Decorating for the Artistic Soul

How and Why Do You Need To Condition Polymer Clay?

Posted on: July 23, 2008

Polymer clay is an excellent way to make unique and beautiful jewelry. It is quickly becoming popular as more people are discovering all the wonderful things that you can do with this amazing material. However, before you can work with polymer clay you need to condition it. How and why do you need to condition polymer clay?

Conditioning polymer clay is a simple process that makes the clay easier to mould into the shapes you want. When you first open up the clay it will be a little stiff. You can cut the clay in thin slices to make it easier to work with. Start by choosing an amount that feels comfortable in your hands and then roll, stretch and compress it through your hands until it reaches a good consistency to work with.

You can also cut a slice of clay and run it through a pasta machine to help the conditioning process. Use the widest selection on the machine and run the piece of clay through. Next, fold it over and run it through again. Always place the folded end of the clay into the machine first. Repeat this process until it reaches the consistency needed. It is recommended that you only use clay that is already soft or pre-conditioned a little before running it through the pasta machine. Otherwise, it may shred the clay instead of conditioning it.

You will know when it is conditioned enough because the polymer clay is soft, pliable and less brittle. This allows you to mold it into any shape and size you desire. Conditioning the clay will also make the finished product stronger after it has been fired.


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