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Polymer Clay History

Posted by goregt On September - 9 - 2009

What is Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is a material you can sculpt. It is based on polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material. It usually contains no clay minerals and is only called “clay” because its texture and properties resemble mineral clay. Polymer clay is sold in craft, art and hobby stores. It is used by artists, hobbyists and children.

All polymer clay brands include PVC and one or more liquid plastic. Pigments may be added to the base to create colors along with small amounts of kaolin or white china clay. Mica may also be added to make a metallic looking clay.

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My First Polymer Clay Sculpture

Posted by goregt On August - 28 - 2009

When I first started sculpting with polymer clay I basically only had around six weeks of sculpting experience. Up to that time the only clay that I even knew existed was a water based clay. For those of you that still sculpt with water based clays my condolences. To say that they are a challenge to work with is an understatement (unless you are using them for pottery or something along those lines).

I’ve always been one to push myself to the limits with my art and my first polymer clay sculpture was no exception to that rule. I wanted to create a sculpture that was both dynamic and unlike anything that I had ever seen before. I personally have always liked artwork that depicted angels so for my first piece I decided to create a piece that was my own version of how I think an angel would look like.
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Welcome – Polymer Clay Fan

Posted by goregt On August - 7 - 2009
Polymer clay example

Polymer clay example

Polymer clay is a unique sculpting medium that offers a versatility unmatched by any other product in its class. Although other sculpting mediums, such as waxes, may allow more ease for sharper details no other medium can duplicate polymer clays ability to easily create a completed work of art. Details are not foreign with polymer clay either, with enough time and practice anyone can create highly detailed artwork using nothing but polymer clay.This site is a collection of information, tips and sculpting tutorials for my favorite sculpting mediums…Polymer Clay.

My name is Gerald Gore and I am a self taught sculptor. The tutorials on this site are a step-by-step pictures of some of the sculptures I have created. You can read more about me and how I got started sculpting on the About page.

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Polymer Clay Books

Posted by goregt On August - 7 - 2009

Whether you’re an expert or just starting out, Polymer Clay books are a great resource to have.

Polymer clay books are a great resource to both improve on and learn new skills. No matter what your experience level is there are a lot of great books out there that will help teach, inspire and motivate you to making amazing looking artwork.

Here are a few polymer clay books worth considering.

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Polymer Clay Jewelry

Posted by goregt On August - 7 - 2009

One of the most widely popular uses for polymer clay is making jewelry. Polymer clay jewelry artist are known for creating unique one-of-a-kind wearable art. Some of the most popular types of jewelry that are created are earrings, necklaces, pendants, pins and bracelets.

Jewelry making can range from the simple to the complex and some polymer clay jewelry makers are so talented that their artwork looks as if it was made by a machine. While some jewelry makers create a wide variety of different types of jewelry, there are others that hone their skills and focus on a specialty. A very common specialty among polymer clay jewelers is making beads for necklaces and bracelets. Some beads are so extravagant that a single bead can sell for a pretty nice price.

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Polymer Clay Projects

Posted by goregt On August - 5 - 2009

Looking for free polymer clay projects?

Whether you are looking for a few craft ideas for your kids or you are just young at heart, the possibilities for polymer clay projects are limited to your own imagination. Need help with some ideas? Here are a few examples that you can try at home:

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Polymer Clay Art

Posted by goregt On August - 5 - 2009

Polymer clay is a very versatile and wonderful medium to work with. Whether your polymer clay art interest is jewelry, wildlife art, dolls, figurines or other polymer clay projects, there are no limitations to the quality of work that you can do. Listed below are examples of a few sculptures created in Polymer Clay.

Polymer clay art of a warrior angel

Polymer clay angel

Polymer clay wildlife sculpture

Polymerclay Indian sculpture Read the rest of this entry »

Sculpting with Wax vs Polymer Clay

Posted by goregt On July - 31 - 2008

Stop the press, isn’t this site suppose to be about polymer clay sculpting, after all the name of the site is Polymer Clay Fan! Yes you have read the title to this post correctly, I’ve started playing with wax lately and although I’m still wet behind the ears I thought why not put together a little post to compare the two mediums. I’m sure a few diehard polymer clay artists may snub their nose at this post but I recommend reading through the entire article before jumping to a conclusion. This isn’t an article about discrediting wax or even polymer clay, it is just my observation of the positives and negatives the two different mediums have to offer.

