Hard Clay Blending Technique
Posted on July 31, 2012 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin
Hard Clay? No Problem!
My Easy Blending Polymer Clay Tip No Special Tools Required
One of the things that every clayer struggles with at times is rock hard clay. Clay that does nothing but snap, break, and never get soft. The easiest answer to this problem is a food processor. But, you may not have a food processor and that’s okay.
Today’s polymer clay tip will show you how to become friends with your clay, warm it up, soften it, make it malleable again, and even blend it to perfect. In fact, with this easy polymer clay tip, you don’t need any special tools or machines. You only need your hands, clay blade, acrylic roller and pasta machine.
The first thing that any good clayer does is to choose your clay carefully. But what happens when that clay that you have picked is actually rock hard? Even though you would swear that when you bought it it was actually soft?! Not only does is crumble and not get soft when incubated (which is my special technique that I use to warm clay, I sit on it!), but it stays hard. Here’s a simple trick that will save you time, frustration, and effort. In the example shown below I am actually making my own color blend. So I will be showing you this technique with two colors of clay, as well as an inclusion. Here’s the basic technique: Cutting. Yep…you are going to cut up your clay.
Polymer Clay Tip – How To Make That Hard Clay Soft Again:
Take your rock hard clay and cut it up into tiny pieces. Pretend you are chopping vegetables. That’s all you’re going to do here, chop, chop, chop! (See upper left)
Add your second color for your blend and cut it up into tiny pieces on top of the first section. (See upper right & bottom left)
Before you begin to press this all together, add any inclusions that you have gathered and throw it on top of the pile. (See bottom right)
Now are you are going to do is grab your acrylic roller (or brayer) and roll on top of the clay with moderate pressure, over and over and over…until all the pieces begin to stick to one another. When the pieces begin to stick to one another, gently start to grab the pile and form it into a ball, adding the warmth of your hands and the heat of the clay will make it soft quicker.
Then, roll your clay into a ball and roll into a snake and back to a ball, and then a snake and back to a ball. Do this several times until your clay is soft. Then roll your clay through the pasta machine and you will get a really cool marble effect that you can use right away or keep running through the pasta machine until your own solid color emerges. Let me know if this technique works for you too. Leave us a comment below.