Fimo Clay, Premo, Sculpey – Which is Best for Cane Making + Sculpting

Your Questions Answered

1) With so many polyclay brands to choose from, how do you know which one is best for (a) polymer clay sculpting and (b) making polymer clay canes.

2) Instructions for mixing up your own Emerald Green Premo polymer clay recipe.

Today’s questions were sent in by Pamela Reader and Karen Sexton. And here’s your answers, girls!

Q-1: I was just wondering what the difference was between the different types of clay, where to use them, when to mix them and what to use for sculpture or canes. I could use an article on each of the clays and suggestions on type of art projects to use them for. ~Pamela Reader

A-1: There is actually quite a big difference between the different brands of polymer clay, even though they are all basically made with the same materials. Because of these differences in formulations, their qualities differ as well.

The four clays I’ll compare are Sculpey III, Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft and Premo Sculpey. There are other clays available, but since I have not personally worked with them, I would bot be able to provide a fair comparison.

Sculpey III

  • super soft
  • easy to condition
  • lots of colors
  • cheap
  • readily available
  • dull finish (doesn’t buff up very well)
  • weak, brittle
  • too soft for caning (unless very experienced)
  • too soft for sculptures (slumps, sags and breaks)
  • poor quality

For an interesting read, click here:
Why Sculpey III Polymer Clay Really Makes Me Mad

Fimo Classic

  • very firm (old stuff can be crumbly)
  • hard to condition
  • limited colors
  • available
  • mid priced
  • strong
  • excellent for caning
  • good for sculpting
  • medium shine (when sanded and buffed)
  • good quality

Fimo Soft

  • soft
  • easy to condition
  • lots of colors
  • readily available
  • mid priced
  • not as strong as Classic but much stronger than Sculpey
  • so-so for caning (Classic much better, Soft can be too soft)
  • OK for sculpting
  • medium shine (when sanded and buffed)
  • med – good quality

Premo Sculpey

  • firm (old formula)
  • soft (new formula) (may be changing formula again to firm it up)
  • easy to condition
  • lots of colors (not as many as Sculpey III)
  • colors based on traditional artists palette (predictable mixing)
  • higher price
  • very strong (strongest of all three brands)
  • great for caning (old formula best, new formula must be leached)
  • good for sculpting (old formula best)
  • high shine (when sanded and buffed)
  • best quality (old formula)

As you may be able to tell, I like Premo Sculpey the best… especially the old formula.

All clays were reformulated to remove Phthalates and make it a greener and safer product. Unfortunately it made Premo and Fimo Soft, too soft.

After many complaints from the polymer clay community they are looking at firming up the new Phthalate-free formula to make us happy again. Hopefully that will happen soon!

As of right now Fimo Classic is best for caning and Premo is best for everything else. Premo can still be used for caning but it must be leached to make it firmer and more workable.

Here’s another article that may be of interest:
Phthalate-free Polymer Clay – Blessing or a Curse

Q-2: How do I mix the Emerald Green Premo called for in some recipes? Thanks! ~Karen Sexton

A-2: Premo doesn’t actually make an Emerald Green clay, though Sculpey III and Fimo Soft does.

Perhaps it is the Sculpey that the recipes are calling for. However, rather than using the Sculpey III, I would substitute Fimo Soft’s Emerald Green or mix your own Emerald Green using Premo.

Here’s the recipe:

Polymer Clay Color Recipe CardThe recipe that was previously posted in this space [Emerald Green] has been re-formated onto a convenient downloadable index card like the sample pictured to the left. The actual size of this recipe card is 4″ x 6″.

Two recipe cards are now published every week. The A-Series cards are included with the weekly video membership option at my Polymer Clay Tutor Library (Very Affordable Pricing :)

And the B-Series (Bonus Recipes) are available for FREE to everyone who subscribes to my Polymer Clay Tutor Guest List (Weekly Email Newsletter).

Hopefully this brand comparison info was helpful. You should now have a much better idea on whether to use Fimo clay, Premo or Sculpey for your next polymer clay cane making or sculpting project… even when the receipt calls for Emerald Green. If anyone has further questions, be sure to ask!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. MJ, 14 August, 2008


    How does Fimo Effect fit into this comparision?

