Polymer Clay Talk -  Introduction & Questions Help Plz (385 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: mamacita37171/20/18 2:06 AM 
To: All  (1 of 10) 


Hello EV1! I just joined this site not long ago. This is my very 1st time posting in here ever! ?? I’m very glad I found this! I needed to find a website where I could find other polymer clayers to talk with, share ideas, ask questions, give advice, and make friends with others who share the same love for polymer clay crafting as I! ??

A little info about myself first......I’ll try to make this short and sweet but also make sure enough info is here so you kind of understand my situation. ??. I remember working with polymer clay in elementary school when I was 8 years old. This was back in the early 80’s. From that day I got hooked, and my dreams were to become a full time polymer clay artist and make a business out of it once I grew up. While growing up I worked with polymer Clay here and there, making things for family, friends, teachers, and stuff. I turned 18, became and adult, but instead of going on my fulltime polymer clay business adventure, life had a different plan for me. I got married, started a family, having 3 children. I was still making items out if polymer clay every so often for myself, family members and friends still, but not nearly as often as I did before I had children. Being a stay at home mom, taking care of 3 kids, a house, and a husband was taking up so much of my time. Lol! Then once my children got a little older I finally decided to go fulltime and make it a business like I had dreamed. Mind you this whole time since I was a child, I didn’t invest much into polymer Clay tools, and materials. I only ever bought polymer clay as I needed it. I had a scalpel, and pretty much used all household items for conditioning, rolling clay out, and making my Creations. 2013 was the year I was going to start my polymer clay dream. My kids were old enough where I could devote the time to it. I was more than ready, and it was finally time! It also just so happened that my youngest daughter, Autumn-Rose, had the same love for clay as me. From the time she was born and growing up she would watch me working with polymer clay and she loved it. When she was around 4 years old, I had a talk with her explaining everything, and I let her start working with it because from the time she was a toddler, she always showed a interest in wanting to try it. I never thought a child that young would sit so still watching me create things from polymer clay. She was just so into it. She’d avidly watch every single thing I’d do from the time I started, till the time I finished, even getting upset when I’d put it away! That’s just how much she loved it! To my surprise, once I let her start working with polymer clay when she was 4 years old,  she was a natural, and LOVED it even more! My dream then became our dream, and we were going to embark on this fulltime polymer clay business adventure  journey together! Unfortunately when that time came October 2013, tragedy struck. My husbands employer for 16 years was permanently laying off 1000 employees. My husband was one of them, being employee #999 out if 1000, meaning he was just one spot away from keeping his job! He was that close! ??Up till the layoff,  we were your typical upper end middle class family. Long story short after my husbands  laid off,  we lost everything.....our house we had bought years prior, and raised our children in, we lost everything but each other. It’s been 4 years since then. It’s 2018. My daughter Autumn-Rose, is now 13, I’m now 37, and I’m not getting any younger! Things still haven’t gotten any better. We’re struggling terribly to get our dream of becoming fulltime polymer clay artists come true. We don’t have hardly anything we need to do this, Tools wise, and  money is always the main & only issue. The little money we do have is from us selling a few items we’ve made, but we’re struggling terribly with selling the very little items we’ve made too.  This is where this website this comes in. This was the first place I could find that had forums where we could post stuff. I’m looking for some information about certain things all related to polymer clay. Hopefully people see this they can help answer my Questions. Anyhow, I do have a few questions to ask, so I’ll get started with them. 

#1: I’ve been looking for very unique geometric cutter shapes to make pendants/ Cabochons. I found some on Etsys website by JustRhondaJ, LindasArtSpot, ThreeDGeek, GFArt, eBay, Lucy Clay, and lots of other places I’ve looked. JustRhondaJ has exactly what Ive been looking for, BUT there has got to be another place/person who sells the same thing, or close to the same thing for cheaper. I unfortunatly can’t afford those prices. Trust me, I wish I could, but I cant. I’ve also tried making our own, but that turned out to be a complete waste of money. Mann those people on YouTube make it look so darn easy to make your own cutters!  So yeah, if anyone knows of any other place online where I can purchase what I’m looking for from please let me know. At the top of this post is a is a picture of the kind of geometric shapes I’m looking for. 

