With Crown Jewel Miniatures
Working With Polymer Clay
By now you’re probably wondering what’s next. Before opening your clay you’ll want to do a few simple, but important, things to ensure your project is a success. The first thing to do is to set out your supplies in a clean, comfortable environment in a quiet part of your house where your unfinished minis are not going to get squashed by careless, or little hands. Don’t learn the hard way! If you’re going to put time and effort (sometimes hours or days) into a project don’t risk having the dog knock it over or your hubby accidentally toss a book on it. Minis are small and non-miniaturists don’t seem to notice them like we do.
Wash your hands with a mild, clear hand soap. Creamy hand soap and hand lotions have ruined more than one clay project! Set out your tile on well lit table and remember; your tile is your work surface. Be sure it’s been washed in warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly with a lint-free paper towel. You’ll want to do this every time. (Cheap paper towels are best! The pricier ones have a lot of lint!)
Assemble your book (if you’re using one) and tools and open your package of clay. I keep re-sealable bags on hand to store unused portions of clay. It keeps the clay fresh, and protects it from lint and other foreign objects. Keeping your clay clean is especially important if you are a miniaturist! Camera close ups of mini teapots, cakes and fruit will reveal specks of lint, dust and tiny fibers often unseen by the naked eye. If you intend to sell your mini creations, keeping your work free of lint is a must.
Next, slice off only as much clay you will need to complete your project and begin to condition the clay by kneading it in your hand and putting it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting multiple times. As the clay warms, it will release the polymers and become more pliable. When mixing colors, flatten and fold the clay repeatedly until the colors are completely blended. I usually knead the clay in the palm of my hand until it’s pliable enough to roll into a thick snake. Fold the snake in half and keep rolling and folding, rolling and folding until it’s ready.
Now you’re ready to begin a project! Always begin your polymer clay project working with the lightest color clay first. This reduces the likelihood that the darker colors will stick to your hands and transfer to the lighter colors.
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