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It seems there has been a recent explosion in DA users who are now using polymer clay as a medium for their deviations.

To help out curious users who might be interested in what this medium is, how it works, or where they can get it I thought a NEWS article should be made. I shall also showcase some
deviations made with polymer clay. The data below is compiled from HanaClayWorks polymer clay FAQ and my own FAQ

:bulletred: What is polymer clay?
-Polymer clay is actually not clay at all. It is a form of plastic. (Specifically fine particles of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) suspended in plasticizer) The only reason it is called "clay" is because of it's clay like properties. It is a mold-able substance that can be cured in a normal oven (or toaster oven) and will retain it's shape and remain strong after baking.

:bulletred: Where can I buy Polymer clay?
-You can buy Polymer clay at craft stores like Michaels, AC Moore, Jo Ann Fabrics, or online. Places like eBay and etsy sell polymer clay as well as formal sculpey and fimo websites. Sometimes even Target brand stores carry small amount of polymer clay.

:bulletred: What are the different brands of polymer clay?
-There are a few brands:
:bulletpurple: Sculpey (Sculpey III)
:bulletpurple: Fimo
:bulletpurple: Kato
:bulletpurple: Cernit
:bulletpurple: Premo (a stronger form of Sculpey)

:bulletred: What are the differences between brands?
:bulletpurple:Scupley III
Pros: inexpensive, wide color range, good for beginners, readily available in many craft stores, (often goes on sale for .99 - 1.00 a brick)
Cons: When baked it is not as hard as other brands. So thinner pieces break easily. It can sometimes be too soft to work with, colors sometimes turn darker after baking (this goes for the white and translucent Sculpey), not available worldwide
:bulletpurple: Fimo
Pros: much sturdier than Sculpey brand so it won't break as easily, not as soft to begin with (Which can be a good thing since it will retain it's shape better before baking), colors won't change after baking as much as Sculpey.
Cons: more expensive, not as readily available as Sculpey in the US, harder to work with for beginners since the clay may need more conditioning.
:bulletpurple:Kato
Pros: inexpensive, great value for your money, colors are steadfast so they won't change so much as Sculpey or Fimo after baking, sturdy, easy to work with, good for jewelry-making
Cons: not easy to find
:bulletpurple:Cernit
Pros: Very strong, easily conditioned,flexible when cured,often used in doll making due to it's porcelain-like finish.
Cons: Cernit is less widely available in the U.S. and can mainly be ordered on-line.
:bulletpurple:Premo
Pros: Designed to mix colors the same way an artist mixes paint, Firmer than Sculpey III but softer than Fimo.
Cons:Store only carry a few colors, the rest need to be bought on-line

:bulletred: How do you bake polymer clay?
-Polymer clay is traditionally baked in an oven or toaster oven to be cured. All brands of polymer clay have a slightly different recommended oven temperature and duration. So, READ THE WRAPPER CAREFULLY! You don't want to burn your clay. Sculpey III (which I use) recommends being baked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

:bulletred: What is TLS
-TLS stands for Translucent Liquid Sculpey. Is translucent polymer clay in a liquid form. (A limited amount of colored clays are also available in liquid form) It is not necessarily the consistency of water but more like soft cake frosting. It is also very sticky and messy. Brands other than Sculpey make liquid versions of clay but Sculpey brand translucent liquid clay is more widely available and can be found in craft stores like Michael's and AC Moore. Uses for TLS range from a polymer clay-to-polymer clay adhesion (must be baked to function properly), a image transfer medium, or even to soften other colors of solid clay. Often used in faux frostings and other food items. TLS can also be purchased on-line.

:bulletred: Are the fumes toxic?
-No, the fumes are not toxic. They're only toxic if you breathe a whole lot of it after you've burned your clay. Keep the windows open and cover your items with tin foil when baking and you should be fine. If you want to be very cautious you can bake your clays in an open area like a garage (inside a toaster oven).  