  2. Pamela Reader, 15 August, 2008

    YES! Thank you so much. I am going to print out this Polymer Clay Brand Chart and hang it by my little working table. I’m sure it will save me a few dollars in experimenting . . . although experimenting is quite fun. I am now trying a Halloween mixture of Sculpey III with ecru and two different oranges and I’m trying to marble the look, instead of just making your basic ick-mess color! Thank you for the articles.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 15 August, 2008

    @MJ: Fimo Effects are really just the transparent clay, glitters, glow-in-the-dark, etc. Anything that isn’t just the plain clay. The Fimo Effects packages I’ve had seem like the Classic formula. There may be some in the Soft version, I’m not positive on that though.

    @Pamela: If you are going to use Sculpey III make thick chunky beads with it… they will be less likely to break that way.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Fimo Clay, Premo, Sculpey – Which is Best for Cane Making + Sculpting

  4. Marianne Huber, 15 August, 2008

    Ahhhhh!!!! The light bulb just went off over my head. The premo I purchased has been really really soft. It lets my animal heads hang down and I have to be really careful making sure all of the parts are laying perfectly before I bake them. However, it really makes some puffy types of leaves, tendrils and curves quite nicely. I have been thinking about using the different clays for different effects. (I am laughing at myself as I write this sentence, it sounds like I know what I am talking about (I don’t, I am just making observations)).

  5. Marianne Huber, 15 August, 2008

    I forgot to mention why the light bulb went off. As I was reading this blog, it helped me understand why the different clays are why they are.
    thanks again for great articles. I like Pamela’s idea of hanging it by our work areas.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 15 August, 2008

    Marianne: That is great you had a light bulb moment!

    BTW just the sheer fact that you are talking about making something out of polymer clay and the different consistencies the clay, means that you know more about polymer clay than 99% of the population!

    Sounds to me you might know a thing or two!

    Cindy’s last post..What’s Better than Receiving Beaded Polymer Clay Jewelry as a Gift

  7. cindy head, 07 April, 2012

    Hi Cindy!I want to stick 3d clay designs on wine glasses,I have just bought some sculpey111 to work with..Do you think its a good idea to use this.Your help will be most apprecialted.
    Many Thanks

  8. Cindy Lietz, 09 April, 2012

    Hi Cindy, (great name btw!) Unfortunately SculpeyIII is probably not your best best for a project like this. Although there have been some improvements to strength over the last year or so, it still is not as strong as some of the other brands such as Premo Sculpey, Fimo and Kato Polyclay. If you do a search for ‘clay brands’ or ‘clay strength’ at the top of the page you will find more information on the subject. Good luck!

  9. Cindy H, 12 April, 2012

    Thank you Cindy!I have just used Premo Sculpey… Fingers crossed, it will work… It seems that the clay is water proof as long as its not immersed in water. A quick rinse of the glass will be ok… I hope :)

    Thank you for your trouble

  10. Cindy Lietz, 16 August, 2008

    Here’s a copy of an email conversation I just had with an experienced clayer who follows this blog. I wanted to post it here because she shares some valuable information about Sculpey Studio, another PC product line that I did not address in the main article above.

    NANCY LANCSTER: Have you seen the new Sculpy Studio brand of PC? The colors are absolutely scumcious. It is between Sculpy III and Premo for softness. Baked it’s strong, not brittle like Sculpy. As much as I have always loved Kato PC I must say this is a nice addition to my clay selection.

    CINDY LIETZ: Hi Nancy, Thanks so much for your email! Yes I have heard of Studio by Sculpey. Haven’t tried it yet because the local Michaels Craft Store in my area doesn’t carry it and I haven’t got around to ordering online yet. I’m glad you like it. I’ve heard some neat things about it. Will have to get some and write about it sometime, won’t I!

    NANCY LANCSTER: Hi Cindy, I live in northwest Arkansas and the only craft store we have is Hobby Lobby. While visiting in Virginia I went to an A.C. Moore Craft Store. That’s where I saw this wonderful display of Studio by Sculpey. When I got back home I went to my Hobby Lobby and talked to the lady who orders PC for the store. Usually the home office decides when to sell in each store but when a customer requests something they look into ordering it. So, maybe I’ll have it here too. I guess it is just so new that the powers that be haven’t discovered it yet. Love your web site. I’ve been claying for years but I’m always happy to learn something new!

    CINDY LIETZ: Thanks for your input Nancy. Would you mind if I transferred our conversation over to my blog so that others can benefit from your insights about the new Studio Sculpey brand? The information would definitely be helpful to others. Let me know and I’ll take care it.

