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How To Start Working With Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is a popular medium for modelling and sculpting. It is the typical clay you think about when you think about sculptures, as this is the type of clay that is baked in an oven. Since you only need a basic home oven, this is clay you can use for crafting at home.

Are you interested in working with polymer clay for crafting purposes? Check out our convenient guide below to get started.

Do I Need To Do Anything Special With Polymer Clay Before I Start Using It?

Before you can start working with polymer clay, you need to condition it. The conditioning process is straightforward and is used to make the clay softer. After this process, you can easily manipulate the polymer clay in the desired shape.

In addition to making the clay softer and easily manipulated, there is another reason why every sculptor should condition their polymer clay. Polymer clay contains so-called plasticiser. When the clay comes fresh out of the packet, the plasticiser is not distributed all over. Therefore, you must roll and fold your clay to ensure the plasticiser is distributed in your clay in an even manner.

Plasticiser does not solely influence the way you can mould your polymer clay, it also plays a role in the curing process, this is when the clay is being baked in the oven. If you distribute it evenly, then your clay will be cured evenly too.

How Can I Avoid Stains On My Hand When I Use Polymer Clay?

One of the common complaints among crafters using polymer clay is that it leaves stains on the hands. However, there is a simple trick you can use to keep your hands free of stains, more specifically by using baby wipes after each session.

Since polymer clay can come in different colours, it is essential to use the baby wipes in between colours as well. By doing so, you can prevent another colour being affected by the stains that are left on your hands from the clay you have used previously.

How Do I Cut Polymer Clay?

Cutting polymer clay usually requires the basic clay cutting tools, this includes a strong craft knife and a dedicated clay blade. When you purchase these tools, always consider the size of the clay blocks when they come out the packet. For larger blocks, a small craft knife will not be enough, as it does not cover the entire width or length of the block.

When you purchase a blade for clay cutting, also remember that you might use this blade to pick up some clay from your workspace. Therefore, the clay blade must be strong and not easily bended.

Is There A Special Tool I Can Use For Rolling My Polymer Clay?

Most crafters use a simple rolling pin to roll their polymer clay. Of course, not all materials are as suitable for polymer clay. For example, if you use a wooden rolling pin, stains from the clay can easily be transferred to the rolling pin and they will not come out that easily. Instead, we recommend a rolling pin made from a durable plastic or an acrylic material.

If you do not want to invest in an acrylic rolling pin, then there are some common household items that can be used as a rolling pin as well. A prime example is an old glass bottle, which is not susceptible to stains. Of course, when you use a glass bottle, you must consider a danger factor. Glass bottles can eventually break, so always exercise caution if you use a glass bottle to roll out your polymer clay.

How Do I Measure The Temperature During The Baking Process?

To ensure you get the accurate temperature in your oven during the baking process, we always suggest getting a dedicated oven thermometer. With an oven thermometer, you know when to put your polymer clay in the oven, so it cures in the best way possible.

In addition to an oven thermometer, you may want to consider a large ceramic stand or a tile. Not only can you put your baked clay on it, you can even pop it in the oven with your clay to avoid additional hassle!

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