Polymer Clay ComponentsMay 10, 2023
Polymer clay consists of fine particles of PVC suspended in plasticizer. It is a very versatile component that comes in a number of colors. The clay’s softness lets you use different techniques from textile arts, sculpture and glassworks. Hobbyists can form it without any time limit because it does not dry out. There are certain uses and processes involved in making polymer clay artworks.
Polymer clay can cover wooden boxes, mirrors, frames and table wares, especially in jewelry. It can also be used in making beads, bracelets, pendants, and necklaces as well as small sculptures and buttons. There are techniques that give polymer clay supplies an appearance of a jade, granite, turquoise, ivory and amber. You can make many possible pieces of shapes and sizes, along with many other variations. It is not suitable for objects that can come in close contact with foods.
Polymer clay is widely available in local craft and art supply stores. Some outlets want it in bulk ordering or in large quantities. Others have it via mail order. Most manufacturers have brand selections due to its softness, color and strength.
It is often best molded using your hands. Equipment like oven and other molders are used for special effects and designs.
Use a wax paper or smooth surfaces like glass or marble to work with the clay. Rough surfaces may damage the clay.
If you wish to make clay beads, use a piercing tool to bore holes for stringing. If you have a wooden skewer or long sewing needle, it will be much better.
An ordinary kitchen knife will be good in cutting the clay for any purpose. To color, you may use paintbrushes and acrylic paints. Other things you may need are aluminum soda cans, toothpicks, thermometers and craft wire.
There are books that teach ways on using polymer clays. These are instructional materials and pamphlets that can help you with your project. You can read on them for starters.
There are basic techniques to start off, like conditioning, skinner blending, color mixing, curing and sanding, finishing, molds, stamps, sculpting, as well as faux, transfers, surface treatments and bead making.
Do an easy project to begin with, then work on more complex projects as you get more familiar with techniques. Clean and dry well your hands. Lay down the clay on a glass or cutting board and knead until it becomes soft and smooth. Shape the clay as desired.
Use a wire frame for support if needed. Try to make beads by rolling a ball on your palms and carefully poking it through the middle with the use of a needle.
Beads are stringed on a wire stretched between two soda cans. This will keep it from getting flat while baking. Water may be needed in the cans for stability. Bake the polymer clay for about 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations on thickness and temperature. An oven thermometer can be used to prevent under or over baking.
Lastly, allow cooling before painting or sanding the clay.