September 2002
Volume 3, Issue 9
Questions and Answers

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Dear Polyzine:

This is a response to Marian Nyman's request for information regarding polymer clay purchases in New York City

New York City, if that's what you are referring to, is not the greatest location for polymer clay. For clay itself, I order from a mail-order place with good prices and services.

I wish I could be more encouraging, but the fact is that everything is more expensive here. I tend to order mail order unless I am in a hurry.

If you are looking for mixed media and embellishments there are some great shopping districts: There is a jewelry materials district, a fabric district, art and graphic supply stores (some of these have craft materials, but they are more expensive than going to a specific product location).

Most art supplies are better quality than chain stores because this is where people come to be professional artists. Attempting to find ceramic clay in the city is next to impossible and space is expensive if someone wants to open a pottery shop.

There are a few stamping supply stores, but they are overpriced. On the other hand, if you haven't seen a lot of things, you will find unique materials here. There is a great place that sells plastics - plexi-sheets to small polished shapes. It's called Industrial Plastics and is downtown on Canal St. There are also stores that sell metals and rubber of different types.

Learn about art and craft at the fantastic museums - most people only get to see history in books. (Although, being in England you surely have access to older stuff than the US). New York City is also the center of contemporary art.

The best thing to do is to decide what you are looking for and find out where the streets are that house those stores. I would be glad to offer my company and knowledge.

The city is not a mall. ;-) It's a living, breathing commerce entity. You can probably find everything, but it's not going to jump into your lap.

If you would like to email or give me a call, I would be pleased to help you.

Jacqueline Gikow

Dear Polyzine:

I just found you...Is there any way to get to back copies...can you archive them someway?

Enjoyed this August issue so much. Thanks for having it.


Dear Betty:

Go to our home page and look in the left hand column. There is a link to Previous Issues.



Dear Polyzine:

Could you please let give the person who posted in the August Q&A inquiring about the Butterfly Cane Slicer my email address? Though we are not in production, I may have one for her.


Linda Geer

Dear Polyzine:

Enjoyed your article about French polymer clay artists. How can I subscribe to the email list you mentioned, Créationfimo?


Dear Lenora:

You can go to Yahoo Groups and subscribe there. The discussion list is entirely in French.



For the reader who needed a butterfly slicer, you can find a nice cane slicer at Poly-Tools. They are made by Sue and Gale Lee. She has many tools for polymer clay. She has wonderful bead rollers.



I have been addicted to polymer clay for a couple of years and have only just discovered Polyzine. I am finding the information very helpful.

In reading one of the questions from the June 2002 issue, I found the one from Val concerning transferring images. I have been doing more and more with transferred images and have found that for me at least the brand of clay used makes a very big difference.

In this regard I have been frustrated to no end with Premo (I can do it when the weather is dry, but with the humidity we get here in the summer it is nearly impossible), but have found that Cernit and Kato clay work extremely well.

Thank you for all of the info!


Dear Readers:

As part of my leaving (see Editor's Letter), I am turning all questions, both beginner and advanced, over to Deborah Hayes, who has finished out this column with the questions and answers below.



A friend forwarded this issue to me. In the geometric cane section you talk about a Skinner blend. What is it and how is it done? Thank you. I am a beginner so it needs to be a simple answer.



Welcome to Polyzine, and thanks for your question. I could go on and on trying to explain the Skinner blend to you, but I will say simply this: It is a way of cutting and folding clay before passing it through the pasta machine to make a gradation of color in the finished piece.

Developed, or at least named, by Judith Skinner, it is the basis for many, very cool projects. I will let Judith herself explain it to you at Polyannie.

In addition, you can use more than two colors for a rainbow blend, or other combinations. Try it with two colors of scrap clay and practice, practice, practice. A friend of mine got it down cold after just one time through, so don't despair- It is actually sounds more complicated than it really is!

Hope it helps.



I am looking for some professional molding clay of some sort to sculpt some faces of people to put on a soft body (dolls).  But I need something that will hold up and can be baked in a regular oven. 

Also, I will need something that comes in a color that resembles skin.  Will your product do all of this?

If so, where can I buy this and can I get a price list? Any information that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


I'm new to clay, and I'll like to make some mini dolls - I had tried with Fimo soft, but it's maybe too soft for doll making? I think it goes out of shape very easy?

mini regards

from Lisa in Denmark

Joyce and Lisa,

First of all, doll making-what a great idea! Personally, I am still working up to faces, but I do know that Cernit is very popular clay with doll makers. It is widely available online, but I have yet to see it in a craft store.

Having said that, I do live in a very small town, and the nearest craft store specializes in yarn, and little else. Perhaps you will have better luck in your area. If you prefer to shop online, try Wee Folk or The Clay Factory of Escondido.

Personally, I LOVE the feel of Cernit and the look of it after it's fired. Also, remember that you can leach clay that is too soft. (In case you are unfamiliar with the term, you can do that by rolling it to into thin sheets and sandwiching them between sheets of paper.  Over a period of hours, the plasticizer will leach or wick into the paper and a firmer clay results.)



I work with Sculpey and I've been making canes to cover pens.  I've read that since Sculpey is one of the softer clays it isn't great for canework. I'm also becoming annoyed every time a neat pen cracks on me when I insert the ink.  I love how pliable Sculpey is and would rather not change my choice medium, so are there any projects/techniques/ideas that work well with the properties of Sculpey?


Dear CP:

The bad news is that Sculpey is the most brittle of the polymer clays and least likely to hold up to use. The best things to make with Sculpey are items that will NOT be handled, perhaps picture frames, fridge magnets or other decorative items. Before giving up for good on all the other brands, I would suggest you try a package of Premo, Kato PolyClay or even Cernit, and see how pliable they are. All of them have tested as stronger than the Sculpey clays. In fact, I have worked with Cernit and found it to be softer than any of the others in its raw state, and when it's properly cured it is very strong, with a neat translucent quality.


I would also like to bid a fond farewell to our Managing Editor, Deirdre Woodward. She took on the thankless task of pulling it all together at the beginning, and has done an awesome job ever since. Good luck on your endeavors, Deirdre, and be sure to let us know when you add Ph.D. to your name!


Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | Questions and Answers | Belle Armoire | Chicago Retreat | Faux Porcelain | Haunted Toilet Snow Globe | Face Canes: Lip Canes | Email Us! | Home

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