How to choose the perfect polymer clay?

The beginning of my journey as a sculptor wasn't the easiest and I almost gave up because I was working with the wrong brand of clay. There was nothing wrong with the clay itself but it was absolutely wrong for what I wanted to make out of it.

I originally practiced working with polymer clay by making small jewelry pieces and beads. At the time I was mostly working Fimo soft which was ok for that purpose. I've always wanted to make animal and creature figurines and started practicing with Fimo soft. It was terrible. Fresh Fimo soft can be really sticky and gooey and it just doesn't hold any details. My first thought was that “Wow! I'm absolutely terrible at this!”. It didn't occur to me at first that I might be working with the wrong kind of material.

I kept practicing but it just didn't work out and I was unable to bring any of my visions alive. I was doing some research with clays and then came across Super Sculpey clay and wanted to try it out. I was able to find a couple of blocks of that clay in my local craft store and bough some: it was love at first touch for me. I was able to create whatever I wanted with ease. Don't get me wrong, they still looked quite raw at first try but at least everything would hold together and that was a huge win.

The reason I chose to work mostly with Super Sculpey is its ability to hold detail. It's easy to work with and it has a pleasant consistency. I make mostly small figurines and I feel super Sculpey is a great option for that. I paint all my figurines after baking so the color of the clay does not matter.

The moral of the story is not to say that Super Sculpey is the best clay. The point is that different clays have different qualities and they fit to different kind of purposes. I know artist that work with Fimo because it fits to their style of creating and I use it as well to certain things. Super Sculpey tends to be much more fragile compared to other brands so it doesn't work on small, delicate details. Luckily there's Cosclay which stays extremely flexible after baking. It has been also a huge game-changer for me, allowing me to add details to my pieces that would have been impossible before. 

I always recommend learning and trying out different brands to understand their properties, especially if you're having difficulties working with a certain brand. That's really the only way to be sure what is best for you. Of course you don't need all of them but it's important you find the ones you like best. 

A lot of professional artists also have more than one clay in their repertoire because one clay brand might not be suitable for all purposes. The different clays complete each other and bring their own special features to the table, giving you more creative options. Don't be afraid to explore!

I hope you found this inspiring! If so, please feel free to leave a comment or message me your thoughts on Instagram.

 

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