Jeanne's World
   The Polymer Clayspot
       Polymer Clay FAQ

The Polymer Clayspot:

Welcome to Polymer Clay
Choosing & Mixing Clay
Conditioning Polymer Clay
Using the Food Processor
Using the Pasta Machine
Forming Clay Pieces
Firing Polymer Clay
Finishing Clay Pieces
Storing Polymer Clay
Using Stone Clays
Using Translucent Clays
Molding & Sculpting
Creating Surface Effects
Making Polymer Clay Jewelry
Safety & Cleanup
More Information Sources
Do I need a food processor to work with clay?

The food processor is not a necessity for working with polymer clay, but many clay artists find it a helpful time-saver for conditioning and mixing the clay.

There are a few effects - in particular, the technique used to make faux turquoise - that require the use of a fod processor, but most polymer clay work does not depend on this tool.

Can I use the same processor for food and clay?

This isn't a good idea, because it's very difficult to work into all the nooks and crannies of the processor bowl and make absolutely sure you've removed any trace of clay. If you want to use the same unit for food and clay, get a separate bowl and blade for clay use (and label them to prevent mixups).  - Safety tip!

What brand should I get?

Look for a unit with a strong motor, because chopping clay is tougher than most of the food jobs the processor is intended for. Various people have reported success with Black & Decker and Sunbeam food processors.

If you want a food processor but don't want to spend the money for a new one, consider haunting a few garage sales or flea markets. People often sell a used or extra food processor, and you can pick up a bargain.

Can I use a coffee grinder instead?

Sure. However, a coffee grinder has such a small capacity that you may find yourself frustrated when trying to prepare more than a little bit of clay. A coffee grinder may also be harder to clean clay out of than a food processor, making things difficult when you want to switch colors.

How long should I chop clay?

If you're chopping clay to condition it, try chopping in bursts of ten seconds or so for one to three minutes. This will warm the clay (from the friction) as well as chopping it into small bits.

 Next: Using the Pasta Machine

Jeanne A. E. DeVoto
Copyright © 1996-97 Jeanne A. E. DeVoto