If you’re wondering how this clay differs from the old, weird-smelling clay you used to play with while growing up, you’ll know it here. Polymer clays have become widely known for their versatility. Polymer clay is a bendable, mixable polymer compound used by artists and craftsmen. Although it is not real clay, it can be used as such. It comes in different colors and you can blend these clays together to make your artwork more personalized.
Polymer clay’s malleability can help you use different techniques for making crafts. It can also be used in making jewelry. Because it is flexible, you don’t have to exert more than enough effort to shape it into something. In addition, polymer clay is not dangerous to you, as long as you know how to use it and what to use it with.
The polymer clay is a kind of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. A plasticizer is added to it to make it malleable and flexible. This enables you to create different shapes out of it. When using polymer clay, you also need to know the safety regulations. It is important not to put the polymer clay near any food. The plasticizer in the polymer clay is hazardous if you ingest it.
To use polymer clays, follow these steps:
- You need to start with mini projects at first. This enables you to be habituated with the polymer clay.
- Washing your hands is necessary before doing the project you have in mind. Also, it is essentially a must to dry your hands well after washing them clean.
- After cleaning your hands, you need to get a glass or a Plexiglas cutting board. Put a chunk or the amount of the polymer clay you need on the glass.
- Knead and massage the polymer clay until it is finally soft and malleable. You might need to repeat kneading and massaging many times before the polymer clay gets really pliable.
- Then, after kneading and massaging the polymer clay, you can now shape it into whatever shape you like. You can form it into a dinosaur, a flower, a worm, a cup and many more. You just need to work up your imaginative side of your brain.
- After finally shaping the polymer clay into whatever form you had in mind, you need to use a wire frame inside the sculpture if your craft is really big. Because it is so soft and malleable, polymer clay is not that strong to stand in itself. It needs support if your work is awfully big.
- Then, you also need to make a bead. Roll a lump of clay between your hands. Poke the clay in the center using a needle.
- Put the beads on a wire that is expanded between two cans so that it will not get flattened while it is being baked. The cans should have water or liquid inside them to maintain stability.
- The temperature for baking the polymer clay is dependent on the manufacturer’s suggestion. Usually, it takes fifteen to forty-five minutes to bake the polymer clay. It also depends with the thickness of your work. Using an oven thermometer is recommended to avoid over-baking or under-baking the polymer clay.
- Lastly, wait for your artwork to cool down before painting it. It is also suggested that acrylic paints be used in painting. But, before painting the piece, you need to sand it first.
Whether you are an aspiring artist or an established one, polymer clay will surely give you hours of artistic and creative fun.