Tips for working with polymer clay. As learned by me through books, the class, and of course trial & error... why make the mistake someone else has already done.
- Condition clay - yep sitting on a baggie with clay in it really does work! LOL you know you want to thinking of me 'sitting' on a bag of clay.
- If it gets to payable/sticky - stop sitting on it. No just kidding, just set it aside and work another piece.
- MOLDING: IF you use a mold I had been told several ways to keep the clay from sticking. The one I found to be the best is *** baby powder, yep good old fashioned talcum powder. HOW? What I did (tip from a book) was take a small scrap square of cotton fabric, dump a good portion of powder in the center, gather up all 4 corners & rubber banded it. It makes a nice 'powder' when tapped on the mold, shake off any excess then press you clay into the mold, pause, then release the clay. Works wonders!
- Baking off the clay or Curing it: I purchased a small 'toaster oven' with the temperature setting & timer. *Never Use your clay tools for cooking! It is only good for the clay & crafting once used for this purpose!*** I can set the oven right outside my patio door & cook the clay outside, because when you open the door all the nasty/noxious gasses permeate the surrounding area. **I am very sensitive to chemicals so this is a great solution - at least for summer. Once the clay is cooled it no longer smells.
- Prepping piece after curing: I will sand off any noticeable bumps, scratches ect with Very Fine sandpaper (cheapest if bought at local hardware store vs craft shop). Sand in well ventilated area, I like to lay a towel down to sand on (again the towel is reserved for crafting only) I just wash it with the rugs.
- Sealing: I love the 'satin' polymer coating, give the piece a nice subtle sheen & makes it look finished.
My contraption: I took an old wood paper towel holder (the kind you can mount under a cabinet). Purchased at a thrift store - of course! drilled small holes in each side (where the dowel to hold the paper toweling was) inserted small cup hooks. I attached a wire or string between the hooks with my clay beads strung upon it. Then I paint the sealing gunk on, after they dry I remove the string and they are ready to be put into one of my creations!