I get tons of questions on my Instagram all the time about working with polymer clay so I thought I'd compile everything into a post and share it with all of you!
How do I get started?
One mistake that I made when I first started was not researching more about working with polymer clay. I literally drove to Spotlight not knowing what I really needed and bought a bunch of things.
So here's a list of things that I think would be great to start with:
- Good brand of polymer clay.
- I recommend PREMO because I started off with Sculpey III and it was the worse thing ever! It literally snapped in my hands after baking.
- Dotting tool
- Shape cutters
- Round nose pliers
- Jump Rings (8mm or 10mm)
- Hooks, ball posts, studs
- E6000 Glue (if you're using studs)
- Ceramic tile
- Oven thermometer
- Pasta Maker or Acrylic Roller
Working with polymer clay involves a lot of trial and error so don't be afraid to experiment!
Conditioning your clay
I use a pasta maker as I find that this saves so much of my time and energy! Run your clay through the pasta maker as much as possible as this helps get all the air bubbles out and gives you an even surface to work on. My pieces are about 3mm thick which I find is a good thickness to have.
I have worked on cutting mats, silicone mats and ceramic tiles and it all depends on what suits you. Working on ceramic tiles is probably the best as you can use a blade on it and it won't even cut the tiles. You can also bake your pieces on the ceramic tile and they're not too expensive either.
Prepping your pieces before baking
Gently smoothen out your finished pieces before baking. Make sure they're nice and flat before baking them. I use my dotting tool to poke a hole into my pieces before baking as I find that it's easier than using a drill (less messy too!). I also try and minimize as much sanding time by using my blade and running it through the edges to get rid of any excess pieces.
Baking your clay
All ovens are different so make sure you bake a test piece before anything! Having an oven thermometer is really handy to make sure your temperature is precise. I bake my pieces at 130C for 45-50 minutes and I have the Sunbeam Multi-Function Oven. You want to make sure that you check on your pieces every 5 minutes to make sure they don't burn.