Five Tips for Sculpting with White Polymer Clay

Posted on February 14, 2017 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie

Tips for Sculpting with White Polymer Clay

Tips for Sculpting with White Polymer Clay by KatersAcres

There can be nothing more frustrating than sculpting with white polymer clay. Before you know it dust, lint, fibers, rouge cat hair, glitter (than you haven’t used in a month), and specks of other colors of clay find there way embedded into your pristine white polymer clay. There’s no need to hyperventilate, panic, throw out the clay, scream, cry, or even give up completely. Here’s a few tips that might help you along your journey to whiter, sparklier, and all around crisper white sculpted designs.

White. Who isn’t afraid of white. I can tell you the number of white pieces in my closet: 2. Yep. 2. Why? Because when I wear it, I spill on it, sneeze on it or worse, someone else does. So I have come to learn … why even bother to own it or wear it. Sculpting with white polymer clay has come to have a similar reputation.

Polymer Clay ARCTIC BLAST Tutorial BUNDLE PACK by KatersAcresIt’s hard to keep clean. It’s hard to maintain it’s crisp, gorgeous, white clarity, and some brands even yellow after baking. Let’s face it, many people refuse to even work with it because of the problems associated with it. If you’ve struggled working with white polymer clay you are not alone.
Last month (in January), Parker’s Clayful Tutorials Club Members adventured through a series of Arctic Blast Tutorials, two of them working with white clay. In each of those tutorials I offered a few tips for working with white clay. I’ll share a few of those tips here as well.

Tips for Sculpting with White Polymer Clay

  1. Wear LIGHT colored clothes. Most lint comes from your hands rubbing on jeans, sweats, tshirts, etc. If you wear light colored clothing, you won’t notice the lint as much and thereby your project will naturally look more pleasing. There now, that was easy, wasn’t it?!
  2. Clean your surface with rubbing alcohol. It’s very important to clean whatever surface you are working on prior to beginning. This will get rogue fibers, clay bits, glitter, and other particles off your work surface. Just put some rubbing alcohol directly onto any non-porous surface and wipe down with a lint free cloth (see this article here to see what I use).
  3. Use your white clay first. When you begin your sculpting, try to do all your WHITE WORK first, then move onto other colors. This will save you so much hassle, stress, and will make your work so much easier in the long run. Trust me on this. It’s worth it.
  4. Wash your hands. Before you even TOUCH the clay, wash your hands and dry them on paper towels to keep lint at bay. And if you’ve used other colors before you’ve used white clay, wash your hands. When in doubt, wash your hands. And in case you haven’t seen it before, here’s my recipe for what I use to get really stuck on clay off my hands.
  5. DO NOT STRESS. Do you know what makes for a bad clay day, worse? It’s stress. There may be a few lint particles … wipe them off the surface with a baby wipe and move on. Do NOT let these tiny little particles ruin your day or your clay.

Thanks for joining me today,

Happy Claying,
Today’s tip is made possible by Parker’s Clayful Tutorials Club Members.
 
4 Comments for this entry
Linda Maile-Smith
February 14, 2017
09:48

Whew! Now I don’t feel so bad. I was working on a piece for the challenge and yep, I was using white clay. My stress level went through the roof when all I could see was little colored fibers in it (oh yeah, and let’s not forget the one or two cat hairs). At this point, minus the cat hair, I think I’ll let the fibers be and make them part of the artistic outcome. However, next time I’ll definitely try your tips and hopefully get better results. Thanks as always for all the great info.

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Katie
February 15, 2017
10:00

You’re welcome! I’m glad the tips were helpful to you!

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Betsy Jones
February 14, 2017
09:08

Is there a certain brand of baby wipes that is better than others? I’ve noticed the one that I use leaves lint on my clay and it’s closed back up as oon as I grab one.

Reply
Katie
February 14, 2017
09:40

That’s correct, baby wipes will leave lint on your clay. Baby wipes are designed to … well … remove certain elements from baby bottoms with fibrous soft elements. This means they are filled with lint and will leave little white fibers behind and sometimes on your hands. I don’t buy cheap off-brand baby wipes as they leave more fibers behind. I find that the Huggies brand (albeit more expensive) leave behind less fibers as they are bound to the cloth better. Check out my post on lint-free cloths as well. I use them over and over again in my studio.
http://katersacres.com/polyclay/hints/studio-tip-reusable-cloths/

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