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Using Alcohol on Polymer Clay

Posted by goregt On May - 31 - 2007

Using Alcohol With Polymer Clay

Rubbing Alcohol is a great tool that is used to help smooth and blend polymer clay when sculpting.  Like the Vaseline tutorial, I have several other tutorials where I give examples on how I use alcohol while sculpting (I’ve included a few examples at the bottom of this page).  When I first started sculpting I used water based clay (I had never even heard of polymer clay at that time).  With the water based clay I was able to achieve a smoothing and blending effect by using a wet sponge or Q-tip.  However, when I started using polymer clays, water did not have the same effect.  At first I tried to use water and Q-tip on my polymer clay but the results were pretty poor.  After doing a lot of research on the internet I discovered that rubbing alcohol dissolves polymer clays.  Thanks to other polymer clay artist I was able to learn that alcohol on a Q-tip, sponge or paint brush has the same effect as water on water based clay. I have experimented with different potencies of rubbing alcohol and found that not all are created equal.

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Polymer Clay Vase

Posted by goregt On May - 26 - 2007

Creating a Marbled Vase

This is a quick and easy tutorial that will demonstrate how to take a plain Jane glass vase and turn it into a work of art with the help of a little polymer clay. This is the first time I have ever done something like this myself so at the end of the page I will cover some lessons learned.

This really is a simple tutorial and I’m convince just about anyone can easily create a marbled vase. If it seems a little challenging at first then just keep practicing and it will come to you in no time at all.

The polymer clay I am using for this particular piece is Premo.

Glass vase filled with Premo polymer clay No need to cringe, you do not need that much clay for this tutorial. I was shopping at my local Hobby Lobby and went a little overboard on the clay. All is good since I will have plenty of clay for future projects. To give you an idea on how much clay you will need, I ended using less than one block of two or three colors by the time the vase was completed (My glass vase is around five (5) inches tall).Note: Make sure the glass vase that you purchase can be baked in an oven.
Polymer Clay Premo The first step is to condition the clay. Premo is a little firmer then the clay I normally use, Super Sculpey, so a pasta machine comes in handy here. I’m only using two colors on my vase so I keep rolling out the clay until it is fully conditioned.
Marbled clay The next step is the mix the two colors together and roll them both through the pasta machine. I repeated this step several times until I got a design I was happy with. Just roll the clay, fold, squish it together and roll it again. You don’t want to fully blend the clay, the key here is to keep the marbled look.
Applying polymer clay to the vase Simply press the clay onto the glass vase. I started from the bottom and worked my way up on this piece.
Polymer clay vase tutorial Still applying clay to the vase.
Smoothing out the clay Using one of my dental tools I blend the individual pieces together. Spend some time on this stage since you want the clay to look as if it was on piece. Try to avoid parting lines if possible.
Polymer clay vase art Once you create your own vase you will see how easy this tutorial really is. I personally like to try and take things to the next level when I create my art. A marbled vase is cool but a marbled vase with art hanging off of it is much cooler. I sculpted an Indian on my vase just to give it a little something extra.Tip: To cure the piece bake it in the oven at 275 degrees for 30 minutes (per 1/4 of an inch).
Profile of polymer clay vase A side view of my vase.Probably 98% of the colors on this vase are made up of clay. I added a little paint to tint the skin but other than that no paint was applied to this piece.

Lessons Learned

As I stated at the beginning of this tutorial, this was the first time I have tried something like this. The vase was a good learning experience for me and I did learn a few good lessons along the way. Here are a few tips I plan to use in the future:

1. Wear surgical gloves when sculpting a vase – No issues with the skin here, I just ended up with tons of fingerprints in my piece. Latex gloves would have been a quick and easy solution to avoid any fingerprints. Alcohol can remove the fingerprints but that is a lot of extra work.

2. Don’t rush the project – in all honesty this is not my favorite piece that I have created. I have a lot of other projects I should have been working on but just had to give this idea a try. I only gave myself a few hours for this piece and now looking at it I wish I would have set aside a little more time. All is not lost since I really did learn a lot by creating this vase.

3. Keep your area clean – key warning here, little clay particles lying around will somehow end up in your lighter clays. Also be sure to clean off the pasta machine before mixing different colors of clay.

That’s it! I’ll be sure to do more vases in the future and will probably show more of the sculpting stages in the process. The goal for this tutorial was to show you how you can mix glass and polymer clay to create a piece of art.

Until next time,

– Gerald


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About Me

Nothing special, just a self-taught sculptor having fun with my art and showing all of you the tips and tricks I use to create my own artwork



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