All the bits of clay can then be combined and worked with in your hands. If the clay is old, or has been exposed to UV light, it may take a very long time to condition which can be annoying and quite tiring. Store your clay in a dark, cool place to avoid this problem. Another technique is to put the clay in a ziploc baggy and let it sit in some warm water for about 20 minutes before working with it, to speed up the conditioning time. You will know the clay is conditioned properly when it doesn't crack or crumble any more.
When working with polymer clay, you may find it helpful to work on a smooth ceramic tile or a piece of cardstock. This serves two purposes. It is a smooth surface to roll balls, logs, and make smooth sided shapes, and avoid fingerprints being left on the clay. Secondly, the piece can be left on the tile or cardstock and placed on a cookie sheet. The paper will not burn at degrees F and this is a good way to protect your cookie sheet. You may notice it is hard to remove your fingerprints after working with polymer clay.
I have heard of some people that wear tight fitting disposable latex gloves while working with the clay. Others mention brushing your piece often with a little dusting of talcum powder to help keep prints at bay. Another way is to sand your piece with a very fine grit sandpaper after the clay is cured. This allows the clay to be buffed smooth. With a little practice you will find it easier not to leave fingerprints.
If you work on a piece of cardstock or a ceramic tile to help form your piece you will avoid fingerprints. If you enjoy working with polymer clay, you may want to invest in a few tools. A pasta machine will help you immensely photo below left. Pasta machines can help you to condition the clay, roll flat sheets, or combine colors.
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Or, you can buy a pasta machine at a kitchen store. Never use the pasta machine for anything but the clay, it cannot be used for food after touching the clay. Another invaluable tool is a slicing blade below right. This makes nice even cuts and is great for slicing canes. A small exacto knife also comes in handy. A brayer or rolling pin helps roll flat sheets of clay and is an invaluable tool, especially if you do not have a pasta machine.
Other tools can be found around the house, like toothpicks for poking holes, a cuticle stick for making depressions, and pencils. A food processor can be good to help condition clay and mix colors, but remember, it can only be used for clay and cannot go in the kitchen again. I also like to use a garlic press for making spaghetti like hair. They also sell clay extruder guns, with various tips to make different shapes.
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In my experience, I have found the clay extruder guns are difficult to work with and very hard to clean. However, others LOVE them and have good experience with them. They are great for making hair for figurines. Your clay needs to be really soft to go through an extruder. If you enjoy working with polymer clay, at first you can just invest in a few blocks of clay in the primary colors. You can make more colors by blending the clays, just like paint.
Combining colors is easy. Roll out two lengths of rope of the colors you want to combine, then twist them together. Roll the rope in half, and repeat the process.
How to Make a Polymer Clay Rose (w/ video) - DIY Crafts by EconoCrafts | EconoCrafts Blog
Repeat this over and over until all the colors are blended well. This is a good way to make a color a little lighter, instead of buying a whole new package of light blue, for instance. Just invest in buying the 1 1b. After working with polymer clay, there are many different ways to protect your piece once it is cured. You can purchase polymer clay glazes, which come in gloss and matte finishes.
Another quick and easy finish is to spray it with an aerosol can of acrylic sealing coat, available in craft stores. There are several polymer clay tutorials on this site, all with step by step directions:.
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It is recommended that you bake a test sample first so you don't burn or under cook your piece. This material softens a bit in the oven before the polymerization process is complete. This can cause flat, shiny spots if you're baking on a hard surface. To keep the shape that you want, you need to rest your beads on a surface that conforms to the bead or support it without resting it on a flat surface.
I like these beading racks because they fit easily into a standard toaster oven. They come with thick wire bead supports that also work well for making holes to thread beading wire through. Alternate support methods for baking polymer projects are:. Lay them in a bowl filled with baking soda and partially cover them.
After baking, clean with running water. Rest the beads on paper 'troughs' folded from white, matte finish cardstock.
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Just in case you're wondering, my little pink dragon was made by the talented Kathy Davis. Many people pre-heat a glazed not terra cotta tile and then transfer their creation on to it for baking using a sheet of ordinary white paper or matt finish cardstock like the back of an index card. I'm Nancy Ulrich, and I'm a Polymer addict. I live in San Diego with my husband Bob.
And I've never eaten anything rolled from my pasta machine All Rights Reserved. Created by me, Nancy Ulrich. I and my husband, Bob Ulrich, are also participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
This site also accepts advertising and other forms of compensation. Such compensation does not influence the information in this site. If I don't think it has value to my readers you won't find it here. Third party trademarks, brands and images are the property of their respective owners. And since I hate spam this site will always respect your privacy. I'm grateful. The User Guide. Sculpey Clay or Another Brand?
Technique Tutorials Precious Metal Clay. Make It Look Professional! Baking Polymer Clay Perfectly Every Time Here's an easy baking polymer clay chart where you can look up bake times and oven temperatures by brand if you're in a rush. Test Baking Roll a bit of your clay mixture to the same thickness as the piece that you're baking. Clay Brand. Share in the box below.
Because readers who leave comments are smart and oven hot! Hi There! Oven Time. Fimo clay. Fimo Liquid. Fimo Liquid with Fimo clay. Kato Polyclay. Kato Liquid Polyclay - Matte finish.