If you want to relax and improve your creativity at the same time, you should try using polymer clay and make little sculptures. It is a great material to work with. It is easy to use, inexpensive, and available in a variety of colors. It is also easy to find. You can get it from the craft store. More importantly, it is something you can focus your mind and energy into, and just relax during the process.
If you want to make the most of this activity, here are five tips that you should follow:
- Find your inspiration.
Before you put your clay inside the oven to bake, you should form it into your desired shape first. What is it that you want to do with the clay? What kind of object do you want to create? Are you going to turn it into a bracelet, necklace, or some kind of accessory? Or do you prefer to turn it into an ornament or a decorative paperweight? You can check out social media and websites that feature do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for inspiration. This is especially helpful if you are a beginner who does not have much experience with clay sculptures.
- Ensure that all the necessary tools are in order.
There is no need for you to use complicated tools for sculpting. Nevertheless, there are certain tools that you will find to be highly useful in creating fine details. For instance, you may want to have a clay shaper set that consists of tiny rubber tipped brushes. These flexible brushes will serve as your little fingers when working on the clay.
You can also use a wax carving metal tool set, which consists of tools that have different shaped tips. In addition, you can use a dentist pick. It may seem odd to use a tool like this, but it actually comes pretty handily.
It is inexpensive yet useful for sculpting clay. Also, you can use loop tools that are made from bent wire ribbon. Their edges cut through the clay and take it away from the sculpture. They are also useful in polishing the general shape of the clay. You can use these tools to shave away flakes of clay or make large grooves.
If you want to make perfect clay circles, you should get circle pattern cutters. They are tiny tubes that serve as clay cutters. They do not merely press down the clay. They also come with a button on top that you press to pop out the clay disk. If you have a pasta machine that you do not use anymore, you can use that to press your clay too. They can flatten out the clay as well as mix different colors.
Furthermore, you can use improvised tools such as needles and straws. You can also use toothpicks, wire, and old toothbrushes. You can even use your old cloud vape pen 2.0 to create designs on the clay. Repurposing things like this is not only creative but sort of environmentally friendly as well.
- Learn to properly bake the clay.
As a beginner, baking clay can be pretty tough. However, as you continue to mold your clay and create sculptures, you get better and your skills improve. Keep in mind that if your clay is not properly baked, it will be prone to breakage and unusual changes in color. You need to make sure that your clay is baked just right so that it will be durable, attractive, and long-lasting.
See to it that you check your oven to ensure that it is at the right temperature. Do not forget to preheat your oven, and never bake your clay at lower temperatures. Otherwise, it will be incompletely cured. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to baking.
Do not worry if you overbaked your clay. Baking it for a long time actually causes it to be stronger. When baking, make sure that you also protect your clay by covering it with aluminum foil. You can place it in between aluminum foil pans to prevent the heat of the oven from toasting the clay.
- Use the right kind of paint.
You may think that adding nail polish or gloss to your polymer clay will make it more attractive. However, you should avoid doing this because the chemicals in these products will only make the clay sticky in the long run. You should avoid using sealers and paints that require the use of paint thinner for cleaning the brushes as well. Nevertheless, you can safely use acrylic paints for your polymer clay sculptures.
- Store your polymer clay properly.
Finally, you should store your materials properly. Keep the polymer clay away from heat to prevent it from hardening or curing. Do not store it near heaters, radiators, or lamps. You should also keep it away from the window or under direct heat. Ideally, you should keep it in “clay safe” plastic boxes or plastic bags. The container has to have the recycle number 5 at the bottom instead of number 6.