Polymer clay for beginners. How to work with polymer clay
Domestic masters of artistic handicraft have only recently met with such a unique material as self-hardening polymer clay. The combination of exceptional properties in a single material almost instantly caused real excitement around this foundation, both among professional craftsmen and amateurs.
General material characteristics
Self-hardening polymer clay has a number of outstanding qualities and characteristics, among which it is necessary to highlight the following:
- the presence of the widest variety of color palette;
- perfect keeping of the form both in the frozen and in the plastic state;
- no need to bake the mold for a long time;
- prolonged storage of material in normal conditions without loss of basic properties;
- the ability to create the most subtle, complex elements and sophisticated products.
Advantages of polymer clay
One of the main advantages that polymer clay gives lovers of artistic modeling (MK using this material are found quite often) is its widest availability and particular ease of use. This material is perfect for learning needlework beginners. After all, work with polymer clay is distinguished by its particular simplicity of the technological process.
Products based on polymer clay compare favorably with analogues made from outdated materials that were widely used in the past. Use the material can be equally effective at work and at home. Moreover, thermoplastic processing is possible using the most simple, improvised tools and materials. After complete hardening, the finished product is distinguished by its highest strength, comparable to the parameters of plastic.
Which thermoplastic is better to use in needlework?
Novice masters of artistic modeling are encouraged to purchase a thermoplastic of domestic production, which has the lowest cost compared to products of reputable imported brands.Only in this case, you can translate into reality any creative ideas and not worry about the extra costs.
Fairly inexpensive and affordable Polish polymer clay for beginners. In addition, most of the known samples of Polish polymer clay can be cooked without firing.
If the main requirements for the material is to have the maximum palette of available colors, as well as the high strength of the product after drying, then it is better to give preference to expensive samples of reputable imported brands.
The main differences of popular brands of thermoplastic
The most suitable option for inexperienced masters may be the domestic polymer clay for beginners "Flower". The material is distributed in convenient compact packages with samples from 6 to 12 different colors. Among the obvious shortcomings can be noted the special brittleness after drying, the poverty of the color palette and the lack of various effects.
Polymer clay, the most widespread on domestic open spaces, for beginners of foreign production is the material of the Fimo brand. This clay is notable for an impressive variety of various shades,practically does not change color after firing and is applicable for modeling using almost all techniques.
As for the products of another popular manufacturer - Premo, then the products of this company have a pleasant, comfortable for modeling, somewhat waxy texture. However, it is these properties that are most preferable when it comes to creating sausage blanks.
Cernit products should be distinguished among professional polymer clay samples for artistic modeling. High density and wax texture allows you to easily sculpt flowers from polymer clay, to create small details, elegant shapes and amazing elements. The only drawback of the material can be considered a noticeable change in color after annealing, up to the appearance of the effect of complete transparency.
Kato material hardens after firing at higher temperatures compared with the above-mentioned products. The material has a very solid texture for the preparation of blanks by hand. Therefore, such clay is kneaded using a hammer.
Despite the fairly wide variety of materialswhich differ in cost, characteristics and characteristics of the application, masters are recommended to work with all available samples. This is the only way to find the ideal options for performing certain jobs.
Where can I buy polymer clay?
Polymer clay for beginners should be selected on the basis of technology, which is taken as a basis for future creativity. You can choose the material, focusing on the appropriate price, properties, availability.
To find a thermoplastic today is most simple in specialized stores selling materials for needlework and creative work. It can be ordered in art stores and even seen on the shelves of stationery stores. To solve the problem of finding and buying suitable polymer clay for residents of remote regions from a large civilization will help the Internet, where there are many relevant stores.
Polymer clay tools
There is a whole list of tools for working with polymer clay. Some of them are mandatory, others are only a tool that can facilitate and simplify the handling of the material.
I would like to highlight the following useful tools for polymer clay:
- Working surface- most often it is a smooth flat plane made of dense material, for example, ceramic tile, glass. Alternatively, you can use a thick sheet of paper. The main thing is that the pieces of plastic do not stick into its surface during work.
- Knives- it is better to use sharp stationery models or extremely thin sharp blades, which eliminates the deformation of the product during cutting.
- Pins- are required for secure fixing of individual elements of the product both during modeling and during firing of the finished sculpture.
- Rolling pins- it is possible to use for rolling an ordinary wooden cylinder, a glass bottle or a special device.
- Gloves- a neat appearance the finished product acquires only in the absence of prints. This can be achieved by using comfortable, well-fitting latex gloves.
- Foil- used in the process of burning products made of polymer clay.
How to bake polymer clay?
The firing of finished products from thermoplastic is usually carried out in earthenware dishes or on ceramic tiles.Ensuring effective baking of the protruding elements at the same time helps them to sit on metal pins. The product itself is wrapped in foil, after which it is sent to the oven.
Trying to understand how to bake polymer clay correctly, it is better to initially turn to the experience of specialists, after reviewing several training lessons. In reality, roasting is a simple matter. The main thing is to strictly follow the compliance with the temperature requirements specified by the manufacturer of the material on the package.
Often, learning how to sculpt from polymer clay, beginners allow a whole lot of errors, leaving fingerprints on the surface of products. Therefore, to hide all the flaws, thermoplastic varnishes. Among other things, it allows you to give the surface of the product a variety of attractive effects and make colors more expressive.
Currently, special glossy, matte, transparent and semi-matt varnishes for working with polymer clay are widely available. You can buy them in large stores of needlework. Often the production of such varnishes directly involved manufacturers of thermoplastic.
It is easy to work with polymer clay varnishes. Do not just forget about the need to degrease surfaces. To do this, you can use a soap solution or alcohol.
In its raw form, polymer clay is not toxic. However, when heated, the material may release a small proportion of hazardous substances. In some cases, the components of polymer clay negatively affect the condition of the skin.
How to work with polymer clay, so as not to harm their own health? When working with material it is rational to adhere to the following precautions:
- work recommended in a well-ventilated area;
- as protection during firing, it is sufficient to use a simple respirator or gauze bandage;
- if a kitchen oven is used for firing, and the work is done at home, then it is worthwhile to carefully pack the food in polyethylene or hide it in a secluded place;
- the oven intended for cooking must be thoroughly cleaned, ventilated and sanitized at the end of the work;
- in no case should you bake polymer clay products at the same time as cooking food.
Tips for beginners
How to work with polymer clay? Inexperienced masters should start, initially trying to avoid mistakes. First of all, it is worth getting all the necessary tools and materials. This will facilitate the work, will avoid damage to the basis of the product.
Resorting to the creation of the first crafts, it is worth buying the material of only a few primary colors. Otherwise, brute force with shades can lead to mixing of paints on the surface of the product.
Work in gloves is a prerequisite for inexperienced craftsmen. The appearance of noticeable prints on the surface of the product will surely force it to be varnished in several layers.
Ultimately, understanding how to sculpt from polymer clay will allow learning from a master, attending special courses, reading relevant literature, and viewing educational video tutorials. In each case, it all depends on the chosen technique of execution and the nature of the products.