How to Use Polymer Clay
That is, I will tell you about my work by giving general and specific information for those who want to embark on this journey or are just curious to know what polymer clay is and the depth of its use.
This section is the result of study, research and personal experiences, do not take it at face value, always experiment and try it first.
Do not copy it in whole or in part, do not keep parts suitable for posting on your blog, Facebook diary or others.
I am happy to share my knowledge, experiences and failures with you.
You can share the articles on various social networks, or come and consult them whenever you want.
What I have learned, experienced and accumulated, I have tried to put together all those who want to embark on this wonderful journey, without the hassle of searching and sleepless nights with dictionary in hand.
This section does not pretend to be exhaustive in all aspects, but simply, to provide tips and tricks for starting off with a little flattering .
Of tools and choosing between useful or essential tools, and tools that you may find very good. Build your own on low can or by using other items like can.
I hope this is useful, satisfies your curiosity and ignites a passion that I guarantee will not leave you easily.
What is polymer clay?
In Italy it is known as Fimo, even though Fimo is just one of several brands of modeling clay on the market.
Polymeric or synthetic clay, in English polymer clay, is a modeling and thermosetting clay (ie it hardens when cooked), based on PVC, polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride, originally a derivative of petroleum and most plastics. is used.
In the world. It does not air dry, it lasts long, it is waterproof, colored, opaque, translucent, pearl with metallic pigment or with colored glitter inside.
Polymerization occurs at a temperature of 110 ° to 150 ° C (depending on the brand used), the polymer molecules of the pasta form bonds between them with heat, thus the pasta hardens and is no longer workable.
This extremely versatile paste is used for a wide variety of tasks. Over the years, passionate people around the world have developed a range of techniques and procedures to achieve some effect.
You can find polymer paste on the market at creative hobby shops, stationery shops, fine arts and DIY stores, and luckily online, I say luckily because the variety of brands and tools available in stores is small.
In the links section you will find the addresses of sites from which I supply myself, or I have provided myself, so I know seriously and also know world artists, or sites of interesting people.
A little, a little history…
Born in Germany in 1883, Katharina Simon, better known as Cathay Krause, created the doll for her daughter, Sophie, who was named Fifi.
His dolls became famous and can still be admired in some museums.
In the late 1930s he had difficulty obtaining materials to make doll heads. So her daughter Fifo, now an adult, to help her.
Began to experiment with the dough, until she found a mixture suitable for modeling and baked in an oven at a low temperature. Fifi continued his experiments for a few years, using this mixture to make mosaics.
He designed a small range of colors, which he began selling under the name Fifi Mosaic. By 1964 he met Eberhard Faber, who became interested in the product and began to produce it industrially.
The material is currently sold under the name Fimo, from the union of the first two syllables of the words Fifi and Mosaik.
Toxic or non-Toxic
The material in the state in which it is purchased is non-toxic, but some precautions must be taken: It is not suitable for children under 8 years of age, do not touch food or put your hands in your mouth.
Wash your hands after processing, use.
Use equipment specifically dedicated to processing polymer paste, do not use knives, cutting boards, pans, containers, or anything else that you will reuse for food.
For cooking, follow the directions on the package. If burned, it emits toxic fumes that it is not advisable to breathe, so always cook in a well-ventilated environment, and pay close attention to oven temperature.
If you are using the oven at home, it is advisable to cook the item inside a closed container, even between two aluminum pans, which, in the event of a burn, will avoid smoke from the oven walls. escape will be avoided.
Carefully clean the inside of the oven before cooking. The best solution is to buy a dedicated oven for cooking synthetic pasta. However, you can use an oven at home to get started and spend money.
Me and Mark
There are several types of polymeric pastes for sale, with substantial differences in cooking temperature and time, consistency before and after cooking, workability, and a variety of colors available.
I will not list the strengths and weaknesses of each brand, because, from my own experience, I have found differences with what others have written
Reduced and corrected pasta
Difference Between soft and hard pasta.
Therefore, soft pastes are more malleable, easier to work with, and recommended for beginners. On the contrary, they become very soft and sticky in hot weather and if you try too hard.
Fingerprints and marks are easily left on the dough. Premo, for example, has a softer dough, easier to work with, but which allows a little more precision, compared to fimo I find it more elastic and resistant after cooking.
When waxing on the inside, it is a soft paste and not very workable, but very resistant once cooked.
Although it is similar to Pardo To Do, Pardo Art Jewelry is not a hard paste, but it is very firm, with this paste I was able to make a dog with initials at the end and reduce it to 1 cm x 0.5 without.
Distorted letters with very little waste. This is a paste that deserves more experimentation, then I’ll be able to tell you better. However, beeswax pastes are fragrant and pleasant to the touch.
Hard pasta is preferred to make murine or cane, which do not deform when cut into thin slices and small precision work.
Why people use Kato?
They are obviously more difficult to handle and condition like Kato Polyclay, but they are more resistant after cooking. I don’t know how to put Cernit, there are people who put it hard, but my experience tells me the opposite.
It must be said that as soon as Block arrived and was trying to solve it, it turned out to be very smooth, like Fimo’s black, but after.
A few weeks it turned out to be much more functional … ah, black a phrase I don’t know why, but black of all brands is softer than other colors.
This is why a lot of people use Kato, but sadly I can’t stand the smell, and would instead like to taste it well …
The colors are mixed with each other, brands can be mixed with each other, there are those who say that cooking in this case should be at the lowest temperature.