:bulletred: What are glazes and How do you use them?
-Glazes are a clear protective finish you can put on the outside of a charm. One can use a variety of glazes.
:bulletpurple:You can buy a small bottle of Sculpey brand glaze at craft stores like Michaels or AC Moore which is very strong and durable. The downside is it is very over priced. It comes in Gloss and Satin varieties.
:bulletpurple:A small can of acrylic based floor varnish is very efficient and cost effective. It is much cheaper and there is enough to glaze your charms for years. You might already have some in your basement. Plus it comes in varying degrees of shine/gloss.
:bulletpurple:You can also buy a clear enamel spray to coat your charms.  Which can be very fast and efficient, but if charms are mildly flexible it can crack and flake. (according to HanaClayWorks My new opinion of the Krylon glaze: it sucks! Don't use it! The glaze gets sticky after a while and it will ruin your clay!)

:bulletred:Is it okay to rebake polymer clay items
-Yup it's entirely safe to re-bake clay. (although within reason. You can't bake something 100 times). Some even say re-baking makes the clay stronger. You can check out glassattic.com for more information. That site is the polymer clay encyclopedia. It has everything you need to know about polymer clay.

:bulletred:My clay is really soft I am having trouble making ____
-Polymer clay is very temperature sensitive. The warmth of your hands is what makes it soft and moldable. So if you are experiencing a warm climate polymer clay can be very soft and difficult to work with.
To fix this you can try a few things:
:bulletpurple:You can turn on an air conditioner
:bulletpurple:Or even have so cold ice water on hand to help you. You can give the items a little dunk and the cold water will cause them to stiffen up a bit.
:bulletpurple:For some items where the clay is warm and it is difficult for it to retain it's shape you can pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. This will cool the clay down and make it easier to manage. (I use this one a lot especially during summer) :nod:

:bulletred: What types of glue can you use with polymer clay?
-You can use a variety of glues. Some are:
:bulletpurple: a 2 part epoxy resin
:bulletpurple: E6000
:bulletpurple: even TLS (translucent liquid scupley) can be used as a glue for clay to clay adhesion. (but you have to re-bake it)

:bulletred:How do you store your clay? Will it dry out?
-Polymer clay should be stored in plastic bags or Tupperware containers. Somewhere air tight. Polymer clay does not dry out overnight but if left out for several year it will become hard and more difficult to condition and work with. You can buy a clay softener (made by most brands) to soften overly hard and old clays.  

:bulletred: Can Polymer clay be painted?
-Yes, polymer clay can be painted after baking with different types of paints. Such as acrylic, watercolor, and oil. (though Oil is not recommended due to it's long drying time) Cheap acrylic craft paints are commonly used to decorate charms after baking. Although the Sculpey glaze does have a reaction to some colors of acrylic paint changing them orange or brown. So beware. White clay can also be colored using chalk pastels. You shave some chalk pastels into white clay and mix/condition it with your hands.

:bulletred: What about making clay colors with chalk pastels?
-HanaClayWorks "For the purposes of coloring clay, you really should get just the regular sets and try to stay away from the lighter "pastel" sets. This is because you can always mix less pastels into white clay to get a lighter color, but you cannot mix more light-colored pastels into the clay to make it darker! Also, I have not tried coloring the clay with either hard or oil pastels, but from what I've read,it is best to use chalk pastels. Oil pastels and the hard pastels tend to come off as chunks and shavings rather than powder pigments."

:bulletred: What are mica powders?
-HanaClayWorks "Mica pigments are very, very fine powders that they have manufactured for cosmetic or craft purposes. They are water-soluble and can be mixed into paints and/or clays to add to the finished effect. The most popular brand is Jacquard PearlEx pigments, which can be found in most craft stores. They are a bit expensive, so be careful if you plan to invest in them! You can get a kit with 12 or so colors for about $30."

