Monthly Archives: September 2014

MY LIST OF ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT TO USE WITH POLYMER CLAY- PART 1

This week I was told about someone who was interested in doing a polymer clay workshop but thought that if she enjoyed it, it would mean she would have to pay out loads of money on a kiln to make it a hobby .

This is not the case , although I can understand her thinking that.
When you see the word clay , it probably takes everyone back to school days, and of making pots out of grey or terracotta sticky worms of clay, which the teacher packed into a big kiln. This was then left on for hours until the pots were “fired”

Polymer clay does not need a kiln – it is not fired, it is “cured” in a conventional electrical oven at about130 degrees C.

Any way I thought I would briefly explain what equipment you need to start creating with Polymer clay, and show that you don’t need to a spend a fortunate to create something beautiful and original using this material.

1. CLAY friday 19th sept 056

There are many brands, but they all do a similar job and are similar in price. Here in Portugal I have only found FIMO SOFT clay. To start out I would recommend buying a RED, BLUE, YELLOW , BLACK and WHITE . From these colours you can make many variations, and get an idea of what colour preferences you might have. It is also a good way to learn about colour mixing .

2. OVEN friday 19th sept 052

An electrical oven is needed to cure or bake the clay. DO NOT USE A MICROWAVE OVEN
A small toaster oven is ideal . I think you can pick up a small one for around 20- 25 euros ( and a second-hand one for less)
I would recommend having one just for polymer clay. If you decide to use your regular oven DON’T CURE CLAY AT THE SAME TIME AS COOKING FOOD ! and seal the clay inside two foil trays when curing

3 CRAFT KNIFE friday 19th sept 053
There are some blades that are made specifically for Polymer clay ,but they are very expensive. To begin with I would buy a small width craft knife that has the extending snap off blades . The blade is great for most cutting tasks , and when extended it can be slid under rolled clay to separate it from the work surface.

4. WORK SURFACE friday 19th sept 050

A non porous smooth work surface is essential. I tend to use a large ceramic tile or a piece of plate-glass , but you could also use a formica board or a table mat ( as long as it is smooth and non porous).

5. A ROLLER friday 19th sept 051 There are rolling pins made for polymer clay work, but again they seem quite expensive ,and I have not seen them for sale here in Portugal . I use a heavy piece of steel pipe that I smoothed off at the ends. You can use any other smooth non porous round object. I know some people use jam jars.
(I also use a pasta machine for lots of my rolling but this is not essential !)

6.HANDSfriday 19th sept 058
The best tool of all !

So those 6 I would say are the absolute essential pieces of equipment you need . .

As you can see the equipment needed to start with is pretty inexpensive.

In my next post I will look at what other tools and other bits and pieces I think are very useful.