Recommended for the brands used, to avoid cooking at a low temperature. it burns, but I have often cooked fimo and premo or premo and to make together.
Fimo cooks at 110 °, premo at 130 ° and to make at 120 ° at a temperature of 130 °, premo’s, and I have nothing burned
Once opened, the content does not dry out but grows over time. You will learn with several purchases that there are fresh and therefore softer batches and more seasoned batches, sometimes I buy in abundance to allow the pasta to “age” before use.
That is why it is better to put it in a glass or plastic container, in a transparent film or in a cellophane bag, try with small pieces since the paste contains plasticizers and can react with some materials.
Do not expose the package or the paste to a heat source higher than 40 ° in general, the pastes already begin to polymerize at that temperature and you will no longer be able to process them.
So do not leave them in the car in the sun, or near a radiator or heater, etc.
To conclude: pasta is something to try, some of us have warmer hands and we prefer harder pasta because they are capable of conditioning and handling them well.
Others like me, especially in winter, have cold hands and it will be impossible to work with a very hard dough. Then there are differences in aroma, touch, cooking, color reproduction and resistance after cooking.
And finally, what kind of work are we going to do so that there is no real table or pasta to choose from, it is a subjective choice, everyone has their own opinion.
What is polymer clay
This is what sparked my imagination the most and fueled my passion, there is practically nothing that cannot be made with polymer clay.
Apart from making fabulous jewelry, it can be used on glass, wood, pewter, iron can be used for cladding.
Shoes, ceramics, glass, you can make pictures, murals, buttons, bowls, cover diaries and everything you can imagine. It lends itself to making imitations of leather, leather, ceramic, wood, bone, semi-precious stone, I don’t think so.
to know a more versatile and complete material. I don’t know why it is mistakenly underestimated and, especially in Italy, seen as a material for children or to create small trinkets.
In this regard, I am putting you a couple of links to Pinterest boards where you will find many photos of jewels created by world-famous artists, I hope it opens up a new world for you like it happened to me.
Why polymer clay?
Much like plasticine, polymer clay is non-toxic but should not be ingested. This aspect is noteworthy, especially if children can entertain themselves with it.
Unlike regular clay, polymer clay does not need to be painted to be colored. It is commercially available in small bars of different colors. You can choose between opaque or transparent, fluo and even bright tones.
Another peculiarity of this is that, if desired, the colors are mixed together to create different shades or geometric effects, depending on the technique used.
It is also possible to decorate the pieces with other elements such as plastic beads, fabric and paper.
Crafts that can be done with this clay
Polymer clay, also known as Fimo, allows the creation of a myriad of objects; From jewelry to taste, such as key chains, figurines, hair clips … all kinds of jewelry, such as pendants, earrings and rings.
Among its advantages, it is clear that thanks to the advantages of this material it can be painted as desired, with glitter, without glitter, to imitate an animal or to give the same animal the desired shape.
Also it can be baked and cooked at home without any problems, so it can be air dried.
Another possibility that allows the use of this polychrome clay is the extension of the accessories to “tune” the digital frame, as well as the inside of these frames;
Just mix different colored clays and create the desired image with them, be it a cloud, a flower, a rainbow or a dog.
Hence, it is a very fun activity as well as practical as it serves to decorate all kinds of objects. It looks especially good in the smaller rooms of the house, as the variety of colors creates fun, entertainment and decoration all together.
Technology and process
It should be borne in mind that in order to make any piece of any ornament or decorative element it is necessary to knead the clay and shape it according to your favorite drawing.
One of the most common techniques is to make murrine, very useful for creating effects. This is a necessary process for bead making in general.
A clay cylinder is shaped and covered with a sheet of another color. After that, it is kneaded so that the structure comes together and is cut into slices. This creates an intertwining effect of both colors.
Another common technique is that of the gradient. With it, a set of colors is ordered to form the pieces that contain a sequence of them.
To achieve this it is necessary to arrange clay plates of different shades as if forming a puzzle and knead until the dough reaches the desired tone.
One of the biggest attractions of polymer clay is its ability to work with household utensils. However, as you gain material knowledge and management experience, these tools are likely to become insufficient.
There are various specialized tools for polymer clay available on the market. Some of the most common are as follows:
Basically it is a machine used to make fresh dough, but it gives good results for kneading clay dishes. It consists of two rollers which come together, depending on the thickness chosen, and rotate by operating the crank of the machine.
This way you get a normal dish with little effort. Wooden rollers or empty glass bottles are the most rudimentary versions for kneading clay.
Important things to remember:
Blade: This is an essential tool for working with clay. It is used for cutting, slicing, pushing or smoothing pieces. It is better to choose a steel blade.
They are available in rigid or flexible format. The cutting edge can recreate a variety of straight, rippled or wavy shapes. For starters, a utility knife or razor blade with a safety on one of the cutting edges also works.
Cutter: they are similar to those used in cooking. They are usually pieces of metal, recreating various shapes such as hearts, stars and flowers.
They have a sharp edge that marks and cuts the material. There are specific markers for polymer clay, which are made of plastic and with a spring that allows you to remove the piece without deformation.
Extruder: It is a hollow metal cylinder, also used by potters, in which the clay is introduced without kneading. It has a nozzle on one end and a plunger on the other end.
When it descends, the clay comes out of the spout, assuming the shape that has been chosen: round, triangular, square, with reliefs on the sides …
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