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Misc Polymer Clay Tips

Well, we found a site more obsessive than us... will tell you everything you need to know about working with polymer clays and then some.  1600 pages

Types of Clays

I have done a lot of jewelry work with the premo.  I sell pins, barrettes, necklaces and earrings at craft shows.  I have tried all of the major types of clay and now solely use premo for my jewelry.  It is a tad more expensive, but unlike sculpey III, it will flex somewhat before breaking.

Sculpey III has a tendency to crumble.  Also, Premo will go through the washing machine if it is properly sealed.  I don't know how many times I have washed pins that I forgot to take off an outfit.

== Ealhswith


Because the different colours have different chemical compositions, you will find that not all colours are equal in strength. The pink fimo for sculpting dolls (make sure it is for dolls) is very strong and is a bit more forgiving. It has a tiny bit more flexibility, but not much.

Do not mix metallic gold fimo or silver with a base colour. They are almost as weak as the bulk white sculpey. Red is one of the hardest colours.

== Johanna

Working the Clays

I cheat when working with my clay.  I have a dedicated food processor and pasta machine.  I have the start of carpal tunnel syndrom and these two help alleviate some of the hand strain.  I use the food processor to work the clay and the pasta machine to roll it out.  It is amazing what you can do.

== Ealhswith

My clay is too hard

Premo is fairly soft to work with.  I have done a lot of mold work in the past using it.  It also has some give to it, so if it is something that will take a lot of abuse, it will give rather than break. 

If you find your clay too hard, you can add a clay softener to it.

== Mirfain

A little bit of heat will soften the clay.  You can pick up little microwave blankets at Michaels.  Just sit your clay under the blanket for a few minutes.  It's much easier to work then.

== Cat


Do not mix metallic gold fimo or silver with a base colour. They are almost as weak as the bulk white sculpey. Red is one of the hardest colours.

== Johanna

Can I make a clasp from Sculpey?

No, definitively do not use Sculpey for that.  If you want to make your own cloak clasp, the makers of Sculpey have another product called Premo, which is similar, but much, much tougher than Sculpey.  Use wire or something inside to reinforce it, and it ought to hold up.   I have used Premo for all sorts of unlikely things, including decorative toe-caps for my wife's faerie shoes.   

If you follow the baking instructions, it can be virtually unbreakable for small/medium size objects, as long as you support it from within with something to help take the strain.

==Jill and Michael

Can I make a clay ring or will it go soft?

It does break easily though as it is not flexible, so I would not recommend it for rings and such.

Wearing it on your hand should not soften the clay.  Once it bakes, it is set.

== Harriet

Jewelry Tips

Super glue is my friend.  It works well with the premo, without eating the clay.  It is even recommended by Sculpey.  Usually, when I am making pins, I will bake my project, then after it cools, i will flip it over, put the pin
back on and coat it with liquid sculpey and rebake.  This bakes the pin back on securely. 

== Ealhswith

I want to make a fancy baldric.  Is Sculpy strong enough for this?

You can buy a belt fixture (for lack of a better term) from Tandy/Leather Factory that would be up for the job; it's basically a small plate with a rectangular ring and a buckle tongue. Make your scuply piece then glue it onto the buckle plate: instant baldric buckle!

== Adam

Larger Projects

If you are making a bulky project the will take large amounts of clay, like my gargoyle you should wad up aluminum foil then cover it with clay.  That uses less clay and allows the clay to bake completely.

== Ealhswith

Pattern Modification & Tips | Fabric Techniques | Fabric Embellishment | All About Armor | Leather Working | Vambraces to Gloves | Weapon Tips | Shoe Tips | Metalwork and Crowns | Working with Clay | Casting Belt Buckle | Casting Small Props | Pipe Making Tips

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This page was last updated 04/22/08