I have been working with polymer clay for years. I love this craft medium for many reasons. I can create charms that my children are proud to wear and best of all I can let them play too. Polymer clay is a great craft medium for kids, especially since they can bake their finished sculpture into a keepsake you will always treasure.
Polymer clay is not an expensive craft in-fact many of the tools you will use are common kitchen utensils. I suggest you get a duplicate set of these tools as any utensil used should be dedicated to craft use only. I mean no one really wants to use the cookie cutters after they have been used during a sculpturing session. A spare toaster oven and a butter knife can have you well on your way to creating works of art. The techniques to create shapes are simple and as with most crafts its your attention to detail that will pay big dividends.
Most WalMart's have a polymer clay kit that costs around $10.00. When you consider the fact that polymer clay doesn't dry out like its play dough cousins this is a steal. I still have clay that I bought 3 years ago that is definitely useable. A basic clay starter kit will come with all the basic colors and enough white and black to make your own blends. Blending is the best part of the craft as you can create beautiful marbled effects with a minimum amount of time.
I make variations of different colors and store them in disposable Tupperware containers. This is a great practice as you can make sure you have blends available for use. I use polymer clay blends for bead making and after the beads are cured and glazed my girls spend hours making necklaces.
Polymer clay is certainly an addictive craft. We started trying to emulate anything we saw in real life and found that there is a huge following and market for polymer clay miniatures. My girls have barbie sized hamburgers and french fries as well as doughnuts and an assortment of other goodies. Children will defiantly love the adaptable nature of polymer clay and the art form has a real use in the home. You can create bowls, cups, adorable napkin rings, magnets or other knick-knacks. I made a polymer clay covered pen set that I gave for a gift, and many of the women in my family sport original jewelry made in the kitchen of my home.
Polymer clay is great paired with wire wrapped pendants, or as a key-chain fob. There are techniques you can use to make your own Twilight or fan art jewelry using polymer clay as well. With polymer clay the sky is the limit. Anything you can see or imagine can be made into a lasting work of art.Working with polymer clay is very similar to working with fondant, although I don't recommend eating it. There is a line of tools made for fondant that can easily be used in polymer clay crafts.
Because I love working with polymer clay and have an extensive knowledge on the subject I would be remiss if I didn't give you a few warnings. Polymer clay contains a chemical to keep it pliable, and still be able to bake into a hard plastic. Children should never put their hands in their mouth while working with polymer clay. Because polymer clay contains this chemical we use a designated toaster oven for the craft and never use that oven for anything else.
Polymer clay can be difficult to work with in cold climates however it should never be heated in the microwave. I know this may sound like a no brainier but I have actually seen people do this and become severely burned. If you need to heat the clay a moist heat can be achieved by putting the polymer clay inside a Tupperware container and putting that inside a bowl of hot water. If this method makes your clay too pliable you can then freeze it for a few minutes to stiffen it to a working consistency.
When polymer clay is cold it can be so difficult that you can injure your hands trying to work it into a useable form. A lot of sculpting mediums are this way. You should use the slight heating method above or invest in a pasta maker. I'll be extremely jealous of you but at-least your hands won't be hurt. I hope you have enjoyed this article on polymer clay and I would love to see your creations.