Clay storage is a challenge for anyone who works with polymer clay, especially when 80% of clayers are working in a space the size of a closet. One of the hardest things about having a small studio is having adequate space to store things in, especially blocks, more blocks, and pounds of clay. This is especially hard for me, who may need multiple brands of clay, custom blends, inclusions, etc. Today I’m going to share with you how I store my opened packs of polymer clay, the clay that is constantly being used.
My Studio Clay Table:
My current studio consists of a desk, coffee warmer, and lights. Why? When I began claying over 16 years ago, I never dreamed I would fall in love with polymer clay as I did. I never thought I’d open an Etsy store, and I never thought that I would create a character based solely on my imagination and then brought to life, teach hundreds of people around the world, and have my designs adopted into so many homes. So, as I outgrew my studio time and time again. And as we moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio I found that my needs changed along the way.
With the economy being in a downward trend, I have learned dozens of ways to save, reuse, repurpose, and keep what I have going for years on end, even using vintage and preloved pieces for many of my things. I have gone from a desk in a corner, a custom studio, to a new home with a dedicated office space and studio (see the post here.)
[Editors Note: This is now my 3rd studio space.]
Floss Box Turned Into Clay Storage Box:
There are some things however that never change, regardless of what studio you are in. When you go to the craft stores, in their storage solutions section, you will find lots of boxes, drawers, gadgets, & gizmos. Here’s the basic thing to keep in mind. You need to store clay in soft plastic containers…not rigid plastic containers as the clay will actually eat through them.
Once you have your clay storage box, you can use it for just about anything that you would like. Here’s my clay storage box. I actually have three (yes, I do know that’s a lot) clay storage systems, but this one is the one that gets the most use! In this plastic floss box, I store all my clay. It’s the absolutely perfect system for me and it’s worked for over 16 years. I blend my own clay to make new, never before seen colors using a wide variety of base colors. Even my standard yellow Parker is a custom blended color, he’s not a “straight from the package” color.
Any clay that goes into this box is straight from the package, it is still in its “block” form from the manufacturer. It’s pretty obvious in this photo. This means that it has not been blended in any way. This lets me know that they are original colors. If I have blended the clay, it gets rolled into a ball, or a flattened strip, whatever fits into the little space in my floss box (you can see that in the picture too). For me, it is not important for me to separate “brands” of clay. just mix it all together. In the end, it’s a system that works for me. There are many that would never do that, but for me this is just how my art works and get done. This being said, the bars of clay look different and their consistency is different enough that I can always tell them apart.
[Editors Note: After almost 16 years of claying, I’m still using the SAME floss box and the same system. It works for me.]
Other Clayer’s Floss Boxes:
Here are a few pictures of other polymer clay artists’ floss box storage systems from Flickr. Click on the pictures to go directly to that user’s Flickr site.
How do you store the clay that you are currently using? Leave your answer in the comments below.
Thank you for being a part of the Kater’s Acres Family, Sculpting Blessings,
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