Monthly Archives: October 2014

Other useful equipment for working with Polymer clay ( part 2)

When I was thinking about the next most important tools to have for working with Polymer clay I realized it all depends on what you want to do.

For instance if you are making beads you will need a piercing tool or a drill to make holes, but if you are making canes to cover pens then a smoothing tool would be much more useful.

I like to do a variety of things, such as making canes and beads for jewellery, covering drinking glasses, and combining polymer clay with leather to make cuffs.

So with that in mind I thought I would share with you what equipment I find the most useful, in addition to the essentials I mentioned in the last post.

CUTTERS friday 19th sept 055
I use biscuit cutters, pen lids, pieces of copper pipe, and anything else that when pressed hard will cut a shape .
It is possible to cut all your shapes with a paper template and craft knife, but certain shapes such as circles are much neater when you use a cutter.

Stamps and tools for texture tuesday 7 014

You can buy texture sheets specifically for polymer clay, but I make my own with lino, some green material called adigraf, erasers and a lino cutter.
I also occasionally use stamps that are used normally in card making.

tuesday 7 015
Ialso make some great patterns and textures using materials that are free .
I use leaves, odd earrings, bolts, screws, onion bags, scraps of material, pizza trays , and corks that I cut patterns into with a craft knife.
Just look around and see what you can find. You will be surprised at how many odds and ends you can find.
PIERCING TOOL tuesday 7 017
This is very useful if you are making beads or want to put holes into pendants before curing .
I use a large needle which I have pushed into a cork )and a cocktail or a kebab stick, depending on the size hole I want.

BEAD RACKtuesday 7 011

I made one from a foil tray and kebab sticks. If you want finer holes for the beads then you would need to thread them onto wire, instead of kebab sticks

DRILL I have an old small craft drill, which is really useful. I find it much easier and neater to make small holes in beads, pendants, and earrings by drilling into the clay once is cured.
tuesday 7 012

BASIC JEWELLERY TOOLS . If you are wanting to make polymer jewellery then you need to have a pair of round- nose and flat- nose pliers, and a pair of wire cutters at the very least.

MODELLING TOOLStuesday 7 018
I have not used these that much, as I have not done that much modelling with my clay,( although I want to do more) but if you want to make figures or flowers then they are essential.
They are also useful for drawing into the clay, for smoothing edges, and adding textures and stuff. You can pick up ones for cake making really cheaply.

A FEW OTHER USEFUL ODDS AND ENDS

1. Sandpaper – for smoothing edge of cured clay, or for creating effects
2. Glue- for adding brooch backs , and earring posts
3.Paints , chalk, metallic powders & eyeshadow -all great for creating surface effects
4. Wet wipes- for keeping tools, hands, roller, and work surface clean

So that is my list of what I think are the most useful things to have when starting out.
There are many other items that I have not mentioned, but I would suggest rather than going off and buying lots of shiny equipment, start off with the essentials. Have a play around and once you know what you want to make then just get the tools you need for that.
Also be imaginative, and see if you can use tools you might already have.

When I got back into working with polymer clay a couple of years ago, I went off to buy some basics. As well as clay and some cutting blades, I bought a bead roller that was hanging up saying BUY ME !
I thought it would be useful, as I knew I would be making jewellery .
Well ,after the initial excitement of playing with it wore off, it went into my tool box and has hardly seen the light of day since.
It makes small uniform beads in 3 shapes, which I find quite limiting .
I tend to like my beads a bit bigger and more individual than the roller allows, and I get better effects using my hands, a piece of Perspex, shape cutters, and a kebab stick .

As with most things, the more equipment you have does not mean the better your finished piece will be.

In my opinion that comes with time, practise, experimenting, and using your imagination.