clay and I wear latex gloves to prevent oils from my skin dirtying the clay.|
If I know I'm going to be working on a project for an extended period of time, I'll protect it by covering it with a bell jar or cake stand dome. This way I can see the project under the glass and still keep it dust free. It also keeps the cat from sitting on my projects.