Thinking about trying polymer clay, but not really sure what you need and how to go about it? Well, the good news is that you don’t need too many things for starters!
Get a light smooth ceramic tile (or a glass plate) as your working surface and some clay! Start with Fimo Soft and get a few colours, don’t bother mixing them at this stage (unless you really want to!). Work with black and white first (always a good classical combination) and then gradually add other colours, e.g. grey, silver, red and/or gold. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with only 3 or 4 colours!
If you feel like exploring polymer further, you might also invest in a good pasta machine, an acrylic roller, some needle tool and some cutters. Everything you use with polymer clay, keep for polymer clay use only!
Here are 5 top tips from Emma Ralph (taken from Making Jewellery magazine, Issue 43, Summer 2012):
- Ceramic tiles make great work surfaces – you can also put them straight into the oven, baking your work in place on the tile without disturbing it.
- Mica Pigment Powders such as Perfect Pearls and Cosmic Shimmer add beautiful metallic shimmer to polymer clay. Brush the dry powders over unbaked clay and varnish after baking to make the colours really pop!
- Thin card folded concertina-style makes a good baking rack for beads. Lay the beads in the folds or suspend them over the top, threaded on wooden toothpicks.
- Always use an oven thermometer to ensure you bake your projects at the right temperature – the dials on ovens are often inaccurate.
- If you don’t want to use your kitchen oven for baking, halogen ovens are affordable and maintain the set temperature more steadily that conventional table-top ovens.
There is so much more on Emma’s website – http://www.ejrbeads.co.uk/ – lots of information, gallery of her work, tutorials, shop, shows and events. Emma also started a forum devoted to all things polymer – http://www.polyclay.co.uk/ – where you can find the answers to your existing questions and ask the new ones.
So what are you waiting for? Go on, play with polymer! You know you want it!