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Polymer Clay for beginners - Tips, tricks, tools & striped pattern stud

Hello Friends,

A big hello to all of you..
Today I'm at The Craft Shop Blog and sharing my first Polymer Clay video with you all.. I will discussing the basics of Polymer Clay, like what Polymer Clay is ? And what tools are to be used when starting with Polymer Clay and also sharing a basic but very beautiful striped pattern tutorial.



As there are so many techniques for Polymer Clay, and each technique uses different tools, its difficult to decide which tool you wanna have while starting with Polymer Clay. It gets very tricky and even frustrating as these tools does not come cheap and you want to make the best use of it. And when you don't know the basics of it, then it just adds to the frustration and you just loose interest.

So to avoid all these problems, I'm here sharing some do's and don'ts of Polymer Clay.

What is Polymer Clay?
Polymer Clay is a modelling clay that hardens when baked, in any convectional or toaster oven. Its non-toxic and can be used by kids (ofcourse under adult supervision).
There are different brands of Polymer Clay in the market and The Craft Shop has these brands in stock - FIMO, SCULPEY, PREMO and PRADO..
Each pack of clay weighs 57gm or 2oz and the baking instructions are given on the packaging, for each brand.
Note - Longer you bake the clay piece, stronger will the piece be. So don't be afraid of baking your pieces a little longer. Just do not increase the given temperature.
I usually bake my pieces at 275 degree F for about 30 minutes.

After baking you want the clay pieces to cool off completely. You do not wanna to rush and touch the pieces as they are in their most brutal stage, the pieces might fall apart.




Working Surface

You wanna protect your surface while working with Polymer Clay and the recommended surface is any non-porus surface like glass, metal, baking sheets etc.

For a beginner, I would recommend to go with Craft Sheet.. Its cheap, easily available, easy to clean and of course non-porus.
And if you want to go for something better, try using Precision Glass Cutting Cut from We R Memory Keepers. Its has 13 inch grid, measurements in both inches and cm, angel measurements..



Tools 


You can never have enough tools when it comes to Polymer Clay. Well I don't know what you think but that's what i always feel.. Never enough Crafty goodies..
But still I have listed out some basic tools for beginners, to make it easy for you to try Polymer Clay.

1. Rolling Pin 
You need a good rolling pin, anything from your kitchen to a simple pen's back will do the job, as long as its long and cylindrical in shape to roll out clay.
But if you are planning to be long term polymer clay artist, you would want to invest in this AMACO Poly Roller.

2. Blades 
You will need vary sharp blades with working with polymer clay. I like to use Sculpey Super Slicer as it comes with 4 different blades. But I reach for 2 of them most frequently - Rigid and Wave.
These are approx 7 inches long blades, easier to cut long straight lines and helps to slice the clay in even manner.
And the other one is X-acto Knife that helps to cut intricate designs.

3. Toothpick
Toothpick is easily available at your house and is a very good and handy tool. It helps in adding texture to clay, also works as a craft pick, to pick up really fine clay and reach tini tiny areas.

4. Dooting Tool 
This tool comes in very handy. It helps in giving texture and shaping clay, especially shaping flowers and leaves..

5. Glue
You need a heavy duty industrial glue that works with all mediums like wood, clay, metal etc., as you don't want your pieces to fall apart while you are using it. I recommend E6000

6. Eye Pins 
To convert your clay pieces to miniatures, you need to add eye pins to your miniatures.

7. Hand drill 
Hand drill is used to drill clay pieces after they are baked to add findings to them.


Procedure
When starting with polymer clay you wanna condition your clay, fold your clay using your hands until the clay is soft and pliable. You know your clay is conditioned when there is no more cracks in the clay.
You mix 2 or more clay colors in the same manner to make customized colors. Twist and fold and twist again to get desired color or marbled look.

You can also use  Pasta Machine for conditioning clay and rolling out even layer of sheets.




Now how to make this beautiful Striped Pattern Stud is in the video tutorial below.
To make the stripe pattern, I rolled out 3 different color clays in Red, Gold and Twinkle Twinkle (Black with gold sparkle). Red and gold in the thiskest setting of my pasta machine and Twinkle twinkle in number 4 setting.
And I stacked them together - Red, Black, Gold and again Black.
Then I rolled it a little bit for all the clay to stick together and then cut the clay in half and stacked them up to make a 8 layer stack.



This gives very beautiful stack of color layers which when sliced from side looks like striped pattern.
Now to create the studs, I sliced thin layers of strip pattern from the stacked clay and placed it on a red clay sheet.
Then using the smallest cutter from Circle Graduated Cutter, I cut out 4 circles from the strip pattern.
Our stud is almost ready. Now bake this pieces and once baked and cooled, using some E6000 glue attach Stud Findings at the back and our stud earrings are ready..





Watch the video below or click HERE to watch HD video on YouTube.











MATERIALS USED - 
























Hope you guys enjoyed it and give a try to polymer clay..
Thank you for visiting..
Have a nice day..

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