A few years ago I picked up a bunch of small animal figurines at an auction. They were quite detailed, but you could see they were homemade.
One person I asked said they might be from a very old craft which some how hardend flour and salt into a molding clay that has considerable weight. This clay is way past plaster. It can only break in chunks.
Would it be possible to post a picture of your figurines to help us to figure out what they are made of.
I doubt a picture would do much .You have to feel the weight and texture of these figures. Has anybody heard of such a clay made with Salt/Flour and such .An No it isn's in anway PLAY DOUGH. Play Dough dries out and has lttle weight.
I have tried researching this stuff on the web. Maybe somebody can give other websites I might have missed.
They may be old chalk figurines they used to give away at carnivals, circuses, etc. If they are, they may be worth a pretty penny!
On an antique show, they showed a group of figurines made from old electrician's porcelain, which could be moulded, painted and fired to keep its shape. I can't remember the name of it, but it was as brittle and white as top quality porcelain. I believe they used it in the beginning / middle of the century for electrical work.
A salt and flour dough is made from 2 c flour, 1/2 c salt and 1/2 c warm water and you knead it for about 10 minutes until the texture is smooth, not grainy. It is worked as you like and baked in a slow oven(200 degrees) until completely dry.
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