I’ve been working with polymer clay since 2016 and there are a ton of things I learned in the process. You figure out what works for you, your style, favorite clay tools, and whatever else you adapt to your routine. As a beginner I wanted all the answers and ways I can become a better clay creator. I’m going to share with you a few things I wish I knew before working with polymer clay.
When picking up a new hobby, most times you feel like you absolutely need everything to start up. This is sometimes what keep people from picking up a hobby. In reality, you only need a few things to get started!
Some basic tools you can pretty much make anything with include an acrylic roller, needle tool, and a clay blade. If you aren’t too sure which clay colors you want, get simple colors such as red, yellow, blue, white, and black. Try mixing your own colors together with color recipes you can find online. Find a varnish to glaze your pieces and keep your creation protected after baking, I recommend starting with Sculpey’s Gloss Glaze. Buy little metal findings such as eye pins and lobster clasps to turn your creations into keychains!
Finding inspiration through nature, characters, art styles, and colors can help ignite your creativity to make amazing things! Sometimes it’s difficult figuring out what you’d like to try your hand at making, I recommend surrounding yourself with inspirational things that stand out to you and implementing things you like into your creations. As a business owner making clay creations as a source of income, sometimes it’s difficult getting out of an inspiration block but I find that I’m able to get out of that when I surround myself with vibrant colors and pieces of art that I find nice. I like to cover my wall with pretty art prints from my artist friends as well as other business owners which gives me an inspiration push!
One thing I didn’t do when I started clay was keeping everything organized. Everything I owned that pertained to clay such as bars of clay, tools, paints, and gloss finishes were all stored in one box. I quickly realized how easy clay collects dust when left out and it’s important to store it properly and separately. I prefer a clear container with dividers. For everything else, I recommend getting a 3-tier rolling cart from your local craft store. It takes little space but carries a whole lot of materials. As a small business owner, I have carts for clay supplies as well as shipping materials!
Lastly, I wish I knew there were different clays to work with ranging in texture, color, finished looks, and if it fits your creative needs. Sculpey is my all-time favorite clay brand, I have been using their clay since I started my clay journey! In the beginning I was exclusively working with Sculpey III as I wasn’t aware of the other variations of Sculpey available to me. I started working with Souffle and Premo, I found out they have different textures, colors, and overall pliability to them that suit what I’m trying to achieve in my products.
Experiment with Sculpey’s clay variations and see what works best for you!