Comparison of Studio by Sculpey Polymer Clay and Premo Sculpey

Studio by Sculpey Polymer Clay

Two Artist Quality Clays Made By Polyform:

In the June 10, 2009 post I published some first impression notes about my new Studio By Sculpey clay. Today I’d like to carry on with that discussion by comparing the Studio Clay to Premo… two different products made by the same company (Polyform).

  • Out of the package Studio clay is softer than Premo, at least compared to the Premo packages I currently have. However, the softness is not nearly as sticky as what you see with other soft clays.
  • Studio clay works nicely for making quick and easy Teardrop Blends. But since the Studio colors are somewhat muted as compared to the more ‘pure’ colors of Premo, the Studio blends have more of a tendency to turn muddy. Though if you like earth tone colors, they are definitely pleasing.
  • Simple canes can be made with Studio by Sculpey. But since this product is so soft, I have my suspicions on whether detailed canes will work with it. But I will try some and let you know.
  • Studio mixes together fine with Premo Sculpey. I didn’t find any white dots in the clay, like others have reported. From what I’ve heard those dots occur when the clay is not fully mixed, though I didn’t see them at any stage of the mixing process.
  • Studio clay can be mixed with Premo in the same Teardrop or Skinner Blend. Did not run into any problems doing this.
  • Studio doesn’t seem to trap air bubbles as badly as other soft clays. Not sure if it is the suede like texture that is responsible for this… but it is a nice feature.
  • I strength tested some sheets of baked Studio and Premo, using samples from both the thickest setting of my pasta machine, as well as the thinnest. There did seem to be a bit more flexibility and strength in the Studio by Sculpey clay, but the difference wasn’t huge. There was no strength loss in the mix of Premo and Studio at all.
  • Studio when baked has a matte suede finish whereas the Premo is glossier and smoother.
  • Studio clay makes the coolest faux leather rose beads. I’ve also made up some other polymer clay leather projects which I’ll show you in another post.

At this stage, I’m feeling like the Studio by Sculpey product clay is going to work best for projects that involve stamping and faux finishes. And I’ll stick to Premo Sculpey for canes and bead techniques using translucent, and anything I want to sand to a high shine. Though I’m sure I’ll use both clays in other ways as well.

I’m thinking of making up some custom color palettes using the Studio by Sculpey Clay. Would that be of interest? Or should I stick with giving you just Premo and Fimo recipe cards instead? Let me know…

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. cara letho, 03 July, 2009

    Dear Cindy-
    I would prefer the premo or fimo mixes
    thanking you

  2. Monique Spencer, 03 July, 2009

    I would love some Studio recipes because it is so much easier to blend. Thanks for asking, Nicky

  3. janine, 03 July, 2009

    I made marbled colors with Studio and Cernit as partners. I love the differents between the suede like Studio and the porcelain like shine of cernit. This looks great. Also in a simple lace cane. I would not prepare complexe canes, because it softer then Premo and Cernit.

  4. Kim C., 03 July, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    I would be interested in color mixtures with the Studio colors. I really like the muted tones myself.

  5. Debbie, 03 July, 2009

    I prefer the Premo. I do a lot of canes and I like the look better.

  6. Laurel, 03 July, 2009

    I would use either clay color pallete.

    I think Studio is awesome for my extruder. It goes through easier and the snakes don’t break as much as Premo. Don’t get me wrong though, Premo does good extruding too.

  7. Ken H., 03 July, 2009

    Please make the recipies in Premo and Fimo. The muted quality of the colors is why I haven’t tried the Studio line yet. I like bright jeweltone colors (waiting for the return of tie dye again ;o) ). I think the Studio line was created to go after some of the S3 customer, since more of the S3 colors are the artsy ones. Hope you had a wonderful holiday on the 1st of July. Do you folks have all the hoopla we do on the Fourth?

  8. MJ, 03 July, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    I would enjoy seeing both types of palettes especially mixing the Premo and the Studio. Studio has not been available here yet.


