Dr. John Pojman

Dr. John Pojman, chair of the LSU chemistry department and award-winning scientist, is standing with his artistic creation, QuickCure Clay. Pojman created the clay whilst working in a lab one day with the intention of making a substance for home repairs. After a student suggested using the clay for sculpting, Pojman decided to market the product as QuickCure Clay. QuickCure Clay is now used by many artists around the U.S.

Michael Tarricone picks up the clay and holds it in the palms of his hands. He feels the weight and the texture and he takes a deep breath. Creative ideas start to flood his mind as he begins to mold the clay into the vision he sees, using tools and molds of his choice.

The hard part is over, the artwork is almost complete. There is only one more thing to do, light it with a flame. Within a matter of seconds, the clay hardens.

“It’s instant gratification for the crafter,” Tarricone said.

QuickCure Clay was formed by the combination of two different worlds: art and science.

The science came from the award-winning scientist Dr. John Pojman and his knowledge of chemistry, and the art came from the creative sculptures all over the U.S.

The clay is unlike any other because of its ability to harden almost instantly with the application of heat. Most sculpting clays need to be set with a kiln for hours, which can be a pricey and tiresome process.

What makes this possible is an exothermic polymerization reaction. This means that it takes only a catalyst such as heat at one end of the sculpture to start a chain reaction that, in this case, causes hardening.

Many sculptors have switched to QuickCure Clay and use it all over the U.S. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages have been created as a place for these artists to share their QuickCure Clay creations.

Pojman created QuickCure Clay first as an idea for home repair, for holes in the ground or walls because it is strong and easy to use. However, the clay had a different use that Pojman did not think of initially.

“I was giving a talk somewhere in Oregon, and a lady said this would be really good for art, and I was, like, ‘I don’t even know what you’re talking about,’” Pojman said.

Pojman then contacted the LSU arts program and did a demonstration for some of the master’s fine arts students.

At the time there were different versions of the clay, and it wasn’t until a woman named Shelby Prindaville saw one of the harder versions and suggested that it would be great for sculpting. 

QuickCure Clay, aside from its ability to harden quickly, is also different in the way that it leaves waves on the clay as it hardens.

“The fact that it doesn’t self-propagate uniformly is something the artists really like,” Pojman said. “It really is a one-of-a-kind piece of art because if you did it again, you wouldn’t get the same patterns.”

QuickCure Clay has revolutionized sculpture-based art across America.

Tarricone, like many others, is an artist who uses QuickCure Clay as his main mold for his sculptures.

“I discovered QuickCure Clay in January of 2019 when it was introduced at the Creativasion trade show in Phoenix, Arizona,” Tarricone said. “It is the premier trade association for crafting in America.”

Tarricone started his QuickCure relationship shortly after the Creativasion trade show and looking at YouTube videos of artists working with the clay.

Tarricone’s, as well as a sculptor, is also a watercolor and mixed-media artist and instructor, so his purchase of the QuickCure Clay was also to explore opportunities for QuickCure Clay workshops.

“I’ve worked with air dry clay a bit, but QuickCure Clay is completely different because it can be cured immediately and that is important when doing a workshop,” Tarricone said.

Tarricone’s artworks vary from framework to portraits, but one thing that is important to him is how interesting he can make his artwork.

QuickCure Clay’s retail cost is currently $20 a pound at rangerink.com and amazon.com. Tarricone purchased 7 pounds of the clay initially and since then has bought much more.

Another artist who uses the clay is Sharen Harris. Harris uses the clay for more fine artwork such as flowers and jewelry, which shows the diverse nature of the clay and the artist.

“I do a lot of garden art to fine delicate art,” Harris said. “I can create anything, and it stands up well to the outdoor elements.”

Harris said that before she purchased QuickCure Clay, she didn’t use clay much because of the costly nature of the kiln. However, when she heard of QuickCure Clay she was excited as it provided a solution to her problems.

“All I need is my trusty heat gun and in two minutes it’s cured,” Harris said. “Purely magical clay.”

Click here to learn more about QuickCure Clay.

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