Friday, September 30, 2016

20 Polymer Clay Jewelry Tips and Tricks You Should Know

By on Friday, September 30, 2016 4 Comments

Are you just getting started with polymer clay?  Then this tutorial which overs 20 awesome polymer clay tips and tricks will make learning easier.  It is by Rachel (Creative Rachy), an Australian crafter who confesses to an addiction to polymer clay work.  I can't blame her. This medium really appeals to artistic souls.

She covers many topics including questions which beginners might ask.  Can you mix different brands? What then happens to baking the clay?

She uses super glue for attaching eye pins.  I suggest either E6000 or Super New Glue (not the same as super glue which can get brittle with time).

Rachel also uses cornstarch when making molded polymer clay.  I would use a hand salve or a little olive oil like a lot of metal clay or resin clay enthusiasts do.

Do you have your own tips to share in the comments below?

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. Perfect timing -- I'm just starting with polymer clay, and really appreciate Rachel's tips. Thank you for the link, Pearl!

    1. Have fun, Anitaraou! Lots of people love working with polymer clay. So colorful!

  2. Watched the entire thing Pearl. She sure works with small objects! But does a nice job.

    A couple of things.

    Baking - Everyone recommends NOT baking in your regular oven. I've never used my regular oven but use a very large toaster oven that has convection. I found my smaller toaster ovens burnt the items with the erratic temps. With the larger oven the investment was well worth it and of course I waited until Canadian Tire had a good sale on (half price) of an item that was outdated for the manufacturer. ;0)

    I use dedicated tools for my polymer clay - not baking pans that are used in my kitchen. All the brands say use dedicated tools. You don't want to put that stuff in your system in any way.

    Because oven temps fluctuate putting a couple of ceramic tiles from the hardware store under your baking tray will keep it from burning on the bottom most of the time. You don't want to bake at a high temp for that reason. Tenting as Rachel did is most effective.

    I also bake my items submerged in corn starch. I've never burnt anything that I've baked in this manner.

    Sanding - Research shows that the dry polymers in the air from sanding aren't particularly great for your system as well. Using a wet/dry sandpaper with your item submerged in water is the best way. Once you get it sanded through the different grits then polishing with a rotary tool lightly will give it an incredible shine as long as you have done the preliminary work.

    Mold releases - Uh...The best is corn starch or baby powder. I just sent you a video where the artist uses baby powder to dust the raw polymer clay and then scrunches it all together and miraculously unfolds it. The powder on raw clay keeps it from sticking to itself and anything.

    Using balm and olive oil will be harder to get off your clay before and after it bakes. Some products will also affect application of any product afterwards such as varathane etc.

    I've used mineral oil, baby oil, and olive oil to soften my clay so using it as a release might not be the best thing. Maybe out of a freezer but since I know these soften I'm having a hard time equating them as a release. I can see if you are using resin clay or metal clay....

    Corn starch and baby powder or just plain water make excellent and cheap releases. I use water quite a bit and buy my starch and powder at the dollar store.

    Another to look out for is using a product as a release that contains alcohol. Alcohol dissolves polymer clay and will ruin your molding. That's why baby wipes and rubbing alcohol are such great cleaners when it comes to polymer clay.

    Thanks for this link Pearl! She has lots of good points!!

    Now - off to create something since watching the video has made my muse sit up and start dancing!

    1. Thanks so much for all your helpful hints. I agree that dedicated equipment is best. But for someone who is trying out things before committing to buying, then her tips help.

      Intriguing point. I will have to test out the difference between using a balm vs a powder.