There are lots of things that you can do with polymer clay. From making gorgeous jewelry, creative millefiori cane assembly, realistic sculpture, tiny canvas creations, mind-bending geometric designs, steampunk faux metallic pieces, and a huge variety of other things you can come up with that is only inhibited by the size of your imagination! So then why would you choose to use polymer clay to by a whimsical sculptor?Continue reading Why a Whimsical Sculptor?
Top Sculpting Books in Polymer Clay (Not Sponsored)
Here’s my top sculpting books in polymer clay and a few brief recommendations on why they are my favorites. There are a lot of sculpting books for polymer clay. Digging through the masses of sculpting books to find your favorites can be tough, especially in such a niche market.
Scrap polymer clay can bring on notions of joy, fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, and elation all on the same day. Today I’m going to show you a brief video that hopefully will inspire you NOT to throw every piece of clay into the mud bin, but to salvage your clay scraps.Continue reading Scrap Polymer Clay
I love that you, my readers, are so interested in polymer clay and how to improve your talent & skill. It thrills me to no end that I get a dozen questions a week from you, either here on the blog, or direct to my email. The past two weeks there has been one question that I have received multiple times: How to take out all the imperfections in your work.
Polymer Clay Tutorial
How to Make a Skinner Blend Bullseye Cane
One of the most basic skills in working with polymer clay is learning how to make a Skinner Blend. Once you know how to make a Skinner Blend, there are infinite possibilities of what you can do and accomplish with that blend. Today’s mini-tutorial will show you how to make a Skinner Blend and change it into a Skinner Blend Bullseye Cane or even a log/plug. This tutorial will walk you through some of the basic steps and show you exactly how that is done.
It’s Tutorial Tuesday … and today I do have a polymer clay tutorial, but likely not the kind you were expecting.
We all have them, those grimy gross tools that have that “clay muck” residue from years worth of claying on them … or is that just me?! As I looked at them today in my studio, I thought, “ugh, these are disgusting.” And yes … they were. So … I guess it’s time to clean them. For those of you who have ever tried soap and water to clean your tools, you know that this just doesn’t work. Today I will share with you the best, quickest, and easiest way to remove that clay residue.Continue reading How to Clean Your Polymer Clay Tools
Creating a Coordinating Color Palette
‘How to make your own color palette’ can sound difficult, right? Well, I am part of a lot of different polymer clay groups on FaceBook. Some I am more active on than others, and some I just lurk. Last week, someone asked how to make a color palette. There were lots of ideas thrown out, many of which were great. Most of my items are made from custom color palettes that coordinate. Making your own palette is easy and the more you do it, the easier it gets. There are lots of ways to make your own color palette, but this is the method that I prefer.Continue reading How to Make Your Own Color Palette with Polymer Clay
Blending Polymer Clay
One of the most time consuming parts about using scrap clay (for me at least) is blending it together. Why is this? Well, because often my clay just sits and waits on me. Some of the clay in my scrap clay pile is many years old. Other bits & pieces are fresh from recent sculptures or designs. But here’s my biggest tip for you … you know how I’m always telling you “Don’t use Sculpey” for your finished pieces? Well … when I have my students over in my studio, because they are mostly beginners, that’s all we use. When they get “good enough” that they aren’t wasting clay, I transition them to Premo or Fimo depending on their projects. Here’s the thing … every once and awhile you get a block of clay (it could be ANY brand) that is just too hard to condition! You run it through your pasta machine a zillion times and it’s still cracking, breaking, and just can’t get “warmed up” and softened. Continue reading Blending Polymer Clay
You Asked For It!
One of the questions that I receive more often than not is what kind of polymer clay tools that I use in my studio. The honest truth is, I have so many that I honestly don’t know where to start … so you will get several different “polymer clay tools” posts so that you can learn what you might like, based on what I like. The truth is that what tool I use depends on what I’m working on as to what tool I use. This being said, I will give you a brief synopsis of the tools that I use everyday or almost every day and let you know what I think of them. So … let’s see what polymer clay tools I use, shall we? Continue reading Polymer Clay Tools You Might Want to Get to Know
Polymer Clay Storage Options
I have received so many questions from you, my readers, asking me about polymer clay storage options. Previously I had written about some polymer clay storage options, that focused on floss boxes; many of you have asked for more details, pros/cons, where and what to buy. There is a wide variety of polymer clay storage options available to the crafter, professional, or home studio clay artist. The reality is that absolutely everyone stores their clay differently. Everyone has a system that works for them. Just because a system works well for one clayer does not mean that it will work well for another clayer. Let’s see what options are available to the home studio clayer. Continue reading Polymer Clay Storage Options
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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Today’s mini-tutorial will be on how to create your own custom marbled polymer clay base for your figurines … yep, a quick, & easy marbled base tutorial. This is an easy tutorial that anyone (including beginners) can do.
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.
All you have to do is search the internet for help on how to bake polymer clay. You will see a lot of wrong and incorrect instructions on how to do this. But let’s be honest: every artist does this differently and every artist has their own system that works for them. What works for me, may not work for you. And the biggest thing with polymer clay … the baking times are different for almost every brand of clay and oven. Today I’m going to give you a few tips on how to bake polymer clay items at home in your own toaster oven.Continue reading How to Properly Bake Polymer Clay
Sometimes your polymer clay pieces need an extra something, just a touch of something special to bring out the details that you have embedded into the clay. When you have carved or engraved your clay, you will often want to accent those pieces after they have finished baking. Many artists call this adding a patina to polymer clay. Other artists call it antiquing an item. For today’s mini-tutorial, we’re going to call it an “antique finish.” There are many ways to do this, but this is the way that I find the easiest…
How to Embed a Bead Into Polymer Clay
Sometimes It’s NOT as Easy As It Looks
For anyone who’s a self taught polymer clay artist, you’ve already made some critical mistakes in claying. You tried a shortcut (that didn’t work) or tried a way to do something that ended up ruining your piece. It’s okay, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This month we are going “back to basics” in creating with polymer clay. So for today’s mini tutorial we’re going to go over the proper way to embed a bead into polymer clay.