Do you love art & craft? Or are you on the hunt for a new hobby? Polymer clay could well be exactly the new trend you’ve been searching for. Over the past few years, polymer clay has been rising in popularity. It’s a beautiful, versatile product that is easy to use, even as a beginner. In this article, we’ll help you learn a little about polymer clay, as well as reveal some top tips on how to meld it to your every whim.
What is Polymer Clay?
Polymer clay is a type of modelling clay that is completely pliable until baked (set). Even though it is called clay, did you know it is not a natural product? It is derived from the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s such a beauty to work with because It can come in any colour, as any colour pigment can be added to reach your desired hue. Once baked in the oven, it becomes hard and durable, making it the perfect artistic material. Even better, it is also non-toxic and doesn’t shrink or expand.
Polymer clay is extremely versatile. It can be used to create anything from fashionable earrings or household items and is even used in some industrial applications. It seriously opens up a whole world of artistic possibility. Here are some great reasons to start using it in your art & craft.
- Colour Explosion: Polymer clay comes in a huge range of colours. But even more exciting is how easy it is to blend these colours, create sensational patterns, and design your own unique and funky styles. You can let your imagination run wild with this medium.
- Texture Playground: Polymer clay can easily be stamped, scraped, or melded into a variety of different textures. Adding texture to your art is just another way to add to its individuality, making every piece you create unique.
- Durability: Once cured, polymer clay is incredibly durable. It doesn’t crumble or break apart easily, which helps to ensure your creations last. It also means people who might purchase your art get value for money.
- No Mess: Nobody likes a mess. Traditional clay leaves dust, or muddy stains everywhere you’ve worked it. In contrast, polymer clay is the clean freak's dream. Work on any surface and leave no trace of mess. This also makes it very easy to take away with you, in case you want to work on your hobby while travelling.
- Beginner-Friendly: As you know, we’ve already mentioned how easy this product is to work with, which makes it the perfect medium for beginners. Polymer clay can be the ideal start for someone just starting in the art or fashion world. Plus, It’s easy to correct mistakes when made (as long as it hasn’t been baked yet).
Now that you know a bit about polymer clay itself, let's discuss 5 top tips to help you on your journey to mastering it.
- Condition Your Clay
Before you start melding your delightful designs, you need to condition your clay. Polymer clay sometimes contains air bubbles, so you have to knead the clay softly to remove these. Kneading the clay will also help to mix any colours and also make the clay easier to work with.
- Explore Texture Tools
Don’t be afraid to experiment! There are loads of different household tools you can use to create different textures in your clay. Things like stamps, fabric, cutlery, and more can be used to create sensational texture in your art & craft work.
- Bake with Precision
Whilst you can bake without a thermometer, if you strive for perfection, we highly recommend getting one. They cost around $10 at the supermarket and they will help you get the perfect cure on your clay. Generally speaking, polymer clay should be baked at 135 degrees Celsius for 15-30 minutes. This can vary slightly from packet to packet, so it’s always suggested you check the instructions on your pack.
- Secure Attachments
If you're working on projects that need pieces attached, you should use liquid polymer clay or bake-and-bond adhesive to ensure a strong bond.
- Seal and Finish
Never forget to seal your creation! Use a clear glaze or a varnish to add a professional touch to your work. This step also helps to protect your work from damage.
In conclusion, polymer clay isn't just a passing trend; it's here to stay. Its versatility, vibrant colors, and durability make it a valuable addition to your art and craft repertoire. If you're ready to embark on your polymer clay journey, explore our selection at Glowish.co.nz, where you'll find a range of fantastic polymer clay starter packs.