For the past few weeks I have offered you mini-tutorials on Tuesdays. This week I’m going to share some polymer clay tips with you! If fact, today’s polymer clay tip’s one that I use every single day in my studio. Undoubtedly you’ve also struggled with this: it’s how to get those clay “smudges” off your blended sheets.
It does not matter how much I have cleaned my pasta machine, inevitably I end up with smears, marks, and other “random” colors of clay from previous projects on my slab of clay. Yuck. I hate it when this happens … sadly it happens to me every time I clay. Now, the point could be argued that I have no idea what I am doing. This could be true, however, I would argue that one.
Polymer Clay Tips: Preventing Clay Muck
Here’s the more likely scenario … It just happens! And I’m sure it’s happened to you. It happens to me often because I don’t let any clay go to waste. I even use that old, “unusable” hard clay! This being said … my clay slabs that I roll through my pasta machine, often have “clay muck” (this is my term for unwanted clay “bits” that get into my clay and make me go “yuck”). Those hard little tiny bits that get “stuck” in my rollers seem to “break loose” right when I don’t want to see them. And I’ll be honest, it happens a lot.
When that happens there’s no need to fear. Here’s a few quick & easy tips to prevent this from happening.
- Clean your pasta machine rollers between colors.
- Always condition clay from lightest to darkest and not the other way around.
- Keep a hunk of “scrap clay” to run through the machine in between colors to pick up those clay bits and streaks.
- Make sure your clay isn’t too soft!
How to Remove “Clay Muck” from Your Sheet
Here’s some help for those times that the clay still ends up getting onto your light colored blend (of course)….
- Don’t panic and see where those bits are.
- Grab a sculpting tool with a spoon thing on the end (yes, “spoon thing” is a technical term…).
- Lightly “shave” the color bits off your clay.
- You should have dent marks in the clay, but no more bits of color.
- Continue to fully condition through the pasta machine.
OH! And in case you are wondering, the sheet pictured at left is the same sheet in the “clay muck” photos, just fully conditioned Premo polymer clay with all that “clay muck” removed…ready to be made into a Parker!
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