Ever wonder how to condition polymer clay fast? Softening clay also known as conditioning clay is the process that makes polymer clay ready to work with. Clay conditioning is usually done by twisting, stretching and twisting again the clay with your hands until it reaches a good working consistency. The warmth and pressure from your hands changes the clay’s texture, making it pliable to work with. Depending on the brand, polymer clay will be more or less stiff at the beginning, and it gets softer as you condition it.
In this post we are going to learn how to make a clay Captain America. We’ve done up a Captain America in Air-Dry Clay, and another with Polymer Clay so you also get to see the side by side comparison of the two different finishing. Polymer Clay tends to consume more time, as you’ll need to condition the clay before start. The Polymer Clay project took about 1 hour and the air dry clay took about 30 minutes.
Today’s post will be on how to make a pig music box with polymer clay, and I think this is a good time especially Christmas is so near and this will do a fabulous christmas hand made gift. Hopefully you’ll be able to learn something new from this post and enjoy yourself as well.
The tutorial has been divided into 3 parts. When you’re done with each part, keep the finishing aside so they don’t get dirty while you’re doing the others. Be aware that today’s tutorial is a bit more time consuming. However, I think the end result is well worth the effort. I get people asking where to buy the music box base. Here’s where you can buy it. Click here to buy music box.
Whether a beginner or advanced clay artists needs it’s tools. To start of with, you might not want to invest a lot in buying the tools yet. Most of the tools are not expensive but they add up very quickly. To make it easier for your budget, you can find some cheap polymer clay tools around the house.
Here are the cheap polymer clay tools found around household that’s useful for claying.
Clay art is definitely fun and exciting especially when you can create almost anything from a slab of clay. In general there are 2 different types of clay which is the polymer clay and air dry clay, different types of clay can achieve different finishing, to help you understand more and get the best out of clay art, here’s a simple side by side comparison of what is the difference between polymer clay and air dry clay.
|Polymer Clay||Light Air Dry Clay|
|Oven bake clay||Self-hardening – Dry in contact with air|
|Hard when newly open from package, needs conditioning to make clay easy to work with, after baked, the finish is hard and solid||Soft and stretchy, when dried, the finish becomes solid, light and slightly spongy|
|Comes in Many vibrant colors, sold in pre-colored in small bars or in larger slabs||Comes in many vibrant colors sealed in air tight bags|
|Capture more detail than light air dry clay||Much easier to work with especially for kids as it’s softer and lighter|
|It is made based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC)||It is made with paper, resin, glue. Suitable for kids age above 3 years old.|
|Baking time matters on oven and thickness of the piece, usually around 130 °C for 10-15 mins. (Different polymer clay brands has different baking instructions)||1-2 days to completely dry depending on the thickness of the piece|
|Can touch up finishing with oil paint/acrylic because polymer is an oil base product. You can also use chalks or pastels or mica powders to color it.||Can color with acrylic|
|You can mix the clay colors and make different shades (ex: red clay and yellow clay kneed together and you’ll get orange)||For pre-colored air dry clay you can mix the clay colors and make different shades (ex: red clay and yellow clay kneed together and you’ll get orange)|
|More durable after bake, waterproof and long lasting||Tends to dissolve in heat or water|
|Requires time to condition the clay before start||Super light, feels softer, dry faster|
|Won’t shrink at all while hardening||Shrink a little during the drying process|
|Can be make into almost anything from beads, charms, keychains, figurines, sculptures, miniatures and etc||Can be make into almost anything but most often used to make toys, to use with woods, music box, walking wind up machine and etc as baking is not required|
|Can use baking liquid / baking glue for joints, or sticking eye pins to charms for stronger grip||Light air dry clay are sticky before dry, however for making accessories or characters with joints, white glue is recommended.|
|Polymer clay has a few precautions with it||The clay is child safe|
|Doesn’t need to be sealed, but can apply a layer of glaze for a glossy finishing||Can be seal with glaze to make it more resistance to water|
|Other Types of clay that requires cooking : Pottery clay, eraser clay, Terra cotta clay and etc||Other types of air dry clay : Air polymer clay, flower clay, Paper clay, Stone clay, ladoll clay, modena clay, wood clay and etc|
|Some of the popular Polymer clay Brands : Malaysia Clay Art polymer clay, Cernit, Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft, Sulpey, Premo Sculpey, Pardo and etc||Some of the popular Air-dry clay : Malaysia Clay Art light air dry clay, Crayola’s clay, AMACO, Makins, Hearty, Creative PaperClay|
Sample polymer clay creations :
Sample light air dry clay creations:
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Hope this will give you an idea of what is the difference between polymer clay and air dry clay to help you in your clay making! Do you have any thoughts to help us understand clay more? Share with us at the comment section below!