:bulletred: Are there polymer clay tutorials available here on DA?
      - YES There are.  
:bulletpurple: Halloween Jack-o-lantern Charm blackmago.deviantart.com/art/H…
:bulletpurple: Fortune Cookie Charm tedsie.deviantart.com/art/Fort…
:bulletpurple: Candy Apple Charm chat-noir.deviantart.com/art/C…
:bulletpurple: 5 Petal Flower Cane glori305.deviantart.com/art/Fi…
:bulletpurple: Strawberry Charm oborochann.deviantart.com/art/…
:bulletpurple: Lolli Pop Charm chat-noir.deviantart.com/art/H…
:bulletpurple: Crisp Apple Charm deltadream.deviantart.com/art/…
:bulletpurple: Bowl of ice cream chat-noir.deviantart.com/art/B…;
:bulletpurple: Octopus Charm oborochann.deviantart.com/art/…
:bulletpurple: Deviant Art Fella caithness155.deviantart.com/ar…
:bulletpurple: Filigree Technique mamalucia.deviantart.com/art/F…
:bulletpurple: Sushi Cane chat-noir.deviantart.com/art/S…
:bulletpurple: Sushi Charms tedsie.deviantart.com/art/Sush…
:bulletpurple: Plate of Breakfast chat-noir.deviantart.com/art/B…
:bulletpurple: Panda Charm oborochann.deviantart.com/art/…
and many many more. Just look around.

:star:Below are some lovely deviations made with polymer clay:star:

Polymer clay cupcakes by strawberrywafers flower necklace by Meeellla Piranha by Clayed

Mature Content

18 Aine by Nenufar-Blanco
Fudge Brownies by HanaClayWorks polymer clay jackolantern bowl by frost-rot
Chocolate charms by tragedienne Citrus Fruit Charms by bapity88 purple poppy necklace by Meeellla
Jungle Boogie by eerok1955 Ice Cream Scoops Charms by MandaBeads Ghost Charms by Keito-San
clay dice by blackhorsewhispers Plock? by jefita Calvin and Hobbes by eric-with-a-k
WhiteDemon bust by rah-bop:thumb40138794:

I hope you enjoyed my first article ^_^
:heart: chat-noir
A special thank you goes out to all the wonderful polymer clay artists who let me feature their works today.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrobbertlewis:
RobbertLewis Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2015
I want more and more articles and blogs please post soon such informative information.MacFarlane Curry
Reply
:iconcloverwyobraznia:
CloverWyobraznia Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Student General Artist
this was pretty helpful. I bought this stuff called Mod Pudge to make my charms glossy but they are super sticky now. Im hoping i can put a coat of polyurethane on them to see if that works.
Reply
:iconnymmiemog:
NymmieMog Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
Mod Podge is usually used on paper masher or as a sealant for craft foam. The best things you can use are listed in the articla above, and you could even use clear nail polish. But if you do that, I suggest using the more expensive brands like Sally Hansen. The cheaper ones come off kind of yellowish and can crack over time.
Reply
:iconcloverwyobraznia:
CloverWyobraznia Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Student General Artist
i actually got a can of wood varnish and it works great!
Reply
:iconorelinde08:
orelinde08 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
informative article! THANKS!! :)
Reply
:iconcelestialtennyo:
CelestialTennyo Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
= p oh and also, when you say fumes, do you mean while the clay is baking?
so when i bake the clay it will make my kitchen smell?
(in that case I open the window)
Reply
:iconcelestialtennyo:
CelestialTennyo Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009
Very informative =3
But I've always wondered this and wondering if you can help me answer this. = ] Can you make a charm with 2 different types of clay, like fimo with sculpey?
Like in a situation that there is more fimo than sculpey or the other way around. Which temperature and amount of time would I use to bake the charm? = o
Reply
:iconeliwi:
Eliwi Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
Hi! I can help you out :).
you can mix your clays, but you have to try and see what temperature it needs to bake right. Try with some smaller pieces and see :) I hope it helps.
Reply
:iconmayukichan:
mayukichan Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was wondering, Is it okay to use poster paint on the clay and then use sculpey glaze to make it smooth? :love::love:
Reply
:iconsparkling-vampire:
sparkling-vampire Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
can you use sharpie marker pens to add detail to a finished, painted model?
Reply
:iconoriganime-muckle:
origanime-muckle Featured By Owner May 11, 2009
ive used them before (after baking) but make sure you leave them to dry COMPLETELY (sorry for the capitals) otherwise it can bleed - it did when i glazed (stupidly) less than a second after i sharpied it, lol.
Reply
:iconsparkling-vampire:
sparkling-vampire Featured By Owner May 15, 2009
ohh okay thank you

~Nyaa! <3
Reply
:iconzorble:
zorble Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2009   Photographer
I prefer good ol' plasticine, or modeling clay, for any artwork. But mostly I use it in animating.

