About the clay:
CERNIT Polymer clay is an art medium that is known for its versatility, pliability, and how easy it is to work with. It is an "oven bake" material, composed of polymer, resins, colouring agents and fillers.
Cernit is a man-made clay made from plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). CERNIT is used by both expert artists and beginners, the clay will stay soft and malleable until it is baked, after which the clay will become solid. CERNIT is known for its strength and is popular with dollmakers, boasting an entire range designed for dollmakers, with various skin-shades and other products to suit their needs.
Other ranges available include:
Metallics, stone effects, neon, and even translucent to name but a few. You can check out many of CERNITS high-quality products and accessories here.
There are endless possibilities with CERNIT, it can be applied in many different art forms, it is particularly great for things like jewellery, home decoration and sculpture. If you are a beginner, or even consider yourself an expert, there is a massive amount of resources to be found online, on sites like YouTube, where it is almost guaranteed you will find what you are looking for.
CERNIT can be used to cover materials/items which will not burn or melt in the oven at the low temperature required for baking. Items such as wood, mirrors, some plastics, cutlery and glass to name a few.
Polymer clay can also be sanded and varnished, and can also be painted with acrylic, heat set paints, or alcohol inks, to enhance the detail and/or colours of your project.
Although there are many specialised clay tools on the market, and it is recommended you use these tools if you are able, there are many things that can be found around the home that will serve as a functional substitute.
A ceramic tile or glass chopping board, both of which are great for working the clay upon
A knitting needle has countless uses, especially for jewellery making or sculpture
Cocktail sticks, again with multiple purposes, a massively useful tool for this hobby.
Conditioning Polymer Clay
It is important to condition the clay before use. You may run into a few very easily avoidable problems if the clay is not conditioned well, such as clay being too brittle, too weak when baked, and being far less pliable. Conditioning the clay is very simple, depending on the age/quality of the clay, this can take between 5-10 minutes, but is a very necessary step before starting work.
Begin by simply warming the clay in your hands, starting to roll, stretch, and fold the clay when it becomes flexible enough to do so. You can also use a hand roller, or a pasta machine, which is not necessary but will be far quicker and more efficient.
Polymer clay can sometimes be fresh, (recently manufactured) but this is no reason not to use the clay, though it could possibly be too soft for your particular project. If this is the case, there are multiple ways to resolve this problem.
1.You can leave the clay to naturally harden over time
2. Leaching (Most effective and commonly used method) to remove moisture from the clay by rolling the clay out thinly with a roller or a pasta machine, then placing the clay between two sheets of paper (A4 printer paper works fine), checking every 15 minutes. Be wary, if the clay is left on the paper for too long it could become too hard.
Older clay can be firm. Again, this is no reason it cannot be used. Depending on your ability, or how warm your hands are, the firm clay can be very workable. However, if you would like to soften the clay manually, there are ways of doing this too.
- Use CERNIT Magic Mix, just a few drops will help to soften the clay
- CERNIT Soft Mix, like the magic mix, a small amount will soften the clay in no time.
Alternatively, there are countless videos on YouTube from the vast Polymer Clay community, and there are many tutorials on this particular issue.
Polymer Clay is not a children's product.
Children must be supervised when using the clay at all times. It is not advised that children use professional Polymer Clay tools, such as clay blades, pasta machines, any type of cutting machine, or ovens. The ClayHub is not responsible for any harm caused by misuse of the products sold on the site, adults and children alike. (see Terms and Conditions)