Craft Rating: Polymer Clay

Energy rating:            &&&&photo 2 (2)

Dexterity rating:         &&&

Difficulty starting:       &

Difficulty continuing:   &&&

Cost:                            &&&

 

Energy:

I’ve given this a 4 out of 5 as this can be quite a physical craft. You need to be able to condition your clay. It starts off quite hard and stiff and you’ll need to keep manipulating it in your hands to get it soft enough to work with. There are softer clays (such as fimo soft) but even these will need to be conditioned. If you have a family member, friend or carer with you to condition the clay then this can be a way around it and you can save most of your energy for actually making.

Dexterity rating:

I’ve given this a 3 out of 5 for a lot of the same reasons as the high energy rating. If you struggle with pain then the repetitiveness and pressure you need to condition the clay and get it ready for using will be a problem. But, as above, if you have someone to do this for you then there are lots of things you can make that aren’t too fiddly.

Difficulty starting:

Polymer clay is extremely easy to start. You don’t need any experience or know how to be able to make something nice. If you have a shape cutter then you can mass produce charms to use in jewelry, bag charms, phone charms, necklaces, earrings or bookmarks straight away. Just get yourself some clay and start.

Difficulty continuing:

I’ve given this a 3 out of 5, but the difficulty will change in stages depending on what you want to make. If you plan to make 3D models with multiple colours and different parts you will need to practice lots. Don’t expect to be able to make a perfect model at the start. Other things such as canes (see picture) are a great way of making more complicated 2D pieces. There are lots of tutorials online for making different images in canes and once you have made the cane you get lots of use out of them by cutting slices. The image above was my first attempt at making a cane.

Cost:

I’ve given this a 3 out of 5 but this really depends what you want to do with it. The clay itself can be relatively inexpensive to have a go with as you can get a pack for less than £2.50 but then cutters, shappers, rollers and other little bits can add up. To start with you’ll need to get a cutting blade and possibly a roller as well which can be quite expensive for what they are (about £10 each). A pack of cutting shapes would be a good investment for beginners as you can make charms very quickly and easily and it will give you a feel for the clay. You can also get a pasta maker/roller for about £30 to help you condition and flatten out the clay evenly but this is optional.

 

Do you have any questions or tips to share about using polymer clay? I’d love to hear from you.

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