And it smells nice: kind of an earthy smell. I like it.
Reply
:iconpoki-art:
Poki-art Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
thank you very much! i realized now that my fimo clay is good for making some charms! i was upset because i cannot get any scupley or scupley glaze in my country. now because of this article i realized that my fimo clay and my acrylic varnish which i bought some days ago is good too. thanks you again :)
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
You're very welcome. :nod: Fimo is just as good if not better than sculpey. It is stronger than sculpey III after baking.
Reply
:iconluisarafidi:
LuisaRafidi Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2008
Very nice article! You said Etsy sells polymer clay, but I can't find exactly where in the site they sell it. Could you give me a link?
Reply
:iconstarcharms:
Starcharms Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2008
Mostly Etsy sells things made from polymer clay instead of the clay itself. It would most likely be a lot cheaper to just buy some at Michaels craft store if you have one near you (keep an eye out, they go on sale for 99 cents a block every month or so), or [link] is the cheapest place besides that for Sculpey III. Hope this helps! ^_^
Reply
:iconluisarafidi:
LuisaRafidi Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
Oh, thanks! :D
Reply
:iconsiliceb:
SiliceB Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2008
GRAT ARTICLE very helpful thank you so much
Reply
:iconnekokissa:
Nekokissa Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have a question about sculpey clay , ive only had this batch ivee bought for a few months and its become kinda brittle it falls apart into little pieces when i try and warm it with my hands it doesnt work very well x.x Does this happen often with sculpey?
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.

If your clay is cracking and brittle like that there are two possibilities.

#1 The clay you purchases was exposed to some very hot/dry climate and has become partially baked. If you think this is the case try and return it to the store and explain that it is unusable.

#2 You can put on some gloves and try working a little vegetable oil into the clay. Start with a little hunk of clay and a tiny drop of oil to see if it can work. It will be a bit messy.

But, from the sound of it I think it is really more like #1. Try and get a refund or even write the company. There is no sense in you wasting money on their product if it is faulty. :nod:
Reply
:iconnekokissa:
Nekokissa Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks but i figured it out, just dropped it in some warm water and it started feeling like it should again
Reply
:iconnaraku-sippschaft:
Naraku-Sippschaft Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
your tutorials are really really fantastic. I love you darling.
I have a little question: Do you canmake a tutorial about orange?
My friend loves orange and fruits like that and I want to make some jewelery for her, but I try it and try it without a good result. I found for a long time a tutorial, but I missed it.

Do you can help me?
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
Actually you're in luck. The lovely *MotherMayIjewelry made a tutorial already right here on DA.

Here is a :pointr: [link] :pointl:
Reply
:iconnaraku-sippschaft:
Naraku-Sippschaft Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
thank you very much for this link. *o*
Reply
:iconoczyaniola:
OczyAniola Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
Great work.
Reply
:iconpinknikki:
pinknikki Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Glad to know more about the clay! :D I've made a cupcake tutorial if anyone is interested. <3

Also, one thing I'm oh so curious about is how to SCENT clay. I've seen alot of websites online with all type of scents they mix into it, but no one will give up the secret. :/
Reply
:iconeliwi:
Eliwi Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
There's a tutorial on DA! Just search "polymer clay tutorial" and it should come up on the first page. It's very easy and nice :)
Reply
:iconkittykatklub1:
kittykatklub1 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2010
Ive always wondered how you scented clay in that many differnet scents :meow:
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
There are many ways to scent polymer clay. If you go to this site ->[link] and click on "smell-y inclusions" it'll give you several techniques on scenting clay.
Reply
:iconyodafuzz:
yodafuzz Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2008
awesome, i was looking for something like this
Reply
:iconleannetran:
leannetran Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aweesome! O: <3
Reply
:iconmiriam-doyle:
Miriam-Doyle Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2007
A very clear and informing article! I'm doing work with ceramics for some Art coursework, so this has been invaluable. :thumbsup: :clap:
Reply
:iconcozmicdreamer:
CozmicDreamer Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2007
Great, informative article!

