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How to condition Kato Polyclay

KATO POLYCLAY is clay of excellent qualities. For beginners and all those used to easy processing this clay may be tough nut  - so, let´s crack it!

Have you got scared? Please, read on: the clay used to be very tough but after modification of its composition you´ll see that it is well processable and no roller or rubber mallet are necessary.

1.       Take the clay out of the plastic wrapping and slice it thinly (ca 2-3 mm). Place the slices one next to another and pass the roller over them. The clay will get softer and ready for being passed through the pasta machine. If the clay still crumbles, roll it out repeatedly till it is consistent. Then unstick it from the mat.

If the clay is soft enough, just roll it out, slicing is unnecessary.

2.       Set maximum width of cylinders on your machine. Pass the clay through the machine. If some crumbs fall off, just stick them on the clay. Set lower width of cylinders and pass the clay through again. Repeat this procedure once or twice more up to getting to medium width setting of the machine.

3.       Now the clay should be malleable enough to be easily folded and not to break. So, pass the folded clay through the machine (the fold towards cylinders or sides) and repeat the procedure at least ten times.

4.       Conditioned clay is evenly coloured and glossy. Small cracks may appear on edges (if the clay is too dry, you won´t get rid of them completely). Beware of tiny dots (usually lighter than the clay shade), they are a sign of insufficient conditioning.

5.       Be aware that although new clay looks soft it needs conditioning. You avoid possible cracks after baking.

6.       If fine grains appear on clay surface during conditioning, it deals of air bubbles. Remove them simply by passing the slice through the machine, bubbles will burst.

Clay conditioning is important for these reasons:

-          Work with clay is easier

-          After baking the surface is evenly coloured

-          Neither air bubbles nor cracks crop up on the clay after baking

If you condition the clay correctly it will bring you following benefits:

-          It is much harder than other types of clay after baking thus suitable for jewels like bracelets or rings exposed to daily use

-          When creating and reducing canes the clay preserves details

-          The baked product is hard to touch

-          High gloss can be reached after baking the clay

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