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Topic: Getting Started With Polymer Clay (Check here before asking questions)  (Read 73630 times)
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2006 09:21:30 AM »

But I have hardly ever used polymer clay, and the times I have tried it I've found it to be one of the least intuitive crafts I've tried.

Weird... haven't heard that before!  What types of items or methods are you finding "counterintuitive"??

Can anyone suggest some good websites

My website GlassAttic** is a 1700 page "encyclopedia" of polymer clay information... it covers just about every topic and method within the polymer clay field, as well as all the "basics" of baking, conditioning, using finishes or sanding and buffing, compatible glues, etc.
It also has links to just about every thing else polymer clay related on the web, on the relevant category pages. 
The Table of Contents page is a good place to start at the site to see the breath of things  covered there:
(to browse, scroll all the way down... when you find a page you want to visit, click on its name from inside the alphabetical navigation bar on the left side of that page --or on any page)

**GlassAttic has nothing to do with glass really... I just named it that because I wanted anyone who wanted to to be able to "see into my attic" which is chock full of stored info on polymer clay.

or books to read?

This page lists lots of the polymer books (and videos, etc.), and has reviews or summaries of some of the things many of them contain as well. 
There's also a section on the page called Books Especially for Beginners:
Also on that page, you'll find magazines, e-zines, and TV shows that deal with polymer clay.

Small, colorful, heavily glossy things made into earrings and pendants. That kind of thing . . ..

Then you might especially want to check out at least these pages at my site:

Miniatures (foods,flowers,furniture,figures,misc..)

Jewelry (necklaces,bracelets,earrings pins, barrettes, misc + thinner cords)
Pendants & Cording (pendants, hanging, hinges...heavier cords)
Beads (many --gen.info making...covering cores...individual types & shapes...bead rollers)
..... Bead holes (tech's for holes before & after baking)

Color (mixing color palettes, many color recipes, marbling clays)

Molds (using and making)

Sculpting-gen (general tips + many websites)

Kids & Beginners

And for making things really shiny, there are two main techniques for getting doing that with polymer clay... putting a glossy finish (usually acrylic) on the clay, or sanding then buffing with an electric buffer:
Finishing (liquid finishes)
And you might also want to check out the section on this page for simulating things with polymer clay, called "Dichroic Glass":

(And there's also some stuff about resins if you aren't already using those on this page:
Other Materials)

Christmas is coming

(If you're also interested in actual Christmas-related items, check on this page too:
Christmas -- for ornaments & other decorations, ideas + Solstice, Hanukkah)

P.S.  You might want to come and join us on the polymer clay boards here too Grin


Diane B.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007 12:32:17 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2006 11:03:37 AM »

Ah yes, Diane! I couldn't find your website, but it was the first one that I thought of.

http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
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« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2006 09:11:40 PM »

Hello everyone.  My name is Nicole (I tend to go by either Nickie or Kate...long story for another time.)  I am in a writer's group here and one of our members is active in a polymer clay guild.  I have been pestering her for some time now wanting to know how to get involved and how she does things.  I kind of feel like I have pestered her too much (she's a friend, but I don't want to be a pain, you know?) so I figured I would ask you knowledgable folks. 

When first starting out with polymer clay, what would be a fair amount of money to spend?  I am going craft supply shopping right after Christmas and would like to have some idea of what I should set aside for my start-up supplies.

Thanks in advance for your assistance (and I apologize if this violates the FAQ.  I checked them, but didn't see anything specific to this.)

Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2006 08:15:21 AM »

Hi Nicole/Nickie/Kate, and welcome!

There's no need to pester your friend again Grin ...everything you need to know can be found online or from members of online polymer groups, so feel free to ask away!

There are a few basic supplies you'll need no matter what kinds of things you'd like to make or which techniques you'd like to do. 
Here's a reply I've written before on the subject of beginner supplies though:

(a pasta machine is not essential, but if you're willing to use a 40% off coupon for an Amaco machine at Michaels bringing the cost to ~$15, getting one would be a great idea, would make lots of things much easier and quicker, and would allow you to do even more techniques ...that's a less sturdy machine than the Italian-made one you might want to get someday, but as long as you don't put in hunks of clay that are much larger than the roller opening you're using --unless the clay is really-really soft-- the Amaco will do fine)

And about colors of clay to buy if you want a full "palette", check out this one:

Be aware that brands and lines of polymer clay are quite different in workability and final characteristics (strength, etc.), so you might want to start with Premo, which is easily available and middle of the road re workability but strong, and/or read about all the brands and lines on this page before buying:

But why don't you tell us which kinds of polymer things appeal to you, then we can tell you more about what might be helpful just for doing that??

Also, for immediate info anytime you can go online, my website is a polymer clay "encyclopedia" with over 1700 pages of info, lessons, links, etc.,re everything polymer clay. 
Check out the Table of Contents page to see all the things that are covered and that one can do with polymer clay, then visit each page you want by using the alphabetical navigation bar on the left side:
(scroll all the way down)
Notice also that there are pages there that deal with the "basics" of polymer clay, like Conditioning (preparing the clay), Baking, using Finishes and Glues, more on Tools, Books-Videos, etc.

Again welcome!!

Diane B.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006 08:24:44 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
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« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2006 07:06:38 PM »

Everything you'll ever need to know about polymer clay is on her site!  Grin  I'd say go with one of the 'basic sets' and a few other colors you really like. You can always mix colors! It's one of the best parts of this stuff!
« Reply #55 on: December 04, 2006 10:51:15 PM »

i was really resistant to buying a pasta machine at first, but the amaco one is a nice starter for getting a feel for what to use it for. it's kind of clunky, but like diane said, as long as you don't push it too hard, it's a good work horse.

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« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2006 08:48:41 PM »

Wow!  Thank you guys for your help!  I'm spending some time now exploring that site and I will be heading off to the store this weekend.  I really appreciate your suggestions and advice!
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« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2006 06:47:18 AM »

If you have a Michael's store near you, I recommend going this week.  2 oz. blocks of clay are $.99!!  Sales like those can save you a ton of money.  Try to get your hands on some 40% coupons so you can buy some nifty tools. 

You can also buy some of each kind and see what you like best.  (Michael's carries Fimo Soft, Fimo Classic, Sculpey III, and Premo! in 2 oz. blocks.  Your store might also have some Sculpey Eraser Clay or other "specialty" kinds.)

Sorry there wasn't really anything about getting started in the FAQ.  I have a bunch of stuff written down, but I just have to get it into the computer.  (Not much time with finals and work.)

Welcome!  Hope to see you around!

Polymer Clay Challenge #2 has a winner, RobbinZombie!  her entry was The Kraken  She will receive a prize from Persephone Rose!
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« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2006 10:07:20 AM »

also, if you have an ac moore near you, this week the 'pasta roller' type machines are on sale for $10! (half price!)

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« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2006 07:37:34 AM »

Thanks for the Micheal's tip, I'll be checking that out.

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