I want to add that sculpey makes a new, lighter density product that floats in water! It also can be subsituted for aluminum armature. And because of its formulation, it is very strong. It is simply called Sculpey Ultralight and it comes in size-able bricks for a reasonable price. Also, it is available at all the main stores and supplies shops pretty much world-wide. Since My sculptures are quite large, It is indespensable for my purposes of use.

I must note however, that is is very sticky, and I would not recommend it for beginners. I find that it sticks well to itself and other unbaked polymer clays. It will molecularly bond to all the other sculpey clays when baked regardless of whether the former layer is already baked or not. I find that to make working with this particular product, it helps to keep water on hand or a lotion that you can put on your hands while working it. Stay away from petrolatum based lotions or creams since it will effect the clay itself, and may even break the polymers down over extended periods of time.

On more important note...This ultralight form of sculpey does not adhere well to any other dry surfaces like aluminum foil, masking tape, and even some wires. So I use the liquid sculpey described above in the great article, and brush a light layer over any places that the ultralight comes in contact with. The results are well worth this extra step! :D
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2007  Student Artisan Crafter
Very good points. I have no tired that new clay yet. I have seen it in stores and the package feels incredibly light. I will have to include that information in a future follow up article ^_^ Thank you very much.
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2007  Student Artisan Crafter
*not tried
Reply
:iconcozmicdreamer:
CozmicDreamer Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2007
You are welcome!:thanks:

I understood what you meant....I have a crappy keyboard and I always have to double check the wording to make sure they all are there.

As for updates to that article, It is most definitely worth looking into.
Reply
:icondresdenmurderscene:
DresdenMurderScene Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2007
If you're poor like me or can't find Scupley glaze/any glaze for that matter [i've only found one store that stocks anything sculpey branded at all] i find clear nail-polish works a treat, you just have to put a couple of coats on and it gets a little annoying after a while, but it works.
Reply
:iconheylookasign:
HeyLookASign Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Interesting indeed since I work with a lot of sculpey to make my clay figs
Reply
:iconpink-bunni-ninja:
pink-bunni-ninja Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2007
thanks! this article is a HUGE help!
:hug:
Reply
:iconhorse333:
horse333 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2007
i like this article a lot i give you a :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

5 stars
Reply
:iconhorse333:
horse333 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007
i wish i could make tutorials :worry:
Reply
:iconeklypz17:
Eklypz17 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2007
I love playing with polymer clay. Really loving kato lately and not that rare...Hobby Lobby carries it but I shop from the source: prairiecraft.com . They have some amazing new pigmented clay that is a dream to mix with also, makes some super rich colors!
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2007  Student Artisan Crafter
Oh wow. That's neat. The only way for me to get it is on-line. Stores here in Jersey don't sell Kato brand. I will have to include that new pigmented clay in the next article. :aww: Thank you so much for the info.
Reply
:iconmamalucia:
MamaLucia Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Beautifully done! Kudos to you! :blowkiss: :hug: :glomp: :w00t:
Reply
:iconpolymer-clay:
polymer-clay Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2007
Thanks for putting my pieces in your article! Your article was very informative. I learned a couple new things!
Reply
:iconchat-noir:
chat-noir Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2007  Student Artisan Crafter
No problem :hug:
Reply
:iconsehara:
sehara Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2007
Great article!

I work with polymer clay (FIMO) as well, but since I recently started my Galery, there are only few of my works with PC there. PC is great for faux stones ;) and there's much that can be done with it.
Reply
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