    NANCY LANCSTER: Sure Cindy, no problem.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 21 August, 2008

    Here are some questions emailed to me by Marianne Huber:

    I am sending these questions rather than commenting on you blog because I thought the one might be something that you might not want to be public.

    I was wondering why you never mention Kato Clay when you
    compare clays.

    I didn’t want to contradict you about sculpeyIII clay in
    comments but I think that it is like a brick. The ones
    that I got were seemingly fresh, but very firm. I didn’t dare let them cool down or I couldn’t bend it. It was very crackable. And I had conditioned it until I was blue in the face. I just don’t know.

    Last but really most important to me is….I made some
    dragons and the clay was so smooth it did not allow the
    sealer to adhere to it. I still gave it three coats hoping that the sealer might adhere to itself. I baked it and it has some blotches. It was a piece that would have been near impossible to sand. Phew..
    Thank you for any reply’s you have.


    Hi Marianne,

    Don’t worry if you have different opinions than me it is OK… If I’m wrong, I’m wrong… and if I have my reasons, I’ll explain. :-)

    The reason why I don’t mention Kato Polyclay very often is that I have never worked with it. I think it is unfair to compare it to other clays, if I don’t know what it is like.

    Currently there is nowhere retail I can buy Kato Polyclay and it must be ordered online. I’ve got so much Premo, Fimo and Sculpey III that I haven’t needed to order any clay new yet.

    I should though because it would help to know what it is like. I think Donna Kato is fantastic and imagine a clay designed by her is probably really great too!

    The Sculpey you have is really old. Probably sat on the shelf for a long time or was part of an old shipment.

    You can soften that back up with a few drops of baby oil, but because of it’s quality it will never be that strong.

    When Sculpey III is actually fresh it is like putty.

    For your Dragons, if you can’t sand, wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol to cut the film that can sometimes be on the clay after baking. That will help with the finish sticking better.

    You can also use rubbing alcohol to remove that finish that didn’t stick and start fresh.

    I hope that helped and thanks so much for your questions Marianne!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Fimo, Premo, Sculpey Clay Storage Ideas | Baking Polymer Clay Oven

  12. Marianne Huber, 21 August, 2008

    Thanks for the quick reply Cindy. Your answers sure did help I couldn’t figure our why my Sculpty was so hard compared to yours. I think that it would be nice if the clay had the date they were made on them so stores could not keep old clay around. I was sure unhappy with the sculpty and was not going to buy it again. If I had known it was older I may have treated it differently.
    I will use the rubbing alcohol trick on the dragons right away or maybe I should just drink it, maybe my dragons would turn out better.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 26 August, 2008

    You’re welcome Marianne! Oh good lord!! Don’t drink the rubbing alcohol!!!… go get some real alcohol instead if you think that would help your creativity! Rubbing alcohol would probably kill you!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Premo Clay Flower Pendant Necklace Project with Vintage Glass Beads

  14. Cindy Lietz, 30 August, 2008

    Bonnie Jones, a friend of mine that makes beautiful polymer clay dolls, sent me a note I would like to share with you all.

    "I read your wonderful description of the different clays. I am not sure if any of your readers even use Puppen Fimo since it is used primarily by dollmakers; but after much experimenting by other artists, it is one of the strongest clays we have found. We have also found that mixing in Quick Mix to soft and classic fimo, makes them stronger. ~bj"

  15. Anna Sabina, 20 March, 2009

    You mentioned leaching Premo if it is going to be used in caning. I have heard about leaching clay at other sites but have never found info o how to do that. So, how does one leach their clay?

    I recently bought Premo Frost which is a translucent. i found it to be very soft and gummy, yuck.

  16. Lisa Whitham, 20 March, 2009

    Hi Cindy,
    First I have to say I’m so glad I found your site!! I just love it!
    I’m a newbie to polymer clay and I made my first cane from Sculpey. The clay was very, very soft after conditioning and sticky to work with. It did turn out ok but I decided to try Fimo Soft. (It was on sale of course.) Well I got my hands on OLD Fimo Soft. I tried and tried and tried to condition it without any success. I returned it and returned to doing research online. I found Donna Kato’s online store and she sells her clay for a very affordable price!! So now I am working with Kato. It does take a little extra effort to condition, but I think it is well worth it. The baking time is only 10 minutes (@ 300 degrees F), my pieces come out strong, sanding is a doesn’t take long ( I use wet/dry 600, 800, 1000, 1500 grit), and I buff it by hand with a piece of old faded denim and it gets a decent shine! I don’t do sculpting though – I make canes, beads, bangles and pins. I’m going to try using Future acrylic on some test pieces this weekend. I really like Kato clay, but then I am still new to claying…
    Thanks for a great website!

