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From: creativecraz7/29/14 3:49 AM 
To: All  (1 of 4) 
 70956.1 

Greetings!

The name's Morgan. I'm new (very) to forums in general, so I just decided to look up a forum for something I enjoyed. I've been creating jewelry and figurines consistently from Polymer clay for a few months now. I must say that I love it! It's a difficult medium for me, considering that I usually do 2 dimensional art such as drawing, painting, and oil pastels. It's nice for me to try something that's a bit out of my comfort zone. I've become a lot better at it just in these few months. 

A few things I've learned about Polymer clay: 1) You can't rush it. Slow and precise. 

                                                                         2) Premo! Sculpey is the most durable clay. Info I got from the experts. Anything that has "soft" in the title may be easy to mold, but it's crap.

                                                                         3) Wash your hands. A lot. Especially when using white clay. It's a bitch to fix.

                                                                         4) It doesn't need to be baked for as long as I thought. Chill on the baking time.

 

Just thought I'd share some of my findings about Polymer clay. Feel free to give me any tips you have for this noob :D It is much appreciated. I'm awful at making canes. Is it best to just use your hands or should I invest in a clay pasta machine thingy? Is it worth it? What's the best one to buy? 

 
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From: Wiz (ARCURRY) DelphiPlus Member Icon7/29/14 8:00 PM 
To: creativecraz  (2 of 4) 
 70956.2 in reply to 70956.1 

Pasta machines are faster at conditioning clay AND give you nice, even sheets BUT they aren't a necessity. Having one improved my canework, but practicing improved it more. One brand to avoid is the Sculpey-branded machine (I have one, it's a pain). Spring for a food-grade machine, like Atlas.  

If you haven't visited the Polymer Clay Central website (click the web page link above) you should do so without delay.  There's lots of great tips for all sorts of techniques, not just canework.  Blue Bottle Tree is also super. On Pinterest, I get a lot of ideas from the London Polymer Clay Group. 

Happy Squishing!

  • Edited July 29, 2014 8:02 pm  by  Wiz (ARCURRY)
 

 
From: gilladian7/30/14 10:33 AM 
To: creativecraz unread  (3 of 4) 
 70956.3 in reply to 70956.1 

I prefer Kato brand to Premo - it is a bit stiffer, and I feel that, when baked long and hot, it is stronger.

If you are doing more sculpture than jewelry, you might want to look at prosculpt: http://store.artdolls.com/category/prosculpt/

It comes in only a few flesh colors, but I understand it is the preferred clay for sculpture.

Baking longer (and depending on the brand, hotter) DOES matter. Longer baking times give better strength. Many websites/youtube videos will say "bake 10 minutes" but they're WRONG. Bake for 30-45 minutes or longer. I usually do my final cure on any piece for 1 hour.

Conditioning is also important. Blend the clay in your hands or pasta machine until completely soft, flexible and warm. If that makes it too soft/warm to work with, set it down and let it cool. Don't stint on conditioning. It redistributes all the raw materials, leaving the clay at maximum smoothness and strength.

You can use many of your painting skills with clay. Learn to color your clay surface with chalks and mica powders. They're wonderful! Also, you can paint clay - I prefer to use genesis heat-set paints; they work a lot like oils, but only cure at polymer baking temps. Wonderful for antiquing and staining.

Alcohol before baking, on a paper towel or baby wipe can remove many imperfections; so can rubbing with a bit of cornstarch. Afterwards, sanding is the best way to remove subtle imperfections and flaws.

 

 
From: Melody017/30/14 12:56 PM 
To: creativecraz  (4 of 4) 
 70956.4 in reply to 70956.1 

Welcome to PCC. It's so nice to have another PC "addict" on board. I've been a fan of PREMO. for many years. Glad you like it, too. Sounds like you're into some FUN things!

"It doesn't need to be baked for as long as I thought. Chill on the baking time."

I do want to caution you about curing your pieces. Sufficient time and temperature when curing your clay DO matter a lot as far as making your pieces strong and giving them a long life.  The following is from an extensive post that lists hints for new clayers  http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/messages?msg=57357.4 "A properly cured piece of PC should bend a bit but not break, should not tear, should not crumble and should not burn or brown. Follow the directions for the brand of clay you are using. It’s important that the INTERNAL temperature of the clay reaches the target temperature for AT LEAST the minimum time stated on the package directions. A longer curing time works fine as you stay AT (or slightly above) the temperature guidelines. At altitudes above  4, 000 one needs to increase both temperature and curing time a little. " 

Pasta Machines are very helpful to condition clay and make flat sheets and you REALLY get what you pay for. Inexpensive ones will quickly break and are difficult to clean. If one can afford it I recommend getting a Monafied Atlas pasta machine. http://melobeau.blogspot.com/2012/10/part-2-my-25-favorite-polymer-clay.html  >then scroll down to the third paragraph of #10 to read about the Monafied Atlas.

Happy Claying

Anita in AZ

http://www.MelodyODesigns.artfire.com/

http://www.etsy.com/shop/melodyodesigns/

http://www.melobeau.blogspot.com/

http://pinterest.com/anitalbrandon/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/melobeau/

http://www.facebook.com/MelodyODesigns/

 

  • Edited July 30, 2014 6:58 pm  by  Melody01
 

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