Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 16:13 brings down that plaster, clay, wax, and the like may not be molded on shabbos. (footnote 36 quotes SA and says it's due to mimareach)

As far as I'm aware, a collection of objects like a magnetic sculpture may be played with on shabbos, since it is comprised of distinct individual pieces - no actual violation of mimareach is taking place.

What about something like playfoam, which functions much like clay but is ultimately comprised of small, distinct foam balls? Is this considered to be like a collection of magnets? Or is it closer to clay, since it is held together by a tacky polymer and not through magnetism?

  • Sorry can't source it right now but check igros moshe about mashing bananas on shabbos. It may be relevant. – user6591 Feb 10 '17 at 21:13
  • @user6591 looked up a reference - that's dealing with tochein and food, not memareach for non-food. Interesting, but I'm not sure it's relevant. – Isaac Kotlicky Feb 12 '17 at 2:24
  • True. I just thought his idea about considering the banana mush as separate particles held together and not one homogeneous lump might've been somewhat relevant to the issue you raised here. – user6591 Feb 12 '17 at 2:46

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