  17. Cindy Lietz, 22 March, 2009

    @Anna: I like to leach my clay on paper and run through the pasta machine. I have a video on how to do that in my Polymer Clay Bead Making Course. The link by my name will take you to more info on that.

    @Lisa: The course I told Anna about is perfect for Newbies and it will show you how to deal with too soft clay as well as too hard of clay, plus tons more. I am glad to hear you’re enjoying the site and that Kato clay is working well for you!

  18. Linda, 15 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy and all…

    I love the look of the new Studio clay by Sculpey. I’ve heard it’s difficult for cane work but “suede like finish” is very, very tempting.

    Anyone done cane work or skinner/teardrop blends with it yet?


  19. Anna Sabina, 15 April, 2009

    I have about 12 bars of Studio I got at no cost. Love the colors. I know someone who was one to the product testers for Studio and she was told it was developed for use in household decoration. I have some vases and vintage glass coffee carafes I want to cover but have not gotten around to it.

  20. Linda, 16 April, 2009

    Hi Anna! Wow. Where can we ALL get free clay?? I’ve seen samples of Studio used for decorative things – and it looks gorgeous. But I’d like to use it for jewelry…so I think I’ll bite the bullet and order a few packages…just to see. I’ll report back when I’ve worked with it. And PS – the colors are just gorgeous! That’s one of the reasons I’d like to use it. Let me know what you think when you try it on your vases and carafes?
    Thanks for your reply.

  21. Anna Sabina, 16 April, 2009

    I won monthly challenge at Polymer Clay Central and receive a gift certificate to one of the sponsors; used the whole certificate on Studio. That is also how I got my Making Professional Clay Extruder. So, I guess it “pays to play with clay !!” this months PCC challenge is skinner blends. it is not too late to submit your Lietz Tear Drop Blend.

  22. Cindy Lietz, 18 April, 2009

    Congrats Anna on winning the challenge! Also thanks so much for passing on your info on Studio by Sculpey Clay to Linda since I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet!

  23. Linda, 09 May, 2009

    Hi Cindy…
    Reporting back on Studio by Sculpey.
    I bought one of each the other day and so far…
    The colors are fabulous. The finish when cured really is a little suede-like, matte and soft and smooth. They make up a skinner blend in seconds. I’m mixing with about 1/3 to 1/2 Kato transparent when I want less mush and that works well. Absolutely no color change that I can detect when they are cured.
    I’m in love with this stuff!

  24. Cindy Lietz, 11 May, 2009

    That is so cool Linda! Glad to hear it mixes like that with the Kato Translucent. Sounds like a great way to to make the Studio clay stiffer! Thanks for the update. I love it that you came back and let us know what it is like!

  25. Linda, 12 May, 2009

    Hi Cindy and all..

    A follow up. I wrote the company that produces Kato Clay and they are working on making it slightly less firm. They are in the testing process now.

    I did get this tip…Apply liquid kato evenly to a rolled out slice of clay and allow it to sit and absorb for at least a few hours. They say this should reduce mess and soften more effectively.


  26. Cindy Lietz, 13 May, 2009

    Thanks very much Linda for the update! I wonder if spreading a little baby oil on the clay would work too? It works for the other brands.

  27. Sue, 10 June, 2009

    @Linda: I hope they don’t make it TOO much “less firm”! The firmness is one of the things I really like about Kato!

    @Cindy: I don’t know about baby oil (I’ve never had any), but Vaseline/petroleum jelly definitely works. But only use a little.

    I’ve only ever NEEDED to do that once — in my experience, even hard-by-Kato-standards Kato that totally crumbles on the first pass through the pasta machine (and the second pass, and the third, fourth, and fifth passes, etc.) will still condition up nicely without softeners… eventually ;) — but it’s a useful trick if you want to match the malleability of a softer brand. (And you can get quite a nice effect by applying dots and fine snakes in a firm clay to a deliberately softer base bead and partially rolling them in.)

