Polymer clay is one of the most used composites in the craft market. Makers from all over the world have already tried it and some have even specialized in its use professionally. In Labois we wanted to know in more detail this product, its advantages and applications.
What is the polymer clay?
Polymer clay arrived in our country more than 6 years ago. Its low cost (a tablet around € 2) and its wide assortment of colors and effects allowed its popularization in a very short time. In fact, the most well-known brand of this type of synthetic clay is FIMO. Thus, it is not surprising that FIMO paste is commonly used as a synonym for polymer clay. Despite this, it should be noted that currently there are many other brands in the market that offer this material at a very good price.
Polymer clay is a paste of plastic base (PVC combined). It is very malleable, similar to plasticine, but with an advantage: it does not dry, splinter or cook at room temperature. Nor is a traditional ceramic oven necessary since it solidifies at 135º. In other words, it is a clay that we can bake in a domestic oven. For this reason, along with its low cost, this material was soon the protagonist of many tutorials, becoming a true fashion.
In the artisan sector, more committed to natural and exclusive materials, this clay has not been used as much. In fact, its quick dissemination and popularization of its use made it soon to abandon professional levels as the basis of its products. Even so, many markers bet for it and today they are a benchmark in their use. One of these teachers is the Italian Daniela Messina (Celidonia Studio).
Where and how is polymer clay used?
The applications of this clay are as extensive as the creativity of those who use it. In the craft sector, which is perhaps where we have seen it the most, it is the basis used to make figures and jewelry. Thanks to the multitude of colors that we can find, it is possible to use this material as a binder, but also as an elementary base. Thus, we find jewelry made entirely with polymer clay, as well as figures, miniatures or dolls. The only conditioning is that once cooked, this material becomes rigid and definitely loses its malleability.
To work polymer clay is not necessary to have a large arsenal of tools, rather the opposite. If we work with small quantities, we will only need punches and chisels to sink or smooth the surface.
On the other hand, it is true that the appearance of this clay is very similar to plasticine. This inevitably projects a somewhat childlike image, away from exclusive or more traditional uses. On the contrary, it offers a very colorful finish, which can be enhanced with varnishes or clays with a glossy or metallic finish. This has allowed the creation of forms that later luxury brands have also copied, such as miniatures of animals or fruits. You will surely remember a bag that incorporates some of these elements in the closure or in bracelets or pendants.
Do you know any artisan or craftsman specialized in the use of polymer clay? What kind of products do you make?
See you in the next post 😉