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Topic: polymer clay?  (Read 1085 times)
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slb2724
« on: March 18, 2006 02:16:42 PM »

i seem to have a problem with my clay! i bought $20+ of clay and used some, about 1 month later (now) i went to use it and its hard as a rock! it literally crumbles when i try to use it and most of the clay was still in its package! please tell me there is a way to fix this? Huh
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006 02:44:06 PM »

Which polymer clay are you using?    I've heard somewhere (on the web) about something you can add to Fimo when it goes "off" - I'll do some research for you and get back to you.   
Jo
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006 02:47:04 PM »

Found the Fimo product I was thinking of:
http://polymerclayexpress.com/fimo.html

8026 Fimo Mix Quick
Soft, solid, translucent.
Add to stiffened clay to make it workable
100gm (3.7oz) $3.00

Hope this helps,  Jo
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2006 08:10:18 AM »

Actually, there are lots of ways to reconstitute old polymer clay... Mix Quick is fine, but more expensive than other options.

You probably bought FimoClassic, although even FimoSoft will harden up with excessive exposure to heat and/or ultraviolet light. 

Even if your clay is partly cured, it can still be made pliable again, but you may not want to go to the troube if that's the case (just take it back to where you bought it, and from now on squeeze each package of any polymer clay brand from the sides before buying... if there's no give at all, give it a pass or at Michaels you can get a raincheck if clay is on sale). 

The main ways of re-softening hard polymer clays are:
...warming
...stretching
......you may need a food processor to make lots of really old clay pliable in a reasonable amount of time)
...thinning agents
(or a combination of any of the above)

There are also multiple ways and materials for doing each of those too.  But instead of putting it all here, just take a look at the Conditioning page at my polymer clay "encyclopedia" website which will give lots more details:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Conditioning.htm
(...look under the sub-categories on "Stretching-Warming" and "Additives (to soften)".. and if the clay is really really hard, look also under "Old Hard Clay"...)

You might also consider buying a different brand of polymer clay in the future, or mixing the clay you have with a softer clay (all brands, types, colors are mixable). 
Premo is a good starter polymer clay because it tends to stay softer over time, but isn't a good clay if you tend to have hot hands.  Sculpey is the softest clay but not good to use in any items which will have thin or projecting areas because it's the weak clay after baking, and also doesn't hold fine detail as well if that's important for a particular thing. 
You can read on this page all about the characteristics of the different brands (and types) of polymer clay for much more info:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Conditioning.htm

(And since you're new to polymer clay, while you're at the site take a look all the way down the Table of Contents page to get an idea of all the stuff you can do with polymer clay, and to be aware that you can get lessons and troubleshooting info, etc., for anything that's likely to come up!
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm )



HTH,

Diane B.
--- polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm




.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006 08:17:15 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2006 08:15:08 AM »

Thanks for the tips, and for posting your website details.  I too am really new to polymer clay and need all the help I can get.

Bless you
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Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2006 08:33:02 AM »

Thanks for the tips, and for posting your website details.  I too am really new to polymer clay and need all the help I can get.

You're most welcome!

Btw, I forgot to mention before that all polymer clays will stiffen up when they cool, and over time, but there are differences in how much they will, how long it takes, etc, etc.

If you're interested in getting started in polymer clay, you should definitely look into reading or joining one of the all-polymer mailing lists or message boards though in addition to learning from my site. 
There is a thread here at craftster where a few people have said they want a polymer board here, but doesn't seem to be any action on it (if you'd liketo see one here though, at least go post there to give another "vote").
Meanwhile, for info about the all-polymer clay groups, take a look on this page at my site:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/groups--online2.htm


Diane B.
--- polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/contents.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)
slb2724
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2006 07:02:14 PM »

the thing is ive been playing with polymer clay (filmo) since like 1st grade, but its never gotten the to pont where it was rock hard that quickly! when i bought it it was semi-soft, so i bought it. i dont know what happened! ill try those and hopefull it works!
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006 08:50:35 AM »

Quote
(filmo) since like 1st grade, but its never gotten the to pont where it was rock hard that quickly! when i bought it it was semi-soft, so i bought it. i dont know what happened!

Well, if the clay was semi-soft when you bought it, what probably happened is that it got stored somewhere hotter (even occasionally) or exposed to more direct ultraviolet light than what had happened to your older clays.  One month is awfully quick for that much stiffening to happen without heat or UV exposure (sunlight, fluorescent light).

Also, are you sure that all your bars were semi-soft, or is it possible that you used the softer bars first, and others were harder?

One other thing, did you buy FimoClassic or FimoSoft?  I don't know how old you are, but if you've been using Fimo longer than oh, 5-6 years or so, you were using what's now called FimoClassic. 
However, stores seem to be carrying more FimoSoft now than Classic so you might have purchased some of that without noticing (packages look almost identical), and FimoClassic would be much stiffer. 
To complicate things further, FimoSoft's formula has been changed and those new bars are now showing up in the US (as well as Europe) ---that stuff's really soft and squishy... it was created to compete with Sculpey III, and unfortunatley it also has the same weakness after baking problems that Sculpey III has (the new formula is distinguishable because has 8 segments on one side of the bar).

Regardless of which clay you have, they should all soften up with the same techniques though.

Good luck!


Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm

If you want an all-polymer clay board here at craftster, vote here!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=72141.msg813624#msg813624
« Last Edit: March 23, 2006 10:44:53 AM 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)
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