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Topic: Sculpey III vs. Super Sculpey  (Read 27188 times)
Tags for this thread: sculpey , super_sculpey , sculpey_iii , strength , handling , bake_shop_clay  Add new tag
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doyouloveanapple
« on: June 10, 2009 01:47:02 PM »

Hi,

I have a 50% off coupon for Micheals and I was thinking of buying a big block of polymer clay. I typically only buy white and paint it after, and I saw that they sold larger bricks of plain coloured clay. They only have Super Sculpey in the large brick, which is a sort of light flesh tone. I typically use Sculpey III, which they only sell in small blocks.


My question is there a major difference between using Sculpey III and Super Sculpey?

Thanks in advance!
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2009 10:33:00 AM »

Quote
I typically only buy white and paint it after, and I saw that they sold larger bricks of plain coloured clay.

Did you see large bricks of plain colored polymer clay other than SuperSculpey (flesh) and original Sculpey (white or terracotta)?  If so, which were they?

Quote
I typically use Sculpey III, which they only sell in small blocks.
My question is there a major difference between using Sculpey III and Super Sculpey?

There are differences in 3 of the Sculpeys  --between Sculpey III and SuperSculpey (flesh), and also differences between those and original Sculpey, and also differences between those 3 and all the other brands/lines of polymer clay.

1. Re strength, original Sculpey, S III, and SS are all the most brittle polymer clay brands/lines after baking in any areas where they're thin (i.e., not "fat" and rounded) so will break easily if stressed--original Sculpey is worse than the other two.

2. Re handling, those 3 clays are fairly soft so can be difficult to sculpt with to get fine details, to keep distortion at bay, to avoid fingerprints, etc.  Clayers with hot hands or environments will have even more problems and may need to continuously cool the clay/hands, or "leach" some of the plasticizer out of the clay before shaping (or use a firmer clay).  
Some clayers just like to use other brands/lines of flesh-colored or solid-colored clays to sculpt with anyway (especially if they're pushing-pulling on the clay, as with earth clay), and/or many clayers like to mix SS with another brand of clay for more firmness while raw, less "plaquing," etc.
The clay that's in an individual box of SS can feel pretty different from that in other boxes too depending on age (how "advanced" they are), as well as exact type of plasticizer available at time of manufacture and other things.  Some clayers even have "tests" they apply to SS before deciding on purchase.

3. Re baking, those 3 lines will also darken more than most other lines (though that may not matter to you if you're simply painting over them)... in fact, SS-flesh especially is sometimes baked a long time for extra strength by those who use polymer clay for sculpting in that situation.   Again, original Sculpey will change the most and the most easily--actually, white orig. Sculpey turns a bit "purplish" rather than just darkening.
"Translucent" polymer clays will also darken more easily than opaque colors.
...SuperSculpey is basically just a lightly tinted translucent clay.
...Sculpey III colors often have a lot of translucent clay in them (though that's often not obvious), compared to other brands.

Quote
I have a 50% off coupon for Micheals and I was thinking of buying a big block of polymer clay.

Be aware too that there are cheaper ways to buy other brands and lines of polymer clay besides what's easily available at retail stores.  For example:
...Super-Sculpey Firm is supposed to be a stronger "sculpting" polymer clay after baking
...Kato Polyclay, Premo, Cernit, and the Fimos are usually available in large bricks online (and cheaper by weight than you'd find in retail stores)
(...and using armatures under thicker clay sculpts can bring the price down too)


There's loads more detail on all those topics on these pages of my site, if you're interested:

Sculpey, Sculpey III, SuperSculpey, etc, and other brands of polymer clay... + strength
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Characteristics.htm
...click on any particular brand/line of clay you want to know about
...click on Strength

preferred polymer clays for sculpting + smoothing info, etc.
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm
...click on Polymer Clays for Sculpting... and also Fingerprints/Smoothing and General Sculpting Tips

making your own skin-colored clay
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/heads_masks.htm
...click on Skin

baking
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm?
...click especially on Times & Temps... and perhaps on Darkening, Scorching

cooling clays + leaching
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Conditioning.htm
...click on Cooling ...and perhaps on Leaching

translucent clays, plaquing, etc.
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Conditioning.htm
...click perhaps on Plaquing ...and on Brands

painting on top of polymer clay, if you're interested
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/paints.htm
...from Preparing the Clay down through Misc.Re Paints...& Other Paints


suppliers of polymer clay (online and local)
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/supplysources.htm
...click on Polymer Clay suppliers


HTH,

Diane B.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2009 05:54:20 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
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doyouloveanapple
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009 03:00:14 PM »

Goodness.. so much information! Thank you.
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sugarshoxcrafts
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009 01:34:27 PM »

I'm still new to polymer clay, but I've been making a few earrings and I pretty much hate Sculpey III.  I hate how brittle it is; I'm worried that the earrings I made will fall apart (well they're just for me so that doesn't matter, but still...).  I've already had to remake a piece twice because the clay broke from being so brittle after baking--it broke once when I was putting the earring wires in and the other time because I poked the hole too late (that one was my fault lol). 

I've been using something I got for $1 that seems so much better (I don't know if its related to the other Sculpey brands)--it's labeled "Sculpey Bake Shop".  Easy to work with and great results!
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009 05:19:58 PM »

 
Quote
I pretty much hate Sculpey III.  I hate how brittle it is; I'm worried that the earrings I made will fall apart. I've been using something I got for $1 that seems so much better (I don't know if its related to the other Sculpey brands)--it's labeled "Sculpey Bake Shop".  Easy to work with and great results!

sugarshoxcrafts, Bake Shop Clay is manufactured by Sculpey/Polyform and is such a new clay line that I hadn't even heard of it.  Turns out that it's new this year and that the Polyform people haven't been advertising it much (at all?)--not sure if they're still troubleshooting it, or if they don't have a lot of faith in it, or what.

I did some research though and here are the basic things I found out Bake Shop Clay, bottom-line-wise:

...it's being sold as the most little-kid oriented clay of all the clays within the Polyform brand
...cheaper by weight than other pre-colored polymer clay lines (most true at retail, non-sale)
...limited colors available (12 colors)... no darker colors (except black) or clear bright colors except perhaps the purplish-pink and the red (all others are "softer" colors)
...sold as single 2 oz bars, or in a Bake Shop Variety Pack of the 12 colors (most are 1 oz, two colors are 2 oz) plus a fat plastic tool
...bakes at 275 F  for 15 minutes per 1/4 thickness
...clay is very very soft, maybe even softer than original (boxed, white or terracotta) Sculpey...distorts & gets fingerprints easily (....might be good to mix with liquid clay for frostings and grouts though because of extreme softness)
...2 opinions re its feel: "like PlayDoh, but stickier"... a "cross between Sculpey III and Sculpey's Ultralight"
...brittle after baking (presumably only in areas that are not rounded and thick of course), but perhaps a bit stronger than Sculpey, SuperSculpey, and Sculpey III

Quote
.. had to remake a piece twice because the clay broke from being so brittle after baking--it broke once when I was putting the earring wires in and the other time because I poked the hole too late (that one was my fault lol).

If you're dissastisfied with the brittleness after baking of Sculpey III, why don't you try a stronger polymer clay --like Kato Polyclay, FimoClassic, Premo, or Cernit?  Even FimoSoft would be stronger than the Sculpeys above.  
You can read about the characteristics of most all the polymer clay brands and lines on this page at my site, if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Characteristics.htm

Once you're using a stronger polymer clay, you shouldn't have trouble making holes even after the clay is baked--though do leave a reasonable expanse of clay between the hole and the edge of the piece.  
Lots more info on making holes in clay in various ways on these pages, if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/beads-holes.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/pendants_cording.htm


HTH,

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009 07:59:57 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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