The Clay Surfer was created by the Puppet Master at the Silver Surfer's request. At the time, the Puppet Master had retired from a life of crime and stayed away from his radioactive clay, for it caused him to become obsessed. The Surfer requested that Alicia Masters mold it instead, but Puppet Master would not allow her to come under the same control he was. He molded it for the Surfer.
The Surfer intended to give it life with his Power Cosmic in the hopes that his blocked memories would not be blocked in the clay copy. At first, the Clay Surfer believed himself to be the real Surfer but was soon shown otherwise. The real Surfer then gave the copy his memories and told it that it would only survive a short time. The memories that the Surfer was seeking drove the Clay Surfer mad.
The Clay Surfer removed the Silver Surfer's power and memories in order for him to live a peaceful life. But the Clay Surfer contained those awful memories and went on a rampage in New York City, unable to handle them. Daredevil and Spider-Man attempted to stop him but were no match for his power. He put them in a cocoon of solidified energy. He soon realized that if he were truly evil he would have killed them.
He was then met by Norrin Radd who seemed drawn to the clay version of himself, even without his memories. Norrin convinced him that this was not the way it should be handled and he must now know the truth. After releasing Daredevil and Spider-Man, the Clay Surfer created a massive explosion, surprisingly harming no one. But it intentionally sent the Silver Surfer back in time to find the answers he sought. This was the end of the Clay Surfer's life.
But the shell of his body remained. It was taken by Sorentino and the Gangers when they kidnapped the Puppet Master. They put it as a centerpiece to the shrine they created for the Silver Surfer, who they worshiped and called the Cosmic Messiah. The Silver Surfer was severly offended by being worshiped and called a god. He destroyed his likeness.