Friday, August 27, 2010

Peanut Butter & Jelly, and FAQ - Polymer Clay

If you are just beginning to work with polymer clay you might have a few questions, I know I did! I am here & happy to answer all that I can. 
So here are the questions that are most frequently asked pertaining to polymer clay:
1. What is polymer clay?
Wikipedia defines polymer clay as a sculpt-able

material based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride 

(PVC). It usually contains no clay minerals, and is 

only called "clay" because its texture and working

 properties resemble those of mineral clay. It is sold

 in craft, hobby, and art stores, and is used by

 artists, and hobbyists.

2. Where can I buy polymer clay?
Polymer clay can be purchased at your local craft

 stores like Joann Fabrics, Michael's, or Hobby 

Lobby. (Joann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby are my

 favorites because they always have great sales!)
3.What is your favorite brand?
My favorite brand of polymer clay is FIMO, hands 

down. I love it because it contains no phthalates. 

Other brands of polymer clay do contain phthalates, 

which can be harmful to your health if you are 

exposed to them over long periods of time. 

My second favorite brand is KatoClay.

4. How long do you bake?
Each piece will require a different baking time 

depending on the size and volume of clay used. You

 must carefully follow the directions on the

 packaging. Each brand of polymer clay clearly lists

 their baking directions on the front, back, or sides of 

the wrapping. It's best to bake for a shorter amount

 of time, rather than a longer because polymer clay

 has the tendency to scorch or burn. 
5. Where can I buy headpins / eyelits?
Both items can be purchased at your local craft 

store, Hobby Lobby, JOann Fabrics, or Michael's.
6. How do I make them shiny?
Once a charm is finished baking, and has cooled I 

use Sculpey Glossy Glaze. You can purchase glaze

 or clear varnish at your local craft store, Hobby

 Lobby, JOann Fabrics, or Michael's.
7. Do I add the headpin before or after baking?
I add headpins before I bake. This is the easiest way 

for me. If you've just made a charm let it cool before

 you insert the headpin. This will ensure that your 

charm does not become disfigured. 
8. Do I add rhinestones before or after baking?
I have added rhinestone to polymer clay charms

 before baking, but they slightly melted in the oven.

 They didn't completely dissolve, but they lost their 

shape and hard edge. After this experience, I bake 

first, then glue the rhinestones on with a heavy duty 

craft glue once they've cooled.