  28. Linda, 11 June, 2009

    Hi Sue and Cindy…
    The liquid polymer doesn’t make Kato mushy…just slightly more workable – and I agree, you don’t want too it too soft. I love Kato because it rarely fingerprints, for one thing.
    I’m mixing it a lot with Studio Sculpey these days and find very little Studio softens it very quickly – and you keep the soft finish of the studio clay.
    I’m trying premo! next. As it is, I’m making polymer stew of everything these days…including a fair amount of Cernit I bought. But I still like Fimo Classic & Kato for strength and hold. Even though the crumbling on Kato makes me nuts!
    Thanks for the tips on baby oil and Vaseline!
    Happy working everyone.

  29. Deborah, 12 June, 2009

    “Even though the crumbling on Kato makes me nuts!”

    Ok so I bought a couple large bricks of Kato black, brown and translucent about 2 years ago…I hate working with it, because it crumbles something fierce and trying to condition it is a huge pain…is this normal for the Kato from that time frame…is there a way to make it easier to work with…I hate the fact that it’s sitting there not being used, but I can’t make myself get rid of it…Any tips, hints or tricks to allow me to use this clay would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  30. Linda, 12 June, 2009

    Look above at the last few comments.
    Roll out a very THIN slice of your Kato, spread on liquid polymer clay and let it sit for several hours, then fold…roll by hand once and then condition in the pasta machine.
    Roll out a very thin slice of Kato, roll out a thinner slice of Fimo Soft, Studio Sculpey, Cernit – or ANY softer clay (you have a clay sandwich now…two slices together)Roll the sandwich by hand and then condition with the pasta machine.
    A little Studio Sculpey will quickly soften Kato clay when it’s mixed together.
    Kato, by the way, if you can stand the processing, is nearly indestructible – and hardly fingerprints. It is fabulous for caning because it holds shape.

  31. Deborah, 12 June, 2009

    Thanks Linda…I have been making the ‘clay sandwiches’ it’s very time consuming but you are right it does work very well…I think I will try the liquid clay trick as well.:-)

  32. Cindy Lietz, 12 June, 2009

    Another trick that works really well for crumbly clay is to use an old food processor and add tiny amounts of Fimo Mix Quick, baby oil, Sculpey Clay softener, TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey), or Kato Liquid Clay to the processor and pulse until it softens.

    Keep adding a little of the softening agent and pulsing until it gathers into large clumps or looks like popped popcorn. You should be able to gather the clumps together and run through your pasta machine without the clay being too sticky or falling apart.

    I find this method far easier on my hands and can process a large amount of clay this way, without too much hassle.

    The link by my name will take you to a post with more info on that. Hope this helps!

    And thank you so much everyone for sharing and helping each other!! I am getting a little swamped around here and appreciate all the support you guys have been giving here at the blog. Huge hugs and Kisses to you all!

  33. Deborah, 12 June, 2009

    Thanks Cindy, I have all (or most) of those things, so I will definitely give it a try. :-)

  34. Bonnie, 19 June, 2009

    Hi Cindy, it’s me again. I took a class a year ago last January and the instructor wanted only Kato clay. We had to condition about 30 bars of clay and I thought I was going to lose my mind, broke a pasta machine and the liquid didn’t help much. Well, we finally learned a trick to solve our problem. You put the Kato clay, wrapping and all in a big zip lock bag and push the air out of it. Take it out in the garage and sit down on something close to the ground or on a rug. Get yourself a mallot and pound on it like crazy. Keep turning the bag over and pound on it. This releases the polymers and plasticizers and makes it useable so you can condition it. I’ve found I had to do this with some old Premo and Fimo also and it works great. My thought was to put it in a bag and just keep running over it with the car but my husband won’t let me.

  35. SANDRA G, 19 June, 2009

    I love kato clay. It’s strong and bakes well. I hate conditioning clay so I used the softer clays and sandwich kato inside. Usually the crumbling happens inside of the softer clays. By the second or third pass the clay conditions well. I add a little bit of kato at a time. I have arthritis so I don’t condition by hand, my pasta machine does it all. I tried liquid polyclay on it but it was too sticky for me. Hobby Lobby is my supplier for clay, all brands go on sale at .99 every couple of months. If I need clay on an off month I use the 40% off coupon that they have available every 2 to 3 weeks. I can’t ever remember paying full price for clay. I also use the coupon for the larger size bricks. i love the makins clay extruder (40% off)and all your tutorials. THANKS!!!

