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Posted on July 26, 2012 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin
Clay storage is a challenge for any clayer, 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, a clayer, 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 current studio consists of a large table, coffee table, & cedar chest. Why? When I began claying over 4 years ago, I never dreamed I would fall in love with claying like I did. I never thought I’d open an Etsy store, and I never thought that I would create a character based solely in my imagination and then brought to life. So, as I outgrew my studio about 2 years ago, my husband gave me an awesome Christmas gift: plans for a brand new studio, just for me and Parker.
With the economy being in a downward trend, we have saved pennies, quarters, & dollars to build this. Well, with only a few hundred to go the studio is now a reality. However, because my new studio construction has not yet begun, I still work & clay in the same small space. I’m excited at the prospect of this changing so soon however!
[Editors Note: Parker’s new studio was opened in October 2012]
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 the 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 unused and unblended clay. 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 a straight from the package, it is still in it’s “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. I primarily only use two different brands, Premo & Fimo Soft currently. 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 10 years of claying, I’m still using the SAME floss box and the same system. It works for me.]
Here are a few pictures of other clayers floss box storage systems from Flickr. Click on the pictures to go directly to that user’s Flickr site.
Thanks for joining me today,