7 Things to Know About Translucent Polymer Clay for Jewelry Bead Making:
There are so many things to learn about the different brands of polymer clays. Today’s article will focus on a special type of clay called translucent. It is available from all the manufacturers but each brand has different properties. Here’s some comparison notes that will help you decide which one is right for your project:
1) Premo Frost #5310 with Bleach and Studio by Sculpey Frost are the clearest of the translucent clays. They are followed by Kato Polyclay, Sculpey III, Premo #5310, Fimo Soft #014, Fimo Classic #00 and lastly Cernit #010 White Translucent.
2) Premo Translucent and Sculpey III are the most amber colored of the brands. Kato and Fimo clays are the whitest in color.
3) The tiny circular ‘moon’ shapes you sometimes see in the layers of translucent clay are caused by a condition called ‘plaquing’. Fimo Clay has the most plaquing of all the brands of polymer clay. Kato clay the least. Moisture on your hands and over working the clays will cause more plaquing.
4) Adding tiny amounts of opaque clay will help to reduce plaquing. Think pea sized amounts with a whole block of clay. White and beige are good candidates for this technique.
5) Translucent clays start yellowing very easily with heat. Baking directly on a ceramic tile or metal cookie sheet will cause translucent clays to scorch quickly. You can protect the clay either by tenting your pieces while baking or by burying them in a bed of cornstarch.
6) Translucent clay bakes up clearer when layered over raw clay, more so than over baked clay.
7) All translucent clays can be tinted with alcohol inks. Coat the clay with ink and let dry a minute or two, so the alcohol has time to dissipate. Then mix the clay until you have the look you want. Gloves are a good idea here unless you don’t mind colored hands!
There are many more things I can teach you about Fimo, Premo, Sculpey III, Cernit and Kato polymer clay… but that will have to wait for another day! Feel free to add any of your own tips or information to the comment section below.