  36. Cindy Lietz, 28 June, 2009

    @Deborah: Hope you were able to get your clay conditioned.

    @Bonnie: I was chatting with Iris Mishly, a well known polymer clay artist from Israel, who said Donna Kato herself, said they drive over their clay with the car. (In a bag of course.) So tell your husband, you’re not crazy!

    @Sandra: Clever idea, mixing soft and hard clays like that! Bet that works very well! I never pay full price for clay anymore, unless I am desperate. I keep my clay fairly well stocked and start getting nervous and looking for sales, if it gets down to 2 packs of any color. :-)

  37. Irene S, 04 September, 2009

    hello cindy, i have to say i am learning a lot just buy reading from your website. I am new to polymer clay and have read a lot about fimo, sculpey and premo. I wan’t to make these little cup cake charms and the likes. I am thinking of using premo just by reading from different websites. My main concern is i want something that will not break or chip easily like the regular sculpey (as i’ve read) and i don’t think i want to use fimo. i am hoping i’m gearing to the right directions. let me know.
    kind regards,

  38. Cindy Lietz, 06 September, 2009

    Hi irene, thank you for your comment! You are definitely gearing in the right direction with Premo. It is a very strong clay, especially if you bake it properly. I suggest you read the article on baking beads I have linked by my name. As well, if you type ‘baking’ into the search box at the top of the page, you will find even more info.

  39. Hanne, 27 September, 2009

    So much interesting and helpful information on the different clays, softening them and combining them. Thank you all.
    BUT Fimo should be baked at 110 C and Cernit, Premo etc. at 130 C. So if I combine Fimo and Cernit – What temperature should I bake at? Will the Fimo in the mixture burn at 130 C?
    And for how long should I bake it if there is a big difference between the time instructions?
    I read somewhere Cindy that you now bake your clay for 1hr. instead og 1/2hr. How does that work with mixtures of clay?
    Best wishes

  40. Cindy Lietz, 28 September, 2009

    Great questions Hanne! Just bake the beads at the lower temp of the two clays and bake them for an hour. If you click the link by my name you will find more info on the longer baking time.

  41. Anna Sabina, 30 September, 2009

    I hate to bring up Hobby Lobby again because the store not available everywhere but….. they now do have a “sister” online store. well, was in hobby lobby today and they now carry Cernit and Pardo. I have never used Cernit but they had about 12 bright colors. So now Hobby Lobby has Sculpy III, Premo, Pardo, Bake Shop, Kato, Fimo and Cernit. Pretty impressive. Michael’s now has their own generic brand of polymer clay that feels spongy, it was reviewed by Crafty Goat at her website. Have you tried it yet?

  42. Cindy Lietz, 02 October, 2009

    That’s OK Anna, we love to hear about the sales! I just bought some of the CraftSmart clay and will review it as soon as I can play with it for a bit.

  43. Terry McLaughlin, 11 February, 2010

    Hi – I carve stone but would now like to try polymer clay sculpting where can I get the clay, where can I get lessons? I live in Mission BC.

  44. Phaedrakat, 13 February, 2010

    Hi Terry, I’m not Canadian, so I don’t know what kind of craft stores you have nearby. But I know that Cindy buys clay at Michaels — do you have one of those nearby? If so, they carry Premo Sculpey clay, which is a wonderful all-around good, strong clay. There are other good clays, but you want to stay away from Sculpey III. While the brand has great colors, it is pretty weak. You don’t want your sculptures to break. As for sculpting lessons, I will leave that to someone else to answer (I’m not good at that!)

  45. Terry McLaughlin, 14 February, 2010

    Thank you very much for your response, and yes I do have a Michael’s
    in my area. I will get some clay and get to work.

  46. Carol, 22 July, 2010

    Hi. Reading these posts has helped me so much as someone completely new to polymer clay.
    I made some animals out of Sculpey. The finish was rough after baking and it was very hard to get it soft (I’m going to start the car). Though I had problems with the Sculpey, it was a fun project and the shape held up during baking perfectly. (I am being careful though, since I read that it does break.) The animals had an armature and aluminum foil at their core and then I overlayed the Sculpey to finish the form and detail.
    Question 1: What’s the best way to sand a figure, especially the detail areas around eyes, etc.?
    Question 2: What’s the best product or combination of products to use for sculpting and sanding figures?
    I appreciate any help you can give. Thanks.

