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Topic: Best quality clay overall/least cracking?  (Read 851 times)
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HappyMadison87
« on: February 22, 2012 09:35:40 AM »

Hey guys...I tried to do a search on this subject and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I hope this hasn't been address already.

I make small figurine-type sculptures as gifts/cake toppers etc, and I typically use Sculpey III, just because of its low cost. However, I'm having a great deal of trouble with it cracking. I know how to keep cracking to a minimum, and how to repair cracks once they've been made.

But because I'm using a cheaper clay, I have to wonder, are other brands like Fimo stronger or less prone to cracking? Does anyone have any experience with the various brands being overall better quality than others?
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012 01:30:51 PM »

Running out the door right now, but you don't mention the thickenss of the items you're making (and whether you're using an armature, and which kind if so), how much pushing/pulling you do with your "sculpting," temp used for curing, the kinds/sizes of your cracking, and other factors, but you might want to check out some of the info on these pages at my site for some clues at least:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/heads_masks.htm > Cracking
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm > Polymer Clays
http://glassattic.com/polymer/Characteristics.htm > Sculpey, etc...and > Strength
and parts of my previous posts here:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=264101.msg2984487#msg2984487
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=228234.msg2477930#msg2477930
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=366723.msg4307846#msg4307846

The 3 main "Sculpey" clays are not the highest-quality polymer clays according to most experienced clayers. 
For general use, the best of the most common ones would be considered Kato Polyclay and Fimo Classic (and perhaps SuperSculpey-Firm), followed by Premo and perhaps Cernit.  Then would come Sculpey III and SuperSculpey, then original Sculpey and some of the others.
That doesn't count the other flesh-colored lines of polymer clay which are often used only for really "sculpting" with.  Clayers have their favorites for those, or combinations they like, for various reasons (see 2nd link above for those).

Diane B.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012 01:38:53 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
HappyMadison87
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012 01:56:11 PM »

Thanks Diane! I did forget to mention...I try to keep the thickness to about 1/4" all around...the figures are usually about 6" tall or so, and I start by making a wire skeleton for the figures. Sometimes I wonder if the wire expands more than the clay as it heats up or cools down, causing the cracks, but I don't know what else to use as a skeleton for an upright figure.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012 04:54:23 PM »

Could be. 

Check out the armatures that other sculptors use, and for the simpler sculpts too, and what they may say about cracking/etc, on my Armatures-Permanent page** under Wire and under Foil, and also the Sculpting-Gen page listed above under the first of the Websites where a bunch of the figures-with-armatures are, and maybe the Sculpting Stands category of the Sculpting-Body & Tools page***.

For example, are you wrapping your wire with floral tape, aluminum foil, or anything else?  Is your wire too flexible or extremely rigid? One sculptor (Katherine Dewey) even uses a layer of hot glue with her armatures to buffer the temp in that area and control any too-fast expanding/contracting.

** http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm
*** http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm
THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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