It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert when it comes to the tools you use when working with polymer clay. In the end, you don’t need more than a few basic tools to create remarkable art. Have a look at the ideas and tutorials on this site and see which tools are used. Start somewhere and expand as you go.
When sculpting with polymer clay, there are certain tools that are required so as to achieve the finest results. First things first, you’ll need to find an operation area with a big smooth surface. Plastic and wood surfaces can easily get damaged by polymer clay, so it’s recommended that your work surface is made of tile, PMMA Plexiglas, or just pure glass. If you have no other option but to use a plastic or wood surface, then cover the surface with wax paper before working your clay.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of tools nor break the bank to get started. My general recommendation would be to only purchase the tools you really need for the ideas you currently want to work on. Here is a list of some of the fundamental tools that you’ll need to get you up and on the road:
- Rolling Tools
A rolling pin helps in flattening the polymer clay or if the clay you use is stiff, it needs to be pre-flattened before running it through the pasta machine. It can also serve the purpose of being used to add a metallic leaf to the polymer clay for decorative purposes. The rolling pin can either be acrylic, plastic or metallic rollers. Acrylic rollers do not only make your work easier but it also prevents accelerated wear and tear of your pasta machine. Wood rollers are a no-go-zone for they end up getting stuck to the clay thus making your work impossible. Bead rollers are used to make uniformly shaped and sized beads in a very short time.
- Sculpting Tools
Sculpting tools have a variety of functions that include: drilling a hole in the items made so you can add accessories such as chains to your jewelry. Sharp needle tools can be used to pierce holes in beads and cutting shapes as desired. Polymer clay extruder is also ideal in making numerous shapes to expand your collection of designs.
The oven is used for firing/curing the polymer clay after you make your pieces. If you are to use the kitchen oven, do not forget to ventilate well after use. You could eventually invest in an exclusive polymer clay oven and this applies to both beginning and experienced Polymer Clay Jewelry Artists.
The blade needs to be sharp, long and flat. Forget about the wallpaper scraper blades and the craft knives. What you need in your craft is a rigid and sharp blade to serve your purpose. No need to fret, you are bound to find this blade in the polymer clay section of most art stores.
The X-ACTO #1 precision knife set is the original cutting tool for any application requiring a precise, accurate cut. This cutting and trimming tool has been used for years by graphics artists, designers, hobbyists, and others for making careful cuts and trims consistently and with confidence.
- Pasta Machine
A pasta machine is one of the most important tools of the trade. From conditioning the polymer clay to rolling flat sheets – the pasta machine is one big time saver and a convenient friend that makes so many sculpting tasks appear easier. While most of these machines appear to be very pricey, there are a few that can be easily squeezed in your budget. Be aware, though, that today, bioplastics, or degradable polymers are the norm. Don’t charge our environment any more than strictly needed.
There are many other tools that can be used in your polymer clay operations, but these are some of the most significant and which will get you off to a good start. Eventually, you will acquire a nice collection of polymer clay tools to aid you in your quest for making beautiful and unique jewelry. All you need to do now is to put these tools to proper use.