Clay as in "the material"... not as in "a guy named Clay".
Many people are introduced to animation (and stop motion in particular) through clay, or plasticine, or even Play-Doh. The material is readily available, and is easy to work with.
There's some real advantages to working strictly with clay. First of all you don't need an armature! The clay itself is all you need. The trick is that the clay can't stand up on its own (if you try to make too tall of a character), but if you can work within those constraints, you're in for a good time.
Another advantage is how incredibly animate-able it is. If you are up for it, you can sink whole days and weeks in carefully sculpting and re-sculpting every tiny piece of material. The results can be astounding. Growing out of this is another fun thing- if you love to sculpt and craft, it's a chance to do just that, a LOT.
Another good thing- the material (as mentioned earlier) is cheap, and easy to find.
We like it so much at Mad Lab, we just had to create a little something out of clay!
Go ahead- let 'er rip!
Just click HERE.