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We hope you enjoy Joshua's Free Polymer Clay Craft Projects!

 

 

Noah and Cato cat, two charactors from Joshua's book "Hangin' Around with Noah"

For many more helpful hints and sculpting techniques see Joshua's new book.
Click here to find out more.

Joshua and I want you to enjoy the fun of learning to sculpt with Polymer Clay.

Print these Basic Instructions on your printer to refer to as you begin sculpting.

 

 

Try your skills at clay sculpting to earn money or Save money! You save money when you learn how to make beautiful sculptures to give as gifts. You earn money when you become as talented as Joshua and can sell your sculptures at craft shows or to friends and neighbors.

 

 

 

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS

  There are many brands of Polymer Clay available in many colors, as well as specialty clays that have a metallic, pearl or granite look. Three brands that are widely available at most craft and Wal-Mart stores are: Fimo, Sculpey and Premo.

  If the clay is hard, it must be conditioned before use. You can condition the clay by squeezing, rolling or kneading it in your hands until it is softened enough to work with. If your clay becomes too soft, you can put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to make it easier to work with.

   Sculpey tends to be easier for children to work with, and is the brand Joshua and I prefer. You should try several of the brands to find which one works best for you.

  Polymer Clay does not harden if you leave it out of the package, which makes it wonderful for kids. We store our white clay in plastic Baby Wipe containers, and the colored clay in a plastic box with dividers, like you find in the sewing or craft department.

  After you have finished your sculpture it must be cured by baking in an oven. Manufacturers time and temperatures may vary, but the average time and temperature is 15-20 minutes per 1/4" thickness at 275 degrees. It is very important to bake the sculpture long enough, but not to burn them by baking them hotter than the manufacturer suggests. Never use a microwave oven! I bake my sculptures on a pie pan or cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Be sure your oven is accurate and check your sculptures often. Standing figures will need to be propped up while baking, as the clay will soften before it hardens when heated. Small wooden blocks or coffee cups can be used safely at this temperature for props. Children MUST have adult supervision when baking!
Check out www.glassattic.com for over 12 pages of information on polymer clay baking.

Hot glue does not work well when gluing clay to clay. I use E6000 or Goop in a tube. Super glue gel works well on repairing broken items after they are finished. Adult supervision is needed for these types of glues!

  Basic tools needed for sculpting are:

Craft knives for cutting shapes from rolled out clay; A toothbrush or wadded up tin foil for making textures, such as snow, rocks, soil and grass; small wallpaper roller for rolling out flat pieces of clay.  As you develop your sculpting skills, you will find many useful items right in your home to add detail and texture to your work. Toothpicks are great for adding details and attaching parts. A small, scrap piece of Formica countertop makes a wonderful work table. Old cereal boxes or waxed paper will also work, to keep the clay off of your table or work area.

  It is important to keep your hands clean, before you sculpt and in between colors. Lint from the clothes you wear may also get into your clay, so be careful not to wear sweaters or other clothing that makes a lot of lint, while you sculpt. Soap & water, waterless hand cleaner or baby wipes work well for hands and general cleanup.

These basic instructions should be enough to get you started in clay sculpting. If you find that you need a challenge, there are many wonderful books available on polymer clay. I will try to keep you updated on the best sources on the LINKS page.

I hope this web site has been a blessing to you, and that you share it with others. Clay sculpting can be a wonderful opportunity for children and stay-at-home moms to make a little money and have fun doing it as well. God bless each one of you and Happy Sculpting!

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Updated July 07, 2006

 

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