How durable is polymer clay jewelry?
Polymer clay is a wonderful art medium to explore due to its durability. There are many different types of clay that an artist can choose to work with, but when it comes to jewelry, polymer clay can’t be beaten. You may be wondering ‘how durable is polymer clay jewelry’? One of the biggest reasons I choose to use this type of clay is because due to its moldable plastic nature, it is much less likely to splinter or break from falling or moving around. Loose and dangly jewelry like many of my own pieces can be made with polymer clay and the wearer won’t have to think twice about the fragility of its composition. The idea that polymer clay is fragile as so many types of clays are is a myth. The following list is a compilation of other myths surrounding this type of clay that makes it clear why so many artists and jewelry makers like myself flock to this medium.
1. You Can’t Wash Polymer Clay
Polymer clay can indeed be cleaned gently before the baking process, as well as hand-washed after it has been baked.
2. You Need Special Tools
While fancy tools dedicated to polymer clay sculpting are nice to own, there is no need to spend a ton of money on specialized items. You can sculpt with your hands, use a simple utensil, or a couple of good clay sculpting tools.
3. You Can’t Re-soften Dried Clay
Perhaps you left your clay out too long and it has started to dry. As long as it is not already baked, you should be able to restore your polymer clay to its primary consistency with a little patience. Mineral oil, baby oil, or liquid polymer clay can be mixed with your dried clay in order to soften it up again.
4. You Can’t Mix Clay Colors
Mixing colors is encouraged! You can attain some very nice colors with this method, and can even create a marbled effect by only partially mixing your colors.
5. You Don’t Have a Lot of Surface Options
While it is true that a smooth surface is needed to roll out your clay to avoid texture issues, there are plenty of options an artist has at their disposal. Working with polymer clay on tile, glass, or anything similar in texture that you know won’t stick to your clay too much is the way to go.
6. You Can’t Fix A Mistake Once Your Clay Dries
If your clay dries out before you are done sculpting, your first move should be to soften it up again as per myth #3 indicates. If it is just one small spot on your sculpture, then simply covering that spot with a small amount of new, fresh clay can fix this problem. Once everything is baked and smoothed over, you won’t be able to tell there was ever a mishap.
7. Polymer Clay Is Toxic
Polymer clay is non-toxic and can be used on things like utensil handles, cups, jewelry, and more. However, due to its porous nature, objects like this should be hand washed since they are not dishwasher safe.
8. Polymer Clay Is Fragile
Polymer clay is a type of plastic, and therefore much sturdier than other types of moldable clay.
9. Polymer Clay Is Like Play-Doh
The only thing that Play-Doh and polymer clay have in common is that they are both non-toxic. Other than that, these clays feel completely different from each other as well as the fact that polymer clay is of much higher quality, more durable and sculptable.
10. You Can’t Bake Polymer Clay More Than Once
As long as you bake your clay according to its proper temperature, baking polymer clay more than once is perfectly acceptable and will not harm your polymer clay creations.
11. You Can Make Homemade Polymer Clay
Polymer clay is a plastic and is made up of many different materials that should not be duplicated by an individual in a home setting.
12. You Don’t Need An Oven To Bake Polymer Clay
While you don’t need many tools to make your polymer clay art pieces, one thing you do need in order to finish your piece is an oven. Microwaving or boiling your clay is dangerous and will ruin your creation.
13. It Doesn’t Matter What Temperature Your Clay Bakes At
Pay careful attention to the recommended baking temperature needed for the brand of clay that you use. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, your creation will turn out just fine.
14. You Can’t Mix Different Polymer Clay Brands
As long as the polymer clays you are using have the same baking temperatures, there is nothing wrong with mixing different brands of polymer clay together.
15. Polymer Clay Is Water Soluble
Unlike other types of clay that are easier to wash off of surfaces and clothing, polymer’s plastic composition makes it tougher to clean as it is not water soluble.
Additional Polymer Clay Tips and Tricks
- Watch videos of polymer clay tutorials to become familiar with the process.
- Store polymer clay in a cool, dark place, keeping it wrapped to protect from dust and dirt.
- Do not use nail polish as paint on your sculptures before or after it is baked. Nail polish will break down and degrade your creation.
- Remember that you can get a bit more creative with what you create with polymer clay due to its durability.