In the Studio with Katie: Getting to Know Polymer Clay – Part 3

Posted on February 28, 2011 in Polymer Clay by Katie


Part 1:

Techniques with Polymer Clay

There are also a wide range of techniques that are commonly used with polymer clay.  Wikipedia lists the following techniques as the most common techniques for working with polymer clay:


  • Gradient (Skinner) blending of two or more colors using sheets of clay and a pasta machine or rolling pin.
Canes by Sigalsart
  • Forming “canes,” which are logs of clay with patterns running through their entire length, from which identical slices can be cut and used in various ways. The patterns created in canes can be simple, complex, or anything in between; they may be pictorial or simply geometric. Canes (and therefore their images) can be “reduced” so that they become quite small, and then combined to make multiple images (millefiori).
Pearly Button by ArtMakersWorldAlpha
  • Impressing textures, lines or images into raw clay with rubber stamps, texture sheets, sandpaper, needle tools, or other items.
  • Molding: pressing raw clay into molds to create casts and to duplicate textures, shapes, etc. Molds made from metal, glass, rubber, and silicone can be purchased, or custom molds can be made from polymer clay or dedicated molding compounds.
  • Extruding clay through shaped die plates to create strands or ropes of uniform size and cross-section.
Mokume-Gane Pendant by RiverValleyDesigns
  • Mokume-gane“: thin slices shaved from distorted stacks of layered clays, powders, and inks and applied to surfaces.
  • Using clay to accept “transfers” of images from photographs, drawings, computer-created images or text using a solvent or transfer paper. Images can also be transferred onto freestanding liquid clay films or decals.
Growth Focal Bead by ArtyBecca
  • Carving or drilling after the clay has been cured (and backfilled or inlaid, if desired).
  • Inlaying cured or uncured clay tiles or chips to create mosaics.
Gears and More Gears by SteamTimeJewelry
  • Multimedia/Mixed Media: combining clay with wire, paper, beads, charms, stamps, fabric, etc.
This post first appeared on the PCETeam Blog on 2/13/11.

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