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       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
On the net

These are just a few of the net's many polymer clay resources:

Jenea's Art box.
Fimo art, a discussion of the relative merits of Sculpey and Fimo, and a really great tutorial on millefiori (canework).
A site dedicated to all aspects of beading, with many, many links. Includes a polymer clay section.
The newsgroup for polymer-clay artists from beginner to professional. Have questions that are not answered by the all-powerful FAQ? Ask them here. (The newsgroups rec.crafts.beads and are not specifically for polymer clay, but you can often find useful information here about jewelry-making.)
Newsgroup archives at Deja News
Many subjects have been discussed in the past on the polymer clay newsgroup. News servers normally keep only the latest few weeks on hand, but the archive at DejaNews records all Usenet posts for the last year and a half or so (and grows all the time).
Search the rec.crafts.polymer-clay archives for:
Web search engines
Many other Web sites deal with polymer clay. In particular, many clay artists offer pictures and descriptions of some of their pieces on the Web. To find more polymer clay sites, you can use a search engine such as Alta Vista.
Search the Web for

Watch for an expanded selection of links, coming soon...

Jewelry Crafts
Carries many polymer clay articles and just keeps getting better for the clay artist. Bimonthly, subscription is $15/year.
Bead & Button
All-color magazine that usually has at least one polymer clay article per issue. Back issues are also available (many with good polymer clay material). Bimonthly, subscription is $19.95/year (800-400-2482).
Glossy, very beautiful magazine that covers jewelry and fiber arts. Occasional polymer clay articles. Worth it just for the gorgeous pictures. Quarterly, subscription is $23/year (800-888-8950 or 619-599-0222).
Lapidary Journal
Magazine of the jewelry trade. Center section has articles on jewelry techniques, sometimes including one polymer clay article; quality of these projects varies. Annual buyer's guide issue. Monthly, subscription is $28/year (1-800-676-4336).

In addition, you can often find polymer clay articles in general craft magazines.

Polymer clay books
The Polymer Clay Techniques Book by Sue Heaser
Begins with a brief but thorough overview of basic techniques, making this book suitable for beginners as well as more advanced artists. The techniques presented include the old standbys such as cane-making and stamping alongside the latest techniques with metallic clays, and includes specialties of the author such as enamaling and pietre dure (faux cut stonework). Excellent sections on miniature sculpture - food, flowers, vessels, even furniture. The author is British, and the reference section on the different properties of polymer clay brands includes clays not usually found in the US, making this book particularly useful for non-US readers.
The New Clay by Nan Roche
The basic source of information for all aspects of polymer clay, five years old but still current and useful. Instructions, techniques, and many color photos for inspiration. "If you can buy only one book..."
The Art of Polymer Clay by Donna Kato
Briefly presents the basics of clay, then moves on to many of Donna Kato's original techniques such as marbled mokume gane, cabochons in clay settings, and imitative techniques with transparent clays. Excellent chapters on flowers, vessels, and sculpture. While this book contains several projects with detailed instructions, it also presents a great many brief overviews of various techniques; the artist who is experienced enough to "fill in the blanks" will get more out of these. But even beginners will find this book inspirational.
Creating with Polymer Clay by Steven Ford and Leslie Dierks
For intermediate to advanced clayworkers. This book contains discussions and illustrations of many techniques from glassworking and mosaic, and photos of the work of many polymer clay artists, along with instructions for 25 projects using various clay techniques.
Creative Clay Jewelry by Leslie Dierks
Almost 50 jewelry projects, all with color pictures. This book also contains some information on basic technique. The projects mostly emphasize canework.
Five Artists - Five Directions by Jamey D. Allen
Not a technique handbook, but a gallery of pieces by polymer clay artists Pier Voulkos, Martha Breen, Ruth Anne Grove, Michael Grove, and Jamey D. Allen.
New Crafts - Polymer Claywork by Mary Maguire
A brief discussion of basic techniques, along with 25 projects for jewelry and other items. Not as advanced as some books; many projects use painting, plastic "stones", and fabric.
New Ways With Polymer Clay: The Next Generations Of Projects and Techniques by Kris Richards
Unusually advanced techniques section, including a very thorough discussion of the properties of the various clay brands and a complete section on textures and finishes, along with a dozen varied projects. Check out the book's website.
The Best Little Beading Book by Wendy S. Conner
Not a polymer clay book, but so useful for anyone doing bead stringing and beadwork that I include it here anyway. Clear, helpful instructions on hundreds of beading techniques.

(If you can't find these books locally, they're all available from Amazon Books.)


Tory Hughes has a series of thirteen videotapes on all aspects of polymer claywork, including imitative techniques she developed for making faux jade, ivory, amber, turquoise, and other stones. These tapes are produced by Gameplan Artranch (510-549-0993).

Maureen Carlson has a series of five videotapes on dolls and sculptural techniques. Her tapes are available from Wee Folk Creations or the Clay Factory.

Marie Segal has three new videotapes on imitative techniques for metal and advanced millefiori work. This series of tapes is produced by Mindstorm, Inc.

Donna Kato has a series of four videotapes that cover polymer clay basics and a number of techniques she's developed. The tapes are produced by Mindstorm, Inc.

National Polymer Clay Guild

This national organization publishes a bimonthly newsletter, the PolyInformer. Membership is $20/year for individuals, $10 for seniors and young people. To join, visit the guild's website. The Guild also has local chapters in many states.

Mail-order sources
Wee Folk Creations
Fimo, Cernit, and Promat clays; videos, books, and booklets; equipment of all kinds. Separate price lists for wholesale (meaning you must have a reseller's license) and retail customers.
Prairie Craft
Polyform clays (Premo, Sculpey, Granitex, Super Elasticlay); tools and booklets. 1-800-779-0615.
Polymer Clay Express
Cernit, Sculpey III, and Fimo clays; videos; books. 1-800-844-0138.
The Clay Factory
CFC, Cernit, Sculpey, and Promat clays, wide selection of Kemper tools, and videos. Order line: 1-800-243-3466.
Zigzag Polymer Clay Supplies
New Zealand-based supplier, ships worldwide. Premo, Sculpey, Fimo, and DuKit clays, molds, wire mesh, good selection of books and tools.

These are sources with a net presence; you can find more mail-order sources of clay advertised in the magazines listed above.

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