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Information about polymer clay

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Tools and material - basics

What do we actually need – besides fancy, good mood and ideas – for Polymer Clay creation?

Similar inquiries pile up mainly in pre-Christmas time when helpless husbands clutch at straws... In this case, the „straws“ are their wive´s announcements: „I´ve tried out THE Fimo and I enjoy IT“ but their men are lost what to get...

Clay is the base. You get your ideal clay by trying out a number of brands and then you decide which of them is the best for you. Some „volatile“ individuals (I count myself among them) work with more them one brand of clay depending on types of projects, desired colours and available blocks of clay.

     • Blades

Blades are as indispensable as the clay itself. Besides wholly shaped figures, you will not do without a blade. I have tried out several blades and my favourite is NuBlade – it is very sharp, with thin sheet which gets back to its initial shape when bent. Moreover, it is long enough, thus perfect for cutting straight long strips. T-blade is its short variant with the same parametres. It is ideal for use when the long blade blocks e.g. trimming the inner side of a bracelet, etc.

I do not recommend to use carpet knives! In my opinion, they are unsuitable for several reasons: they are not flexible thus easily breakable, the sheet is thick so it is very difficult to cut accurately, and finally, as the handle is plastic it is not possible to hold it in two hands so you may distort e.g. a shape of a roll.

    • Rollers

My first roller was a wine bottle. It was conic and with a label on – both was wrong. Nevertheless, it was suficient for my first projects. If you want to make your work simplier, get an acrylic roller – the first conditioning of clay is quick and easy with it. Before starting your work, stand up and flatten a block of clay with the roller with all your strength. The roller serves also for connecting layers of clay, for making them even, etc. I have tried various rollers and I recommend this one by Sculpey. Compared with other brands of rollers, this one does not tend to crack at its ends. It is not that serious but if the cracks are in the middle and on the surface, it is wrong. Prevent the roller from cracking and ill-treatment (do not let it fall on the ground, do not beat your husband with it:-), etc.).

One more recommendation: do not use a wooden roller for noodles. It is textured and the wood is absorbable material. Turquoise is a popular colour but not when admixed with pastry...

     • Clay machines

The pasta machine is an ingenious instrument! No addicted Fimo-crafter can do without it... I know some individuals who decided to get it quite late, even Laurie Mika does not use a pasta machine. But they are in a minority. What is so exceptional about the machine? It can condition clay, create evenly thick sheet (the roller is not that accurate), connect several layers of clay, blend sheets (i.e. blend two colours – one evenly shading into another). In a word, you make half of work without a pasta machine.

In the article of „Polymer Clay machines“ you learn more about clay machines and select the best one.

     • Craft mat

The mat is another item that should not be omitted. It can be a piece of glass, a tile with no texture on, a piece of kitchen board – cheap and available in Hornbach. Anyway, a mat is indispensable when cutting clay, you can also avoid stains caused by clay. Unfinished projects can be simply carried to a safe place inaccessible to children.

This is a basic list of tools I can not live without. If you want to make beads, get also a hole-making needle. It can be substituted by a nib of a retractable pencil but my experience is that the hole-making needle is better...

All these tools were chosen for starting kits available in our eshop. We were conscientious to choose the best for you at the beginning to make you work easily.They are available either separately as tools or in a kit with a particular brand of clay. Moreover, besides kits you will be given a gift – a craft mat or a set of sanding paper.

If you let your fancy (and wallet) roam, you won´t avoid buying cutters, knives with points, liquid Polymer Clay or metal leaves. But this is another chapter about Polymer Clay...

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