Polymer Clay is an oven baked modelling compound, widely used to sculpt dolls house miniatures and food, scale dolls and figures, and scale models. A form of Poly Vinyl Chloride,it remains workable until cured by baking at the specific temperature recommended for that particular brand of clay. Various brands of clay have different handling and finish properties. Clay brands are often chosen by what type of work you want to achieve with the clay. Stiffer clays are generally used for forming repeated patterns which are cut as slices from canes. Softer clays are used for modelling and blending sculptures.
Polymer Clay is certified as non toxic but is not edible and should not be worked near food or with food utensils. Use clay specific tools when working with polymer clay.
Clay brands should carry the ASTM D4236 designation, meaning that it can be handled safely by artists of all ages. Work with the clay can provoke allergies in some people, you may want to consider using artist’s barrier creams or gloves.
Always clean your hands well after working.
Sanding polymer clays or using metallic powders, should be done with a proper dust mask in a well ventilated area.
These clays must be baked to set. In the baking process they can give off fumes. Always bake the clays with adequate ventilation and follow the temperature guidelines for your particular brand of clay. Do not overbake or burn the clay. If this happens immediately ventilate the area. These clays are not safe for the microwave.
If you intend to bake large amounts in your regular oven, you may want to enclose the clay to avoid the buildup of any residue on the walls of your oven. To do this enclose the clay in a covered pan, or set the tile you bake your items on inside a sealed oven roasting bag.
Polymer Clay should be stored in a cool, dry place. The plasticizers in the clay will leach out of the clay with time, so use fresh clay if possible. Various additives are available to help recondition older crumbling clay which has less plasticizer. Avoid storing uncured clay in hard plastic containers or plastic wrap.
Store uncured clay in glass or metal containers which are dedicated for clay use and will not be used for food. Once anything has come in contact with polymer clay, it should no longer be used for food.
If your clay is too soft when you open the package, you can leach out excess plasticizer out by rolling the clay into thin sheets and storing it for several days pressed between sheets of white printing paper. Dispose of the paper safely after the clay has been leached in this way.
Use an Oven Thermometer
When curing or baking polymer clay use an oven thermometer - don't trust your oven to be accurate. Most ovens are off by between 25-50 degrees.
The thicker the item, the longer it must be baked. Small beads may need only 10- 20 minutes.
Puppen Fimo is a special formulation of Fimo designed for doll-makers. It comes in three colors;-porcelain, rose, and natural in 500 gram (1.1lb) packages.
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