Polymer Clay Brands & You
Finding the right brand of polymer clay can be a challenge for anyone, but especially new clayers. As I began the journey of the Friesen Project, I didn’t realize how many new clayers would be joining us. This week I have been bombarded by requests asking what kind of polymer clay I use in my studio and how to find a brand of polymer clay that will work for you. So, without further ado, let’s find a brand of polymer clay that will work for you, your hands, and your climate.
Polymer Clay Brands
There are many different kinds of polymer clay available on the market today. I have discussed different kinds of polymer clay in the past, but I have never discussed how to find your brand of clay. As a general review, in the market of the United States, there are several major brands of polymer clay that can be found at most major craft stores (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Pat Catan’s, & JoAnn Fabrics). All major polymer clay brands are also available for purchase worldwide through Amazon.
Beginners / Crafters / Children:
- Bake Shop
- Sculpey III
- Fimo Soft
Intermediate / Advanced / Artists:
- Fimo Classic
- Kato PolyClay
Doll Makers / Sculptors:
- Living Doll
- Super Sculpey (Regular & Firm)
If Your Hands are Hot or You Live in a Warm Climate:
For those of you who have exceptionally warm hands or live in hot climates there are really only a few brands that will work for you. Why is this? As you work (condition) polymer clay, it warms with use. Over a period of a just a few minutes it can get too soft and too pliable to work if your hands are hot or if the weather it warm. For those of you that have this problem, I recommend two clay brands: Fimo (Classic, not Soft) and KatoPolyClay.
If Your Hands are Cold or Your Live in a Cold Climate:
If this is you, you are in luck. You are just like me (cold handed, but warm hearted)! You are special because truthfully any of the polymer clays on the market are going to be great for you … except the two clays mentioned above. Why? Because with both Fimo Classic & Kato polymer clays, they are very hard to condition, cold hands or climate makes this a much harder job! (If you are like me, I have listed the brands that I use below and what I use them for as a guide to help you in purchasing clays).
My Brand of Choice is prēmo! by Sculpey
My polymer clay brand of choice is prēmo! I prefer this brand for several reasons: my hands tend to be cold and this clay is fairly easy to condition, even with cold hands. But my biggest reason for using this clay is that it bakes up with a soft sheen to it that the other clays do not have. Additionally, because this clay is based solely on the painters color palette, it is very easy to combine with other colors to get the exact color, shade, and intensity that you want while using simple painters recipes for color combinations.
Brands I Use & What I Use Them For:
- To combine with my custom blends when a color I need is missing.
- To make very hard clay softer and easily to condition.
- I use this to add to hardened clay or to form a clay base for another clay object.
- Downside: Too soft for sculpting & caning.
Extremely soft clay (almost too soft).
- I use it to cover pens.
- This is a great clay to use for stamping. Makes great impressions and holds them well.
- I also use this to blend in order to make extremely hard clay soft.
- Downside: Too soft for sculpting & caning.
My favorite clay (see above).
- I use it for everything: caning, sculpting, buttons, mokume gane, unique effects and so much more.
- Downside: Can get a “moon” effect with translucent blends.
Thanks for joining me today,
9 thoughts on “How to Find a Brand of Polymer Clay that Works for You”
I am interested to know why Kato Polyclay is not your clay of choice?
Great Question! The reason it’s not is two fold. The first reason is because it is very hard for me to get around here and I still have a hard time purchasing clay online as I’m afraid it will come & will not be fresh. I prefer to pick mine myself. The second reason is because when I did try it I didn’t like how LONG it took to fully condition. If I was making more jewelry, I probably would use more of it, but as my sculptures go, I prefer the ease of use & finish of Premo! polymer clay.
Can you explain the “moon” effect with Premo clays in more detail? I have been adding a lot of translucent with some of my mixes and need to know what to look for.
I’ll try to find a picture of one of my pieces that has done that Sandra. It happens mostly with Premo translucent, but other people have complained about it with other prēmo colors, though I have not experienced that myself. It’s basically a half “moon” shape in your clay that is discolored. I will try to find a picture for you.
I use ether Premo or Fimo b/c that is what my local craft stores offer. However, after reading this in particular, I will try others and order from the internet! Thank you for these great ideas!!!!
I use fimo soft for making canes, but I put it on a shelf for a few months first. Cernit works best if you warm it with bodyheat first (put it in your pocket), it looks like porcelin when baked.
I mostly use Premo – great colors, especially the metallics. I am really working towards Lindly Haunani method of only using the primaries and black and white (I make exception for metallics and add some neons)
I’ve tried cernit too, great colors hard to work with though with coolish hands.
For dollmakers or anyone who uses need flesh regularly – Prosculpt is a great choice for cooler hand – it needs very little conditioning, very smooth and comes in fairy white to dark ethnic. It is so easy to work with, I would recommend it to anyone who ever need flesh.
Great tips Susan! Thank you so much!
Great tips, Katie! Thanks! Premo works perfectly for me and I get much better results when sculpting!