Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Questions & Answers about Polymer Clay

It seems like I have been working with polymer clay FOREVER!
I get questions all the time asking me about selling on-line, taking product photos and creating with polymer clay.

The other day I asked my fans on facebook if anyone had any questions for me about polymer clay.

Here are the questions I received...

Q - "What are the must have starter tools?"

A brick of clay and your imagination.  ;)  My first large polymer clay project was making daisy flower magnets for my wedding favors 15years ago.  I used white and yellow clay, a toothpick for the lines in the peddles and an old cookie sheet to bake them on.  Over years I have accumulated alot of tools.  My favorite tools are my pasta machine, a stick tool (it's pointy at one end), a long tissue blade (helps scrape off clay pieces from my tile), an exacto knife and a large ceramic tile (purchased at home depot...I glued felt to the bottom of it so it will not scratch my table). 
Q -  "Do you shape them by hand or is the special shape cutters you use?"

Most of my items are shaped by hand.  When creating all of my objects, I do look at each component as a shape though.  Kemper tools are my favorite cutters. 
 All of those objects above turned into these below...
Q - "My 13 year old step daughter is wanting to learn how to make figures. She can do a lollipop..lol.. Is there a book or a site to help her learn more?"

YAY!!  Love to hear kids want to learn to make figures.  I recommend Youtube!  There are some amazing polymer clay tutorials on youtube.  Type in polymer clay tutorial, you will get tons.  (you can also search gum paste) When I started I purchased clay craft books in the clay isle...that was pre-youtube.   

Q - "About how much does it cost to start up? And can you use standard ovens? I don't think I'd ever attempt the clay creations that you make because yours are exceptional but it does make me curious."

I guess cost depends on what you want to make.  To make one item all in one color it can be pretty inexpensive.  A brick of clay is anywhere from $1.00-$3.50ea.  Tools can be anything, as long as you are not using them for food again.  Toothpicks and needles make wonderful tools.  While you can purchase a toaster oven, polymer clay is completely safe to cure in your own oven (follow manufacture's directions on packaging).  When you bake your items you can use a cookie sheet from the dollar store.  You should try your hand at it, make some Christmas ornaments with the kids.  That is how I started many many years ago.  

Q - "What kind of glaze do you use and what is your favorite kind of clay to use?"

I do not glaze my pieces.  I am more of a natural girl.   My favorite clay to use is Fimo Soft.  

Q - "Where can you buy the tiny shapes,I.e. stars and hearts. I've looked but they are all too big

The tiny cutters are called Kemper Klay Kutters.  I have purchased my kemper tools from lots of different vendors over the years.  My first set was a gift from my sister and she purchased them from a local art supply store called Hyatts many many years ago.  The last set(s) I purchased by googling kemper tool cutters.  I don't have a one go to shop to purchase them.  

Q - "How do you not leave fingerprints?"

Honestly, there are fingerprints all over my items.  :D  I never found it an issue though.  I know some clay artists will use gloves or do other special things to remove them.  

Q - "Do you use any special tool to smash the clay?, so when you use a cutter it is all the same high. TIA

I personally use my hands & a pasta machine to condition my clay.  To make everything the same thickness I use the pasta machine.  You can also use a deck of cards and a rolling tool.

I hope this information sheds light into how I work with polymer clay.   If you have questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I'll respond to them in my next question and answer blog post. 

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5 Sweet Comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

How interesting. I have never done any type of work with clay (other than in elementary school).

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I wish I had an artistic bent like you do (and patience). You've been doing this for even longer than I thought, so I'm not surprised that you're so darn good at it by now!

Cheryl @ Sew Can Do said...

This is so great to read and thanks so much for sharing it. I've never done much with polymer clay, but have always wanted to and just felt overwhelmed with how to start. Now I feel like I could try and have fun with the kids doing it too. You've got some amazing skills & creativity with your designs - I love seeing what you come up with:)

Maria Ragland said...

You are so talented!!!

Kimberly Calderon said...

You are so talented!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I am pretty good at fondant, and have always wanted to try polymer clay, but never have. I think I will give it a whim!! You are so inspirational!! :-)

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