Polymer clay is a versatile compound for use by artists and craftspeople. It is actually a type of plastic, rather than a true clay, but it can be modelled much like ordinary clay, then fired at temperatures low enough to allow a home oven to be used as a kiln. Because it can be cured at low temperatures, it is also a great material for children, and loads of fun to use at home! Don’t let that fool you, though. The best polymer clay artists have developed a whole range of sophisticated techniques, and there is some truly breathtaking artwork out there. I am just at the start of my journey. There is always something new to learn. The best known brand in the UK is Fimo, but here are various brands of polymer clay, and all of them have slightly different properties. I use more than one brand, depending on the job I want to do.
When I go to craft fairs, I usually demonstrate my work. If you want to find out more about polymer clay, come and see me. I’m always happy to chat when it isn’t too busy.
Caring for Polymer Clay Jewellery
Polymer clay objects should need very little care. If necessary, they can be cleaned with a little warm soapy water and buffed with a soft cloth. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals, and don’t use abrasive cleaners that could scratch the surface. Polymer clay is pretty strong, but be aware that it can crack or chip if it gets a hard knock, just like glass or china.
Prolonged exposure to bright sunlight will cause polymer clay colours to fade somewhat. This shouldn’t be an issue with normal wear, but it is probably a good idea to store it in a drawer or a box. I learned this the hard way, when a retailer put some of my jewellery on display in a sunny shop window for a few months. It actually faded rather beautifully. The colours took on a silvery sheen. That would have been fine, except it no longer matched the leather cord it was strung on, and I had to do it all again!