#2:If cutters are too expensive, another route I can take is using templates. So if anyone knows where I can find templates in shapes like the cutters I asked about, please let me know. 


#3: Does anybody know of any websites where I can find texture stamps, other polymer clay tools, and other polymer clay related items that are inexpensive? I know about most of the common websites. I’m looking for non-common websites or sites in general where the prices are relatively cheap.


If anyone can help me with any information that can help my daughter and I, we would so greatly appreciate it! Thankyou so very much for taking the time to read this! I look forward to meeting and making new friends who love polymer clay as much as my daughter, and I do! I also look forward to learning new stuff on here thru Everyone, helping others with any information I can give, or help I can give, and I look forward to hopefully sharing our journey with you all.......that’s if this fulltime polymer clay adventure/journey gets to happen that is. I’m tryiong so very hard to make this happen, more so for my daughter, than I. I just don’t wanna let her down! Well thanks again everyone! Take Care! 



 Reply   Options 

From: mst011/20/18 8:12 PM 
To: mamacita3717  (2 of 10) 
 71420.2 in reply to 71420.1 

I make my own templates, I use water color paper for shapes that I make.  It is heavy enough to maintain its shape but thin enough to cut with an exacto knife.  It is not ideal and may be a bit challenging to keep the sides even depending how thick the clay is, but it is cheap.  It is great to keep working on you and your daughter's dream!  Good luck!


From: mamacita37171/21/18 3:18 AM 
To: mst01  (3 of 10) 
 71420.3 in reply to 71420.2 

Thank-you very much! I’m definatly going to try that! Thank-you! ??


From: JNyago1/30/18 1:35 AM 
To: mamacita3717  (4 of 10) 
 71420.4 in reply to 71420.1 


I was impressed by your story.  My husband and I are also limited in funds, although over several years, I have managed to buy some of the things I needed, and once or twice, I actually found estate sales (here in California) of people who had been clayers and some tools were for sale for very little money,  or the person had had molds for tiny candies and cookies, which are good as polymer clay cutters; but in general, I prefer to make any tools I can, myself.   I don't know the sites you mentioned, but you might take a look at www.clayalley.com, the first place I go to when I need tins to cover or large blocks of clay.  It has quite a few different things that are useful for clayers, but you will have to compare the prices yourself.  The large Altoid-tin-sized tins are only $1 each there, to give you an idea. 

TEMPLATES: I wouldn't think of buying templates for unusual shapes.  Making my own is practically free, and then I get exactly what I want.  Besides, what could be more unique than a template you design for yourself?

I have two methods: (1) I invest in a notebook with really stiff plastic covers and then sacrifice the paper insides and draw the shapes I want on the covers, using Sharpie permanent markers, cut them out with scissors and--if there are rough spots--smooth them out using nail files, sandpaper, or anything else that works.  (Remove the ink from the templates with rubbing alcohol so they don't dirty the clay.  I place a shape I cut out on the raw clay and cut around it with a craft knife, or, sometimes, I cut a square bigger than the template I want to make and then cut a hole in the shape of the template and use that hole as a template.

I have also made some tiny cutters by cutting strips from the metal pieces on old computer floppies (better than using juice cans because the metal is fairly stiff and flat to begin with), then bending them and using super glue or something else to glue a small part of the two ends onto each other, or even just using scotch tape to hold the ends together.  I don't know where I saw this.  Maybe on YouTube.

TEXTURE STAMPS:  City of Clay, the claying site that taught me a lot when I was new to this, starting back in 2009 (It has moved on to various sites on FaceBook, which I dislike) once had a texture stamp swap in which we made stamps out of polymer clay.  The trick to making a good one turned out to be that you need to make a fairly deep impression on the slab of clay that will become your stamp.  I would say to start with a slab at least 1/8" thick, or a little more than that.  You can inscribe various lines or pictures on a slab or make impressions on it using all sorts of things like buttons or charms or household objects.  The ball-chains on key chains make interesting lines, for instance.  Of course, for things you intend to sell, you would want to be careful not to infringe on the artistic rights of someone else.  For that reason, the black dragonfly covered tin is only for my personal use. 

