CONCEPTS

What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is a sculpting compound made from a material called polymeric polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is a synthetic plastic and does not contain natural clay ingredients.

This PVC clay is available in different brands and is sold in blocks that are often called bars. There are many different colors of clay bars available for sale at craft and art stores.

Artists, craftsmen, and children alike use various techniques to produce a wide variety of projects.

Polymer clay is often used for children’s crafts.

Polymer clays can be sculpted, rolled, or cut into shapes before being baked in an oven over low heat, up to approximately 275 ° Fahrenheit (135 ° Celsius) to harden. Baking this synthetic clay makes it firm enough that it won’t break easily.

Artists sculpt clay into figurines that can be abstract shapes of various colors or whimsical caricatures of people or animals. Jewelry artists create beads and pendants with beautiful polymer clays details.

Polymer clay can be used to make beads for jewelry.

Jewelry is a very popular item to make from this clay. Jewelry projects are limited only by imagination, as the material is very easy to roll and fold into beads, pendants, brooches, and sculpted shapes for necklaces and earrings.

The polymeric material can also be used to create ornaments, magnets, keychain pieces, plant stakes, cake toppers, and many more items.

Polymer clay can be formed into ropes, then cut and baked to make beads.

To make simple beads, the clay is rolled into balls. These shapes are then placed on a metal or wooden skewer to create a hole in the centers to form beads. Flower sculptures, such as roses, can be created from clay by first spreading a long tube of the material.

Sections can then be cut with a knife to make petals. Each petal section can be slightly elongated and arranged around other petals to form a rose.

Colored polymeric modeling clay is generally sold in packages.

Two of the best known brands of polymer clay are Fimo® and Sculpey®. There are firmer and softer variations within each of the many polymer clay brands for modeling. In addition to the regular colors, clay is sold in many different finishes, such as pearl, stone, metallic, and translucent.

Polymer types of modeling clay can also be painted or added glitter, foil, and other coatings.

Tool sets for sculpting synthetic clay can be purchased at arts and crafts stores. Clay kits and tools packaged together are also available.

A polymer clay art set for kids usually lists the suggested ages for creating the projects. Some of the games designed for younger children include molds to fill with clay to create animals or other shapes that children can decorate after the adults bake and cool the crafts.

Polymer clay is available in a wide variety of colors.

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