Polymer Clay Pasta Machine – How To Firm Up Soft Clay

Polymer Clay Pasta Machine

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Never leave your polymer clay sitting on a porous surface you don’t want stained… like your beautifully finished hardwood coffee table. The plasticizers in the clay will leach out and leave a terrible spot!

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The full version of the “Firming Up Soft Clay” preview video shown above, is included in my Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals Course [SEE Video #3 of 39]. In it I show how to use a piece of paper and a pasta machine to firm up clay that is too soft. Polymer clay pasta machines can be used in a number of ways to condition your clay.

  1. Cindy Lietz, 04 March, 2008

    With this clay pasta machine technique, it is a good idea to use white paper and not colored paper. White paper won’t bleed color into into your polymer clay. Let me know if this tip was helpful.

  2. Katina, 24 August, 2008

    How many times do you have to roll the clay through the pasta machine and how often do you change out the paper?

  3. Cindy Lietz, 28 August, 2008

    Usually by the time you go from the thickest setting down to the thinnest setting, the clay is so stiff it is hard to get off the paper! That is where you stop. I usually use a new sheet for each batch.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Bead Mosaic Jewelry Brooch Design by Polymer Clay Artist Naama Zamir

  4. Waleska, 20 January, 2009

    Dear Cindy. Is there is any other way to thin the clay without using the pasta machine. I will make a small project for only one day.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 21 January, 2009

    Waleska there are definitely some tricks for rolling flat sheets without a pasta machine. You’ll need an acrylic roller or a side of a straight-sided glass and a couple of skewers. Click the link by my name for how to do that.

  6. Marcela Saldaña, 24 March, 2010

    Regards again from Guadalajara México. I just wanted to ask which pasta machine is the best to buy?? amaco, sculpey, Makins professional? I have the small one I bought here but I want to buy the larger one so I can make biger canes, and here are so more expensive and someone is buying it for me in USA , thank you so much.

  7. Phaedrakat, 24 March, 2010

    @Marcela Saldaña: Hi Marcela, you said you have a small pasta machine there. How small is it, and what size are you looking to find here? Most of the readily available machines you can buy have between 5.5 and 7″ wide opening. Is this bigger than what you already have? To get something larger, you have to go with something special order like The Clay Factory’s “Dream Machine” which has a really large price tag.

    I’ll point you to some articles about pasta machines. People have left all kinds of comments there, with various types of info & opinions on the different PM brands. Of the brands you mentioned, the Amaco has a 5.5 to 6″ opening, while the Makin’s is a little bigger (6 or 7″ – I think.) The Sculpey Clay Conditioning Machine (pasta machine) is sold at lots of craft stores. It seems to have the same size opening as the Amaco (I opened the box in the store for a peek; it looks like mine, which is an Amaco.) I can’t find any written facts to support that, however. I searched all over for the opening width info — does anyone have one of these machines? The cool thing is you can get them (the Sculpey Clay Cond. Machines) for under $20 at a craft store. You just have to sign up for their newsletters so you get 40% off coupons emailed to you. You didn’t mention the Atlas pasta machine, but it is probably the most commonly used PM. You usually have to order them online, though.

    Anyway, here are a few articles. Don’t forget to read the comments, too — lots of info & discussion. I found them by using the search box at the top left side of the page. (I typed in “pasta machine buying” to get these. You could also try “Amaco machine” or one of the other brand names, if you want more. The “pasta machine” tag by Cindy’s signature, above, will yield more articles.) Ignore the article titles — even though they aren’t all about buying pasta machines, they do have comments with info about the subject:

    1. Pasta Machine Buying Tips

    2. Conditioning using a Pasta Machine

    3. Pasta Machine Motors

    4. Question about which Pasta Machine is Best

    I hope this helps — Good luck, Marcela!

  8. Marcela Saldaña, 25 March, 2010

    Thank you sooooooo much Phaedrakat. I think I’m going to buy the makin´s professional ultimate clay machine, that is 7″ teflon rollers, or the one that my brother finds, thank you again. My best, Marcela

  9. Phaedrakat, 25 March, 2010

    @Marcela Saldaña: You’re welcome, Marcela. Good luck to you. I know what it’s like to have to buy supplies “out of country” — I lived in the middle east for 6 years and it was almost impossible to find certain things that we take for granted here. If we did find them, they’d be so expensive. I hope that your brother is able to find all of the things on your list. All of this research you’re doing in advance should help. Again, good luck to you. Leave another comment if you need help with anything!

  10. Brenda L, 11 June, 2015

    Hello Cindy,

    I bought your polymer clay beginners course years ago and am just now watching the videos again. THANK YOU! I’m so happy to be back and look forward to signing up for some more videos.

    Can you tell me what is your pasta machine of choice these days? My old one is long gone. I need to find a low cost one if possible.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 11 June, 2015

    Hi Brenda,

    Long time… :-) … good to have you back!

    In regards to my pasta machine recommendation… see this post at my blog… Atlas 150 Pasta Machine Review.

    The Atlas 150 is not the lowest cost option… but in the long run… it is likely going to be your best value option.

    Coincidentally, I received this message from another student just the other day…

    “Cindy, I ended up buying 3 inferior models before I broke down and purchased the heaven sent Atlas 150 that you recommend! There was nothing more frustrating or aggravating than constant streaks on my clay with the cheap machines! Please tell your students to just, forgive me, suck it up and pay the $80-$90 bucks and be done with it! ….love, j”

  12. Delowart O, 15 February, 2018

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