Modelling Polymer Clays

Polymer Clays for Modelling

Coloured blocks of polymer clay are a literal cornerstone of every modeller’s toolkit. With brands like Fimo and Sculpey and others, you can put together any figure or piece of art you can imagine. Polymer clays are produced in basically every colour of the rainbow. Picking different colours can add life to a sculpture all on its own, and can also help when you’re painting over it later. Colours range from the plain and classic brown polymer modelling clays to the more exotic, like silver polymer modelling clays.

Working with Polymer Clay

Working with polymer clay might seem intimidating at first. It’s often quite firm right out of the packaging and might need a bit of kneading to get it into a workable state. It’s actually really easy to get into though, and you won’t even need a lot of tools. To get started, all you’ll want is a craft knife or scalpel of some description. A ball stylus and needle tools, along with a scraper blade, are used to detail the surface of your model, and a roller or rod made out of plastic or acrylate will help you roll the clay out. Don’t use a wooden roller or dowel for that though, since the pin will soak up the plasticisers in the clay. Some polymer clays can dry out while they’re being stored, so putting your clay in an airtight container, away from any sources of heat, is advised. Dry clay can get crumbly and tougher to use, but it’s not a lost cause. You can revive it by judicious application of warmth, but not heat. Body heat is ideal, and some people will keep it in their pockets for a half hour, for instance.

Other Tools

Unless you’re completely new to arts and crafts, you likely have a few things already lying around that will be of help when working with polymer clay. Thing like an old toothbrush or cookie cutter shapes can be a great help, and polymer clay is best painted with acrylic or alcohol based paints and inks.