Wondering what type of clay to buy?
Welcome to my first ever blog post! Over the past year and a half, I have been making clay earrings. From watching youtube videos to instagram reels and Tiktoks, I have learned so much and today I'm here to share some of it with you all. Polymer Clay is tricky and to be honest I still make mistakes but have come a long way and wanted to share my knowledge.
At first, I saw a couple fellow artists saying not to use Sculpey 3 but they never mentioned why. My immediate thought was this was a diversion so people wouldn't know what type of clay to buy since there are so many kinds. I started using Sculpey 3 since it was mainly the only Sculpey clay in stock. Come to find out, they were right. The main reasons not to buy this for clay earrings is because it bubbles and isn't flexible. Instead, Sculpey Premo and Sculpey Soufflé are the ultimate when it comes to clay jewelry. They are easy to roll out, little to no bubbles, and if baked properly, they are flexible.
When looking for Premo and Soufflé, Im always browsing the craft stores of course but Etsy as well. Etsy has some great affordable options with mostly free shipping and lets be honest, that's a huge factor! If you're curious about any other clay brand options, Kato and Fimo Clay are great when conditioned correctly.
Conditioning clay is so important. I can't stress this enough. If you don't condition your clay correctly, it can be crumbly when making cut outs and very brittle after the bake. If you're using Kato or Fimo Clay or your clay is just a bit on the tougher side, Sculpey Clay Softener is for you! Assuming you are using a full 2oz. block of clay, all you need is 1-3 drops on top of your rolled out clay. A little goes a long way, trust me, I've been there.
Next you will need a way to roll out your clay. A couple affordable options are the amaco pasta roller machine and a hand held acrylic roller. Personally, I use both rollers. The machine for conditioning and the hand roller for texture prints or an extra smooth out. Now this may seem like a lot but it is so worth it, roll your clay through the machine 20 times. Im not crazy, I swear. This is to ensure the bubbles are rolled right out of the clay and it helps to soften it and smooth it as best as possible.
Baking the polymer clay varies depending on the thickness, clay type, and shape/size. Wax paper on a baking sheet works great to prevent sticking and strange, unwanted textures. A new and tested method I use is to use printer paper. I know what your'e thinking...'doesn't paper burn in the oven?'. That's what I thought too but when using paper, all you need to do is turn down your over from 275°F to 225°F and bake a couple minutes longer. If you decide to use the paper method, simply place one sheet of paper on the baking sheet and place your clay face down with a sheet of paper laying on the top of your clay. This will also help to prevent bubbles from forming in the oven. Typically, if your making studs it is ok to make them on the thicker side and cook for about 8 minutes. For larger earrings they should be flexible, to do this just roll them thinner and cook for a couple minutes longer.
I have seen people trying all different techniques for cooking polymer clay and this is just what works for me. Practice, make mistakes and find what works for you! Polymer clay has all kinds of quirks and can be tricky but it is so fun to create with and ultimately so worth it!
Feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments you might have!
Owner of Larkspur
- Averie Everett