Beading Classes Prep | Polymer Pasta Machine | Sculpey Baking Oven

Polymer Pasta Machine

With Fall comes many new crafting and bead classes to choose from. Time to get prepared:

Q: Hello, thank you for your site. I am about to start my first class in Polymer and I am puzzled. What is the best Pasta Machine to
use (I will be using an electric motor) and what is the best Convection oven to use? I get so many different answers, I don’t know where to turn. Thank you for your help. ~Debbie McLelland

A: I know it can be very confusing to start out in any new hobby. Every expert has a different opinion on what is the right technique to use, or what tool is best suited for the job.

In my opinion, the best tools to buy really depends on what you plan on doing with the medium.

A good entry level polymer clay pasta machine for hobbyist and part time jewelry makers is made by Amaco. It’s got 6″ wide rollers, 7 settings and is costs between $20 and $30.

I actually have an Amaco machine that is still going strong after several years of continual use. What can dramatically shorten their life and effectiveness is when hard clay is always being jammed through the rollers. This puts them out of alignment and can strip the gears.

A lot of high production clayers use the Atlas machine. There are several models to choose from with optional attachments like cutters and motors. They come in 6″ and 7″ widths and are durable and well made in Italy. A 6″ model with no cutters runs about $70 and the motor is an additional $150.

Another great product is the Makin’s Professional Ultimate Clay Machine. It has non-stick rollers and 9 thickness settings. The original Makin’s Machine had some issues, but they have now been resolved. They sell for around $45 with an optional motor at $70. But if you go this route, don’t buy a used one since it will probably be one of the original models. And also don’t buy a new one that’s been sitting on the shelf ‘forever’.

On the subject of motors, they really are a luxury item for most people. Of course if you have strength issues with your wrists and hands, it may be a necessary item too. This choice is really up to you.

As far as ovens for baking your clay, read these articles for more information:

A special convection oven is really not necessary but is kind of nice since they distribute heat more evenly.

Hopefully this clears a few things up for you Debbie… regarding which polymer pasta machine and sculpey baking oven to buy.

By the way, if you want a full run down of all the tools and materials needed (and not needed) for beginning with polymer clay, my $37 basics course will save you a lot of time, energy and money [See this link for more info: Beading Classes on Video].

You might be interested in hearing how one my readers who is now learning from my videos, described her experience at local classes:

“I am such a newbie!! Even though I have taken a couple of classes locally, the instructor went so fast trying to cram as much into the time as possible… I was overwhelmed and truthfully don’t remember all that much.” ~Marsha

Obviously Marsha’s experience is not the case for all local classes, but it’s not uncommon either. With my online video classes, you go at your own pace and are able to review the lessons as often as you like, for as long as you like. Plus if you get stuck at any point, I’m here to answer your questions.

“Cindy – Your program has given me the confidence and basics to get started in clay. I took your advise on all of your recommendations. Needless to say, I am hooked! I love the fact that I can go back and refer to your videos over and over again. Your program could not be better.”
~Brenda Landers-Smith

“Hi Cindy, I have learned a great deal from the course and am glad to have it to refer to when I need to refresh my memory. The material is well thought out and presented in an easy to understand format. Sometimes teachers forget that their students don’t know as much as they do and their instructions are too advanced. You, on the other hand, know your audience.” ~Lani King

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Lietz, 07 September, 2008

    The following email question came in as a result of this post and I wanted to share it here as a clarification for everyone’s benefit:

    Q: I would love to get your videos but I no longer have a VHS player. I have invested in a portable DVD player that I love and it’s very portable. Are you coming out with DVD’s in the near future?

    A: In regards to my course, all of the videos are actually online. Buyers receive a password that allows access into a protected area of the web site. This lets you watch everything right on your computer.


    Now in regards to making the videos available on DVD, I recently opened this topic up for discussion over at different post. Click on the “Survey” link above and beside my name to go there and join into the conversation.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 07 September, 2008

    But back to the main topic of this page… Which polymer pasta machine do you use? What do you like or dislike about it? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Beth Hylan, 07 September, 2008

    I recently read about this wonderful tool on your blog .As an profession crafts person I am always interested in a new medium and it’s tools. You give clear advise and are an excellent tutor. thank you

  4. Cindy Lietz, 08 September, 2008

    Tools are the best aren’t they Beth! I could never have enough tools… But a pasta machine I may die without!!

    Thank you for your comment… it’s great to have you here!

  5. Marsha N, 09 September, 2008

    I am such a newbie!! Even though I have taken a couple of classes locally, the instructor went so fast trying to cram as much into the time as possible‚Ķ I was overwhelmed and truthfully don’t remember all that much.

  6. Julie G, 10 May, 2014

    Cindy’s online Polymer Clay Basics Course is very good – it covers everything a beginner needs to know to get started and more. Everything is well explained. I’m happy with my purchase and pleasantly surprised to get the 5 bonus videos :-) I can’t think of anything that’s been missed out that should have been included. If I knew anyone who was thinking of taking up polymer clay, even if it wasn’t for beading, I’d suggest they take a look at this course.


  7. Angela T, 20 February, 2009

    I need help! I bought an Amaco pasta maker but it’s streaking my clay. I’ve tried 5 kinds of clay and it does it with all of them. Due to physical limitation, I won’t be able to work with clay if I can’t use the pasta maker. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

  8. Cindy Lietz, 20 February, 2009

    Oh Angela, I hate that when that happens! Sounds to me like you have a dirty pasta machine. It is actually quite easy to clean your machine but you have to do it the right way. I have done a full video tutorial on it, that’s in my members library.

    If you click the link by my name you will be able to see a preview clip of the video. But you will have to become a member you to be able to see it in full. The info on how to do that is under the video box.

    For a quick tip, when you do get streaks on your clay, you can wipe them off with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. Hope that helps!

  9. Angela T, 14 March, 2009

    The pasta machine is brand new. It seams to be racting to the clay. I’ve cleaned it and cleaned it but if I even touch the clay to the rollers the clay turns grey. The rollers seem to “sweat” the oil like stuff after the clay has been on them. Do you have any ideas?


  10. Cindy Lietz, 14 March, 2009

    Amaco machines are made by a clay company not a food company, so I am still thinking that the rollers aren’t actually reacting with the clay. It is possible there is some sort of lubricant on the rollers. Try wiping them down with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. If that doesn’t help, let me know!

  11. Phaedrakat, 21 March, 2010

    For someone buying a new oven (in the US,) I’ve noticed that Costco has a great deal on convection ovens. They have an Oster countertop model for $59. I’d love to buy it, but I’ve got a working toaster oven, so can’t justify the expense. Anyway, if someone’s in the market, this seems to be an excellent buy!

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