In the pictures, that covered tin with dragonflies brushed with multicolored Pearl-ex or something like that is from a stamp I made by impressing the clay over and over with a small dragonfly charm I had bought at www.FireMountaingems.com (a great site for beads and all sorts of findings, and if you buy a certain number of things, you get a cheaper price) and then carving a few lines and impressing some dots into it, then baking it.  The messy-looking black with gold one was made by impressing various tiny seashells on a clay slab, and the orange piece is a texture stamp I made using the orange plastic piece that you turn in order to open the ink cartridges for a printer; I added some inscribed squiggles to draw things together, so to speak.  These plastic pieces are probably slightly different for the printers at different companies, but they make interesting texture stamps.   The small square picture shows how I enclosed a silicone mold made from a polymer clay piece that I sculpted from a picture of my 2 cats inside another (the scrap black and gold clay), hard mold.  Without that hard support, the silicone mold can result in a distorted final piece because it moves so easily under pressure.  You could sculpt anything you like on top of a thickish piece of clay, then bake it and take a silicone mold of it.  There are various silicone and mold compounds for sale here and there.  I happen to like the two-part "Alley Goop Mold Putty" at $10 for a 2 oz. sample at The Clay Alley.  By the way, Alley Goop is also great for taking molds, not only from your own sculpted textures, but other things, as well--natural objects, for instance.  You could make your own hard "cabochon" of clay, bake it, then make a silicone mold with a hard surround to set the silicone mold in when you are going to force clay into it to make a cabochon of your own, like a faux opal, for instance.  If any of this doesn't make sense, please feel free to ask questions.

Best wishes for your success



From: Ladyartist052/19/18 12:20 PM 
To: mamacita3717  (5 of 10) 
 71420.5 in reply to 71420.1 

Nice to meet you Jen.  My saga is a lot like yours. Had a business, lost it, went bankrupt, but I was also working a full time job which helped.   It does get better over time. 

I have seen also all those same listings for the cutters.   I am starting to 3D print these cutters too, mostly my own designs.   Be assured that I will not be charging what these other people do.  It is almost criminal.  They cost pennies to make.

When I have my Etsy store in place and Facebook business page set up, hopefully only a couple more days I will let you know.  We currently have hexagons and hearts done if you have any interest in those.  Let me know.  ~Leslie




From: mamacita37172/20/18 1:49 PM 
To: JNyago  (6 of 10) 
 71420.6 in reply to 71420.4 

Thankyou so much! Sorry it took me a bit to reply. Life’s journey has me on one heck of a rollercoaster ride, that’s for sure. I’m definatly going to try everything you mentioned! Thankyou so much. I really appreciate everything you’ve said! Can’t wait to try some of them out! 


From: mamacita37172/20/18 1:51 PM 
To: Ladyartist05  (7 of 10) 
 71420.7 in reply to 71420.5 

Hello! Thanks for the reply! Yea, the prices are.....ummmm....let’s just say I can’t comprehend why they would charge so much for like you said costs pennies to make. Yes definatly please let me know when you have your etsy up and running. Would love to see what you have, then hopefully be able to purchase from you! Thanks again!


From: JNyago2/20/18 2:17 PM 
To: mamacita3717 unread  (8 of 10) 
 71420.8 in reply to 71420.6 


No problem.  I've been on several "rollercoaster rides" in life myself, and I'm happy to think that maybe something I wrote might help you.  


From: Ladyartist052/20/18 2:21 PM 
To: mamacita3717 unread  (9 of 10) 
 71420.9 in reply to 71420.7 

That would be lovely.  Currently we are working on hearts and hexagons, but will be expanding as rapidly as I can.  I found I  had to order a  new computer for the 3d designing as my laptop just couldn't handle the intensive size of the graphics.  So that will take a week to come in, but other things are on track.


From: Ladyartist053/7/18 6:15 PM 
To: mamacita3717 unread  (10 of 10) 
 71420.10 in reply to 71420.7 


My shop I told you about is up and running now and slowly getting new things listed every couple of days. Cutters, bead rollers, textures, templates.   Please visit: CleverClayShop on Etsy and see what I can offer.  I am happy to do custom work.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CleverClayShop?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Sorry - thought that would be a clickable link, but nonetheless, I hope you like what you see.  Would really appreciate a like and follow when you visit.  



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