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
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
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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