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If oven-bake clay feels stiff, the clay should be pre-warmed to aid in conditioning. You can do this by letting the block of clay sit beneath a low-wattage light bulb for 5 minutes or so, and then rolling it briskly between your hands. The clay will become soft and flexible and the initial stiffness will subside. You can also use your hands by simply holding the clay between your hands for several minutes prior to rolling.
premo! Sculpey and Sculpey UltraLight are our most durable oven-bake clays. The flexibility makes fine details and thin areas less likely to break. The following clays are listed in order from Most Durable/Strong to Least Durable/Strong:
premo! Sculpey and premo! Sculpey Accents
Sculpey SuperFlex Bake & Bend
Super Sculpey Living Doll
Sculpey Bake Shop
Occasionally, extremely fresh clay is shipped out or the clay has a little too much plasticizer in it and you may encounter a "squishy" bar. Trust us, this is a good thing. You can make clay firmer very easily! Protect your work surface with wax paper or foil. Simply roll the too-soft clay into sheets about 1/4" thick. Sandwich it between sheets of clean, white paper, such as computer or copy paper. Do not use printed paper as the print will transfer to the clay. Place a sheet of wax paper or foil over the top sheets of paper. Use a book as a weight on top of the papers. Within an hour you will see the surface of the paper looking "oily." This is plasticizer being "leached out." Usually this only takes a couple of changes of the paper and the clay is the perfect consistency. Some artists prefer very stiff clay, and they continue the process several times.
If your clay is just a little dry or firm, it may only require the addition of Sculpey Clay Softener to reconstitute it (about 6 - 8 drops per 4 oz clay or 2 - 4 drops per 2 oz clay). However, if it is already hard and crumbly, it has either had too much exposure to heat or old enough to have already undergone some chemical changes. At this stage, it cannot be reconstituted satisfactorily.You can also add a pinch of Sculpey Mold Maker to soften the clay.
You can easily adjust the consistency of your clay. If your clay is too soft try this easy method: - Protect your work surface with wax paper or foil - Roll the clay into a sheet and place sheet of clay between several sheets of copy paper or newsprint, do not use printed paper as the print will transfer to the clay - Place a sheet of wax paper or foil over the top sheets of paper - Use a book as a weight on top of the papers - Leave the clay for a few hours, check for your desired consistency If your clay is harder than you’d like, you can soften it by adding a small amount of Sculpey MoldMaker. Add a small amount at a time until you achieve your perfect consistency. You can also add a few drops of Sculpey Clay Softener to create a softer clay.
Sculpey Clay Softener is used to expedite conditioning of firmer clays. When you use it, you are adding a non-phthalate plasticizer back into the clay, which makes it softer. Under ordinary circumstances, our clays do not need additional clay softener. If the clay has been stored in less than ideal conditions, and has become somewhat dry, clay softener can help. You might find you need more or less depending on the condition of the clay.
If your clay is just a little dry or firm, it may only require the addition of Sculpey Clay Softener to reconstitute it (about 6 - 8 drops per 4 oz clay or 2 - 4 drops per 2 oz clay).
The Clay Softener will not restore clay once it has become very hard or after it has been baked. If the clay is already crumbly, it has either had too much exposure to heat or old enough to have already undergone some chemical changes. At this stage, it cannot be reconstituted satisfactorily.
Adding a pinch of Sculpey MoldMaker to clay that is a little dry or firm will also help reconstitute it.