Working with Polymer Clay…..
I have realised that no matter how many hours I work with my clay and how many supplies I have around me I always reach for the same tools.
I mainly make jewellery, cute animal keyrings and Christmas decorations and these tools cover all these different techniques.
Polymer Clay is easier with…..
- Cutting Blades
No the most exciting photo but these are my absolute essential when making anything with clay. I tried using a sharp knife when I began making polymer clay jewellery but when I was cutting a cane the blade was too dull to make a clear cut. A proper blade will always give the best finish.
These are the Sculpey blades and they come with several different blades in the pack. I use the two straight edge ones all the time; the more ridged one (pictured with the handles) for cutting blocks of clay, cutting straight lines and to scrape under a sheet of clay that has become stuck to my work surface. The flexible blade is great at cutting curved edged and making slices from my canes.
The third blade with the wavy edge cuts a decorative edge.
2. Polymer Clay Machine
Again, not the easiest item to make look pretty in a photo but I would honestly be lost without my polymer clay machine. This is the Makin’s brand but when I began with polymer clay I bought myself a cheap pasta machine and had many happy years using that one.
This is used for helping to condition the clay (the process in which the clay is softened before use) and for rolling out uniform thickness of clay to work with. The thickness of the clay can be altered by turning a knob on the other side of the machine and the clay is rolled through by turning the green handle. I believe there is a motor that can be attached to this machine too but for now I’m happy turning it by hand.
3. Polymer Clay Cutters
These don’t even have to be specific to polymer clay. Any little metal clay cutters will work. I can do so much with these from making clay slabs to making long polymer clay canes.
Top Tip – They are also useful for making beads of a uniform size. I roll the clay out on my clay machine and cut circles in it for beads. That way the beads always come out the same size
4. Oven Thermometer
This is pretty much self explanatory. There is nothing worse than spending hours on a project only for it to burn in the oven so an oven thermometer is essential.
This one is from Staedtler and is handy as it shows the temperature I need for hardening my Fimo (not leather effect though!) in red.
5. Polymer Clay Extruder
I have left this to last as I class this as a little bit of a luxury but non the less a tool I use frequently. Clay is fed into the bottom of the clay extruder and a handle is turned at the top to force the clay through the disc at the bottom. The resulting clay comes through in the shape of the chosen disc. The set comes with several different shape discs and is a great starting point although I must confess that I have now expanded on my disc collection.
I have used this extruder to make canes, details on polymer clay slabs, making hair on angels, beads and more!
Top tip – store discs on a magnetic sheet and that way it will be easier to see the disc you want.
That’s my top 5 polymer clay tools….. nearly…… I will sneak an honourable mention in for my ball tools and paper piercing tool.
I have really pushed the boat on the exciting photos in this blog post!
The piercing tool is a throw back from my card making days but I now use it for making holes in beads and adding small deails.
The ball tools were bought very cheaply as a tool for dotting nail varnish but I find them far more useful for polymer clay to add details and smoothing joins.
Are there any tools you just can’t live without? Or maybe tools you have found that are not really meant for your craft (like my nail dotting tools)?