“I found a new polymer clay at Michael’s this week. Just wondering what you think of it.” ~Sue-W
Well since you asked… I took the time to try out the new Craft Smart Polymer Clay product that is now available in Michaels Arts and Crafts Stores across North America. It appears to be Michael’s version of a no-name brand.
Michael’s now has their own generic brand of polymer clay that feels spongy. Have you tried it yet? ~Anna-S
Hi Cindy! I found a new polymer clay at Michael’s this week. It appears to be a generic type of clay and the name on it is “Craftsmart”. Michael’s stores is listed as the distributor. It seems to be a softer clay, bakes at 275 degrees. It comes in a variety of colors but from the stock at hand it doesn’t appear to be comprehensive. For example, there was only one red although it seemed to be fairly balanced and probably could be made warmer or cooler with mixing. Just wondering if you are familiar with this brand and if so, what you think of it. ~Sue-W
I wish I could tell you that the product lives up to it’s “smart” name. Unfortunately it doesn’t (IMO). Not sure how the other CraftSmart products compare to thier name brand competitors, but in the polymer clay department I was not impressed.
Based on the fact that CraftSmart price was not that much lower than the name-brand clays, I was hoping that the quality would at least be comparable. The packaging is exactly the same as the Premo and Sculpey Products so I was guessing it may be made by them, though there is no mention of Polyform Products on the label, just Michaels. And like several other clayers have mentioned, the instructions are identical to those on Bake Shop Clay also made by Polyform.
The texture wasn’t as soft as I expected it to be. Somewhere between a Premo and a Sculpey III clay. It also had a bit of a Studio by Sculpey feel to it. I thought maybe they mixed some Premo with some Studio to come up with a hybrid.
The colors kind of suck, but for someone who mixes their own colors, that didn’t matter too much. It was easy enough to work with, and when it came out of the oven I thought everything was going to be all right. Boy was I wrong!
This clay is so brittle! Way worse than Sculpey III. Never before was I able to break my sample sheet (rolled to the thickest setting on my pasta machine) into such tiny pieces. I could even break the stuff with my fingernail. And this was after baking for a full hour!
I don’t get it. The technology and knowledge is out there to make a perfectly wonderful polymer clay. Why make a formula that is so inferior? Are the ingredients really that expensive that they can’t put a dash or two more of whatever it is that gives the clay strength?
There are thousands and thousands of us clayers out there consuming polymer clay by the pound. When you bring out a new clay, why not make it a good one?
Well that’s my rant for the day. Good thing I only bought one pack. Maybe I’ll mix it in with some other clay to make it stronger.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the different polymer clay brands out there, check out the following articles:
- Common Polymer Clay Brands in North America
- Translucent Sculpey Clay, Fimo Clay, Premo, Cernit, Kato
- Best Polymer Clay – Premo Sculpey vs Fimo Clay vs Sculpey III
- Fimo Clay, Premo, Sculpey – Which is Best for Cane Making
- Comparison of Studio by Sculpey Polymer Clay and Premo Sculpey