  47. Phaedrakat, 26 July, 2010

    @Carol: Hi Carol! I haven’t done any sculpting, so I’m not much help with question 2. I know that Michael’s and JoAnn’s carry some cool sculpting tools by Sculpey (or Studio by Sculpey—they have changed the packaging, so it could be under either name.) Of course, you might have different craft stores nearby—where are you located?

    Question 1: Good timing, Cindy just did a video about a fantastic product called MicroMesh. It’s fantastic for sanding polymer clay. It’s meant for sanding plastics, so it’s perfect! The post that shows the product info & the video intro is called Sanding with Micromesh Abrasives.

    The abrasive material in the pads is also available in little sticks, which would be perfect for getting into little detail areas of a sculpture. Read the comments below the article in the link I gave you for more info about where people are finding these great sanding/finishing materials!

    You can also use the search box at the top left of any page to find articles on any topic you like. I tried typing “sculpting” into the box and found an article about the Studio by Sculpey Style and Detail Tools.

    You can try other things in the search, like “sculpture”, “tools for sculpt” or “sanding sculptures” or you can try different combos.

    If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to sign up for the Polymer Clay Newsletter. It entitles you to 3 free videos, as well as free color recipes from Cindy’s palettes (each week.) There’s also a Polymer Clay Basics Course that teaches you how to get started working with polymer clay. It has 39 videos that are high quality, and extremely helpful for people who want to learn the Fundamentals, as well as Cindy’s special tricks and tips that make claying so much easier. Even intermediate and advanced clayers will find somethings in the course that makes it worth the price! There are links to both at the top of the page.

    The best thing is to become a member! The link for that is also at the top of the page. That’s how to get your hands on the video to learn about the MicroMesh for sanding. It costs $3.32 a month ($9.95 ea. 90 days) to be a member of the video library. It works out to about 80¢ per video—an amazing deal.

    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help more with sculpting details—I need to give that a try sometime! Best of luck to you, and hope to see you around! Take care…
    ~Kat  Riverside, CA, USA   —Where are you from?

  48. Melanie S, 26 March, 2011

    hi!!! it’s my first time sculpting with clay…

    i dont know what type of clay i purchased since i bought a cheap kiddie set just for practice… (it’s the eraser type clay thing) i oven baked it and glazed it with nailpolish… it’s been 1 whole day and it stayed sticky… are there any remedies for this?

    Heres what i did: i tried baking it again and it worked fine but discolored just a bit… did a few retouches with paint… it still had a sticky (not that much) feel to it so what i did was brushed it with “elmer’s” glue and that did the work! it dried up and doesnt have the sticky feel anymore.

    Im planning on using sculpey III on my next projects…

    Can i bake my own mold using sculpey clay as well? I want to do my own molds… what do you recommend? Thanks cindy… Love the site!!!

    Your fan from Manila, Philippines!!!

  49. Deborah, 26 March, 2011

    Oh Melanie, NO nailpolish!!! It will almost always dry tacky! I’m not sure what products are available in the Philippines, but I (and alot of folks) use Pledge with Future Shine no wax floor polish. It’s a clear liquid that dries clear as well!

  50. Cindy Lietz, 29 March, 2011

    @Melanie S: It is so nice to have you here all the way from the Philippines Melanie!

    Yes I am afraid Deborah is right… nail polish is not good for polymer clay. I know some people on the internet say it is OK. But they are wrong!! Although it seems OK now that you put the glue on it, it will react with the clay and will eventually get sticky again. Try and remove it with nail polish remover if you can. Then you can add a polymer clay safe finish if you like. The link by my name will take you to a post that will help you find a good finish.

    Yes you can make your own molds from polymer clay. Type ‘polymer clay molds’ into the search box at the top of the page and it will take you to a list of posts and tutorials that will help.

    As far as clay Brands, try to use Premo Sculpey, if you can get it there in Manila. It is stronger than Sculpey III and most of the color recipes I make are using Premo.

    Have fun and let us know how it goes!

    @Deborah: Thanks for pointing Melanie in the right direction. I really appreciate that!

