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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Poly Shop's polymer clays

Hi everyone! Guest posts sure are fun.  First off, I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Abby Colegrove, owner of The Poly Shop!  I sell handmade food jewelry and dollhouse miniatures made from polymer clay! I really hope you enjoy my post!! 

How I began sculpting

Well, the idea came from my best friend, who told me about polymer clay (I’m so thankful she did).  My mother had informed me of Etsy (As did the friend I have mentioned a few sentences before), and so I had been considering what to sell, because I wanted to sell SOMETHING. After figuring out what polymer clay was asked for it for Christmas, and lo and behold, I got some clay, as well as some handy tools.
So, I played around with them, reading lots of tutorials and tips for making miniature food from clay. Now, after almost 6 months of working with clay, my tool and material supply has grown from a few pencil boxes of blades and clay to a desktop and two large bookshelves of materials and tools!  Thanks to my friend, I found out what Etsy was, and more importantly, what polymer clay was.

My materials and tools

Listing each and every one of my tools and different types of materials would take up a whole day. So, I’ll just list the three more important and more frequently used tools and materials.

Polymer Clay

This is, of course, probably my most important material. This type of clay is different from other clays, because you can bake it in your home oven. It only takes about 10 minutes to cure something, so this part is definitely not time-consuming. Polymer clay comes in many different types. You can get firm, soft, some dryer than others, and some wetter than others. You can get huge bricks, or little balls, or even polymer clay in liquid form! There are many different brands, such as Fimo, Kato Polyclay, and Sculpey. I personally love Sculpey III clay, but some love Sculpey Premo (A softer and more vibrant line of clay), and some love Fimo (a firmer, simpler line of clay).


I have Sculpey brand blades. This is a very important tool to have, so you can cut clean lines in the clay. It is also very important to have a SHARP blade. A dull blade, when slicing through layers of clay, leaves a runny-looking effect, pulling the clay down as it slices. Who would want that?

Needle Tool

This is important as well. It’s used for making small textures in small areas, or for making little holes. I just use a household sewing needle, but you could use a pin, or you can buy a “professional” needle tool at your local craft store. (I used to have one but the end broke off, so it’s really dull.

And so, that’s most of what  you need for basic clay-making. I could continue on, and ramble on for hours, so let's just go on to the next topic.

Some of my techniques

Well, there are quite a few techniques I have. The first one will probably have to be making a crumbly cake/bread texture. I just take my needle tool and make little loops all over the surface, and just tear it up. Eventually, the surface looks crumbly. For some other textures, I also use foil, a toothbrush and mascara brush, and a white pencil carved into a square tip (for waffles and ice cream cones).

If you make little cakes, they can be extremely messy. So, I have suggestions.  First, make each cake layer, texturing it and whatever. Don’t ice it yet.  Bake the layers.  While they’re baking, make your icing. Just mix chopped up clay and liquid clay until it’s smooth and creamy. (Use about equal amounts of clay and liquid clay.)  Now, take out your cake layers. Spread icing in between and bake again.  Ice the sides, bake AGAIN. Then finally, ice the top, and bake again. Then you can glaze the cake or whatever, to make it look pretty.  Those are techniques I find the most valuable. Use them wisely!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post! 
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Hope you all have a GREAT day!

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