Updated: Feb 8
Clay is a very cheap and versatile resource to use use for a wide verity of uses from hides to food/water bowls to decorations. Clay can be air dried or baked in the oven at 130 degrees Celsius (baking time depends on thickness, size ect) and painted.
All High Grade Insects (now registered as REPTEC LTD) breeding kits now come with clay as standard.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
The clay provided is a nice grey color that looks like a rock when baked and looks natural in a vivarium without painting.
You can use the gloves provided if you dont want to get your hands messy.
Simply use a small amount of clay to make bowl shape. You can use the bottom of a can or pot as a guide.
For insects that drown easily you can create a spray slab and just spray water droplets onto the slab for them to drink.
You can also sculpt something decorative and make something unique.
(Baked clay bowls)
(Unbaked clay bowls)
How To Make-
1.Take a small amount of clay and flatten between your palm
2.Use a small cylinder (i used a tooth pick tube) to make a indentation in the clay
3.Use your fingers to pinch out a bowl shape
You can make natural looking looking hides easily with clay. You can customize to your hide to any design and look you want and paint after baking for more detail.
I have kept it simple in the quick guide below but you can do much better designs if you spent time on youtube pintrest ect and had some sculpting tools.
1.Take a small bit of clay and flatten it between your palms
2.Hold in 1 palm and push down to on the clay with your thumb. add texture to top of hide with your finger
(Underside of the hide)
(Another style (attempted) mountain type hide)
When You Have Made Your Designs-
You can leave in a warm place to air dry. Leaving to air dry has the disadvantage of being able to soak up moisture and water and becomes soft when wet again.
Air drying has the advantage of being able to re wet and rework the clay into some thing new.
I would recommend to bake the clay for approx 30 mins at 130 cel. After baking it becomes strong and water proof. You can also paint and then coat with a thin layer of clear acrylic for a professional custom designed usefull or decorative feature for your vivarium/ enclosures (also fish tanks)
If you get good at clay sculpting and can make nice features you can also sell your creation on ebay, there is alot of interest for this and i have sold some things on ebay for over £30 (i still sell some cusom hides on website from time to time but am trying to streamline and simplify the bisness)
You can buy 12.5KG of clay on ebay for 12.99 so proft is high but it is a labour intensive process, may be a good one earner for kids off school due to virus ect
(After Baking for 40 mins at 130 oc)
And much more! you can find many more ideas on youtube pintrest ect.