Always Squish Your Clay

Polymer clay tips

On a recent trip to a craft store, I noticed a sale on polymer clay. This had me thinking that there were a few colors that I needed to grab…or squish.

I’m fairly new to the medium, but here are some polymer clay tips that will help you at any skill level.

Tip number one, when buying polymer clay, always squish your clay!

The reason? As polymer clay ages, it can get tough, hard to work with, and in some cases, crumbly.

If you squish and/or poke the clay while it’s still at the store you can feel how easy or difficult it will be to use.

Try to go for the softest one so that it’s easier on your hands.

Another way is to check the date on the clay, the newer it is the less likely it is to be tough. (This is a bit more fiddly as the packages can be messed up and illegible)

If you already have some clay that’s on the tougher side or it’s all hard at the craft store, no worries here’s some tips for that too!

Polymer clay is oil based which is why you can use oil paint to color it. Mineral spirits, liquid clay, and clay softener, can all be used to smooth or soften it. I use Gamsol, an oderless mineral spirit.

Adding mineral spirits or liquid clay can bring it back from crumbling. Conditioning the clay by either kneading it by hand or using a manual pasta machine (they call them clay machines in craft stores), will get tough clay workable again.

If a peice you’re working on needs smoothing, iosopropyl alcohol can get rid of bumps, wrinkles, and fingerprints. Go for the 70-90% because it has less water.(oil and water don’t like each other)

So, if life gives you crumbly or tough clay, you know what to do! Go forth and create something today!)

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