What is polymer clay?

Polymer clay is an oven-bake art and craft medium.

Some people say that using this kind of clay is like sculpting with color- as most brands come in multiple bright and beautiful colors.

Several brands have been made popular by polymer clay artists, such as Premo by Sculpey, Kato Clay, Cernit, and Fimo. Those are the brands most often used by professional artists, because their properties include ease of use, multiple colors to choose from, and strength after baking.

There are several brands that are used more often for children and students, including Sculpey III, Bake Shop, Pluffy, and Fimo Soft. These clays are softer and more prone to breakage after baking.

Polymer Clay is made from tiny particles of polyvinylchoride, pigments, binder, and plasticizer. During curing the plasticizer "bakes out" and you are left with just the plastic particles and pigments. Although polymer clay is sometimes touted as a "children's material" because of the perception that it is made from plastic, artists worldwide have lifted this medium up into the spectrum of fine art and craft with their beautiful, sophisticated designs.

Many crafters enjoy the ease of being able to conceptualize a design, condition some clay quickly, and bake it in 30 minutes- and have a finished product in quite a short period of time, and with very little equipment. For this reason, many sculptors and ceramicists experiment with the polymer clays and end up using them and liking them! Polymer clays are used now in everything from art dolls, to art jewelry, to wall art and mixed-media arts, and more.

If you are interested in finding out much more about the clay brands and how to choose one, please read our Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Polymer Clay Brands article!

And then, check out our YouTube channel, PolymerClayTV, for over 400 tutorial videos.

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