By Deb Hayes
Welcome to Just Ask. I am here to answer your
I don’t know the answer, I will research it with our team of experts
give you THEIR answers. Email me at: Deb@pcPolyzine.com.
Hi, I’m a
beginner in this field. I was wondering if you could explain the
difference between polymer clay and paper clay coz I never really touch
those. And can you tell me where I could learn this stuff? Thank u very
Good Question, Suryawati!
are many clays out
there, aren’t there? In addition to
ceramic clays that require high heat to fire, there are non-hardening
clays, paper clay, and the polymer clay we all love.
main difference between
paper clay and polymer clay is the way you harden it; paper clay air
can then be tooled, sanded or carved, while polymer clay requires
curing at a moderate
heat in your home oven.
makeups are different,
as well; polymer clay is made of plastic, while paper clay is actually
cellulose, with many of the qualities of paper.
far as learning, the
Internet is loaded with places for tutorials, projects and instruction.
course, you’re right here
at pcPolyzine, and that’s a great start!
might also try Diane
Black’s Polymer Clay Encyclopedia at glassattic: www.glassattic.com. Allow plenty of time, too.
It is chock-full of good stuff!
is a great place to meet other clayers, participate in swaps, learn new
and just get comfortable!
are also mini-lessons
available at Polymer Clay Express: www.polymerclayexpress.com
if you haven’t had
enough yet, just do a google search for polymer clay lessons or polymer
projects. You will have enough links
presented to last you a good long while. While
you’re at Google, you can also check for
polymer clay book
titles. I always suggest first checking
with your local library, to get a chance to look over the books. That way, you have a better idea of what book
better suits your needs.
hope these ideas help
you. We would love to see pictures of
What is a buffer? The Saturn bead project
requires a buffer. Thank you for your
buffer can be any
one of several devices used to bring up a shine on polymer clay. Some
buff their beads to a shine with denim, by repeatedly rubbing then on
jeans, while others use a mechanized buffer. There are jewelry buffers,
can be quite expensive, you can adapt a bench grinder (as I did) with
pads for polishing, and still others have modified their power drills
to do a
job for them on the beads.
there has been some
talk of using a rock tumbler to polish beads, as well. Instead of using
abrasive, folks are trying cut up denim or flannel, and tumbling the
understand that method produces a lovely, soft sheen.
more information on ways
to polish your clay beads, see Diane Black’s glass attic at www.glassattic.com
let me say how great
it is that you are there to help with all our problems!
is a minor one, but to
me this problem is one that I don't seem to be able to solve. I make
(they are not especially heavy) from polymer clay which I sell on a
word of mouth
basis so far. They are strung on .019 Accuflex wire and closed with a
here is the
problem: several of the necklaces have become undone, and it is
crimp bead that does not hold the wire in place. In
the beginning, I used crimping pliers to
get a neat and finished look, but lately I have just been squishing the
crimping bead and end up with a flat metal seal.
have spoken to the folks
at my crimping bead supplier but they are unable to tell me why this
happens. By the way, the crimp beads are
and I was told they are just as strong as sterling. Could it be that I
much force when I flatten the crimp bead and so break the nylon coating
on the wire? I am stumped for an answer and you can imagine it is very
and not good for repeat business to have this happen!
like this method and would
like to be able to keep doing the closures this way.
I'll be really interested in what you are
able to find out. Thanks in advance.
the way, say hello to
Jeannie Havel for me, we are both members of the Capital Area Clay
Gee whiz, Aud -
researched this problem, I had no idea there were so many ways to
and close jewelry! Can you tell I don’t
seems I will be answering
your question by asking a few more. By
way of troubleshooting, does your crimp bead fit your wire by size? There are beads that will be just too big,
and fall off. Apparently, the crimp
beads do come in sizes, but it sounds like your supplier has probably
you: Do you use both parts of your
crimping pliers, making the attachment a two-part process?
sounds like you have
already considered breaking the wire by crimping with too much force,
and I am
told that squeezing too hard could be a problem.
all is said and done,
remember, glue can be a beader’s best friend! Beaders
I consulted agreed that they used a drop of
into the bead, after putting the wire through it.
Finally, Jeannie says, “Hi” to you, too!
suggestions to reduce plaqueing
that occurs in translucent polymer clay? I
have heard someone mention using bleach, but does
that do something to
the integrity of the clay in the end? Thanks.
Yours is a common question,
Barbara. Those little white moon-like
spots can be very annoying. They can be
useful, as well, but that’s another matter!
have been three causes
identified when it comes to plaqueing: moisture,
oil, and rolling. I
haven’t found THE definitive answer to this problem, but I do have some
that may help.
work the clay only as
much as needed to condition it. Overworking
it has been known to cause stickiness in some brands, too.
make sure your hands
are clean and dry, and that you’re working in a dry place. In other words, if you’re working in the laundry
room with the washer going, or in the kitchen near the dishwasher, you
clay, I believe you might be thinking of Premo! with bleach. It isn’t as widely available as regular
Premo! Translucent, but it might be worth trying, if only to compare
folks have found better
luck with the bleached clay, while others don’t.
course, your mileage may
Now, Chris has several questions:
Help! Please I too am new at this.
I have my clay, pasta machine etc.
I have read things from sites as well as DIY
and HGTV shows. Here are my questions:
so confused. I read baby powder,
now I am too scared to start. I want
to cover BIC pens, my Embossing tool, business card holder, etc.
is the setting the pasta machine needs
to be set at to get the general thickness? (I have
I believe the 150 model)
I need to prepare the surfaces of any of
the above items I mention prior to placing my sheets of clay on them?
do I add any embellishments to the clay
example other clay pieces, wire, glass beads, embossing
the 275 [degrees] standard temperature for all
Chris, here we go!
It sounds like you
have had lots of input on
release agents, with cornstarch, baby powder in the same sentence! The good news is that they work the same. If you need to prevent your clay from sticking
to a mold or stamp, for instance, either will work.
I would suggest cornstarch instead of baby
powder, although I would also suggest taking precautions when using ANY
with your clay.
Preparing the surface
of your project is especially
necessary when you’re working to cover papier-mache or wooden objects. A thin layer of Sobo or other white glue will
help hold the clay to the paper, and will also help hold the clay to
wood. Metal and plastics don't usually
require glue, but a quick wipe with an alcohol wipe will help remove
oils that might interfere with the clay.
If you are talking
about the Atlas pasta machine,
the thickest setting is #1, but it probably will be too thick for some
projects. If you are going to add cane
slices, beads, wire, or other embellishments, you might want to use #3
setting instead. That way, you always
have the leeway to add another layer, if the clay on your pen or other
is too thin. Remember, you can add more
raw clay to an already-cured project and re-bake without harming the
The important safety
concern there would be remembering
not to exceed the manufacturer’s recommended temperature.
Too long isn’t a problem, as long as the oven
isn’t too hot.
And that brings us to
what the correct temperature
is. The answer: it depends.
Each manufacturer has a specific temperature
that’s best, and that means safest and most effective, for that
brand. Directions are on each package of
clay, and are usually stated using specific thicknesses, i.e. 275 for
minutes per ¼” thickness. Therefore,
you had an object ½” thick, the minimum you would want to cure
it at the
recommended temperature would be 30 minutes.
It sounds like you’re
all prepared to begin. Now all you need to
do is pick up the clay,
and get started. Good Luck~!