As with all things in life, we pick some things up and get good at them…and yet with other things we need help. I am a 100% self taught polymer clay artist. I have never taken a class on sculpting, pottery, drawing or anything else. I have purchased several polymer clay books and use several very religiously. But over the past 3 years, I have learned many things about working with polymer clay. Today I will share with you 10 hints, tips, & tricks for working with polymer clay that you may not already know.
- Before you do anything else, put on hand lotion. I have found that when working with polymer clay may hands dry out. When my hands dry out, the clay colors get absorbed into my skin and transfer from one clay to another. Stop the problem in its tracks and use any hand cream with silicone to help prevent this!
- You know that clay that’s just hard like a brick. Soften it a little before you tear open the package. Do this by sitting on your clay. When you sit on your clay, it will automatically warm up and it will take far less time to condition.
- Is your clay still too hard? Never underestimate the power of your acrylic roller. Bang on your clay. This will align the polymers quickly and allow you to condition your clay more easily.
- Don’t spend money on a particular clay mat if you don’t have to…Reuse your shipping labels. You can use the glossy side to make your clay on, roll it, stamp it, etc. And wah-la…it comes right off, each and every time!
- It might be intimidating, but don’t be afraid to mix clays. Experiment and have a little fun!
- What happens when your clay is still too hard and you’ve tried #2 & #3…try one of many solid polymer clay conditioning bars on the market now. Very quickly your clay will begin to condition and it doesn’t get slimy like when you add clay softener or TLS.
- If you don’t know what to create or how to create it, sketch it first. This easy step will save you time & a headache later!
- Are you tired of things NOT sticking and staying where you put them? Use PolyBonder. Lisa Pavelka makes it and you can get it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. It’s the best thing I’ve found so far.
- RESIST THE TEMPTATION – Don’t just buy cheap clay! Many of you buy cheap clay because you can “afford it” better. This is nonsense! Why would you buy cheap clay that you know won’t work or will give you issues, just to spend hours on a piece and have it break within hours of being out of the oven. Don’t do this, please! Try each and every brand of clay and decide for yourself which clay you like the best. My choice for sculpting is Premo! by Sculpey.
- Try anything and everything! Many polymer clay artists have made a name for themselves, just by trying something new (Skinner blend, Pavelka Peel, Sutton Slice, etc). Don’t be scared – polymer clay is the most forgiving art medium in the world, allow it to speak to you in a new and exciting way!
Sculpt Your Dreams,
Magic Mister – Detailing Brush for Polymer Clay – Set of 2$1.95
White Wax Pick Up Pencil$1.49
Marjorie’s Magnificent Blending Brush Duo$3.95
Splendid Spoon & Spatula Sculpting (s5) Tool for Miniatures$7.95
Black Clear Resin Wax Pick Up Pencil$2.25
Millefiori BRIGHT Flower Cane Slices – 3g Small Jar$1.75
Millefiori Heart Cane Slices – 3g Small Jar$1.75
Lolly’s Lovely Brush – Flat Angled Miniature Brush$4.49