  51. Melanie S, 30 March, 2011

    Thanks deborah and cindy… will do that!!! :)

  52. Phaedrakat, 02 April, 2011

    @Melanie S: Hi Melanie, there’s an article that tells what Pledge with Future Shine is called in different countries — it’s actually on a modeling website:

    I think Future is called Johnson’s Wipe & Shine in your country, although someone else may be able to offer some ‘newer’ information about it — and/or know of other products available to you in the Philippines. I’m so glad you discovered this amazing website. As you can see, Cindy has created a fabulous place filled with great information & wonderful video tutorials (and much more!) Welcome to this lovely clay community! ~Kat

  53. Stephanie S, 04 January, 2012

    I have used hundreds of packages of polymer clay, all the different common brands. i was working with 2 packages of fimo that had such a strong chemical smell, i had to put it outside. i thought the smell would go away after i finished my project and baked it (with the windows open), but it smells so strong, i don’t know if i can even use it. i have never run across this before. have you? do you know anything about it? i hate to throw it out, but it’s giving me a headache!

  54. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2012

    I have not heard of that problem Stephanie. Is it possible that the packages were old and made back when they were still putting phlalates in the clay? That could possibly be the source of the smell. I would contact Fimo on that one and see if they have any answers for you. If you do find out what is going on there, do let us know!

  55. Sri M, 25 February, 2012

    i brought FIMO clay effect (color blue )
    i want to know how to use,
    how to get the shiny finish after done with some mine doll
    please reply my question…..

  56. Cindy Lietz, 29 February, 2012

    Hi Sri, thank you for your question. Fimo is simple to use but there are too many steps to answer here in this post. I recommended you purchase the Beginner’s Course to get you started out right. There are 39 videos that will take you from start to finish, so that you don’t have to make a lot of mistakes learning on your own. Polymer clay is a very fun and rewarding material to work with. I do hope you join us!

  57. Vivian M, 19 January, 2013

    Hi Cindy, I have been trying to use the Premo sculpey clay and it brakes so easily every time. I have tried baking it at different temperatures and still the same thing happens. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, and appreciate any help/advise you can give me. thank you, Vivian

  58. Cindy Lietz, 21 January, 2013

    Hi Vivian, that sounds frustrating! Are you sure it is Premo Sculpey and not Sculpey III? Because Sculpey III breaks easily even if you have done everything right.

    Also are you using an oven thermometer? You oven may not be at the right temperature. You also may not be baking for long enough. Watch this video if you haven’t seen it yet: Baking Polymer Clay

    There are also many other baking answers here at this blog. Type ‘baking’ into the search box at the top of the page and you will find several articles that should help. If you are still having problems, come back and we will do our best to help. Good luck!

  59. Zaid M, 07 April, 2014

    Hi there,

    I came across your site quite by chance and decided to try my luck at getting help.

    I’m an amateur sculptor (new yrs resolution to learn new skill… trying to keep it lol)

    anyway, I have been using air dry craft clay for my works and I find that its not getting the results I want. I want to start using polymer clays and am not sure which ones to try.

    I have come across filani and sculpey.

    My research shows that sculpey seems to be the premier product and there’s super sculpey and I think ultra sculpey or something like that. Of these the ultra one seems to be the best but its very expensive for someone was just goofing off with sculpting.

    I’d like to know if you have any comments on using the much cheaper filani one as a base line medium and then maybe using the ultra one for sculpting hands, faces hair etc.

    Any comments?

    Zaid Motala

  60. Cindy Lietz, 07 April, 2014

    Hi Zaid, that is so cool about your resolution! Creative learning is one of the best things you can do for your brain… sculpting is an excellent choice! I don’t do a lot of sculpting myself, just on a small scale making sculpted beads and such. But there are many members here that do.

    As far as the bakable polymer clays go, I can’t give you much advice on the Filani. Years ago I did have some correspondence with the makers of Filani and suggested they send me some samples to test. That fell through so I don’t know too much about the quality of that product.

    A lot of others like to sculpt with the Sculpey products. I personally love to work with Premo. It is a strong, flexible clay that comes in artist based colors so it is easily mixed.

    Hopefully the others here can provide you with more info on the brands they prefer when sculpting. Good luck!

    And don’t forget to use the search box at the top of the page to find answers to most of the questions you would ever have in regards to working with polymer clay. There are thousands of posts and comments that will help with your new journey!

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