  9. PLaneFancies, 03 July, 2009

    The color selection in Studio is quite nice if you want to use solid colors. Did not like mixing the colors. They came out too muddy for my taste.

  10. Rita G, 03 July, 2009

    I like them both!! I believe that the mix of textures is facinating and exciting!

  11. Jamie, 03 July, 2009

    Hear hear Ken. I heartily agree with bringing back the tye dye!! Im a jeweltones girl myself. Thats why I love the sculpey III and the premo so much. I find that mixtures of the two provide a good strong clay if thats needed. And I cant find the colors they have from any of the other clay brands. I dont mind working a bit harder to condition my clays because the results I get are so good. Besides, my Black and Decker handy chopper and a little diluent takes care of any stubborn tough clays. Any chance of a couple sculpey III recipes Cindy? Hee hee hee. XOXO Jamie

  12. Freda, 03 July, 2009

    Ken and Jamie – haven’t you heard? Tie-dye IS back. I’ve seen a lot of it lately!

  13. Anna Sabina, 03 July, 2009

    A chemist from Polyform/ Sculpy will be at the the International Polymer Retreat in Illinois and I would be happy to pass along questions.
    Forgot to mention last weekend there was a big juried art festival here. There was one jewelry maker that used PC with silverwork—it was not precious metal clay.
    The conversation was kind if funny because I was pretty sure it was PC so I asked and mentioned I did a lot of work with Premo by Sculpy. She said, Well, it is a form of Sculpy but did not say which specific line…….tee hee I later realized it was Studio, the suede finish was the key. She seemed little worried about talking about PC.

  14. Ken H., 03 July, 2009

    Freda, I’ve seen one or two shirts and they looked fresh and bright like they were new and was hoping that it was coming back again but wasn’t sure, could have been just a die hard so to speak. Thanks for the heads up on the it’s return.

  15. Pat Stevenson, 03 July, 2009

    I prefer the Premo, Fimo clays. Living in Florida I find Studio just tooo mushy to work with in the warmer months. I have tried skinner blends and was not satisfied, I do like the matte, soft finish, but would have to mix with another clay to use it.

  16. Peggy, 03 July, 2009

    Hi Cindy
    I also like the bright colors of other clays but did use the Studio for some complex canes. A little trickier but I think they came out great but I started out with canes made from sculpey a long time ago so I am used to working with the softer clay.

  17. Melinda, 04 July, 2009

    I love that it is easy to condition and blend but have found it too soft for most of my projects.

  18. nancy reddick, 04 July, 2009

    I tried using Studio to make a cane… what a disaster, distortion abounded… although it did give an interesting look, it was not what I had wanted the effect to be… I think I will stick with the harder clays for canes and Studio for other projects.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 04 July, 2009

    Thanks everyone for the feed back. I love it!!

    @Ken: Canadians are proud but tend to do things in an understated way. Not near the amount of hoopla about Canada Day as there is in the States for the 4th!

    @Jamie: As luck would have it a reader by the name of Carrie just sent me a swack of Sculpey III recipes that she would like to share with everyone. Just waiting for her to send me some pics to go along with the recipes, and then I’ll get everything posted asap.

    @Anna: You are such a lucky thing to get to go to that conference! Wish I was going with you. I have three questions for you to pass along to Polyform. 1) Is Bake and Bond just basically liquid polymer clay like TLS or is there something added? 2) Would they consider adding the artists colors to the Studio line so the colors blended better? They can get pretty muddy. 3) Why is the Studio line not in any Canadian retail locations such as Michaels?

    ADDED: Anna provided some feedback at this link:
    IPCA – International Polymer Clay Association – Chicago Retreat Notes

  20. Deborah, 04 July, 2009

    I would love to see recipes using the Studio clay…I love the finish on it, but tend to use it sparingly, as at the moment I only have a pack of each color…that reminds me, gotta see if I have a pack of the Whipped Cream color…I think it’ll make great miniature marshmallows! ;-)

  21. Carrie, 04 July, 2009

    Just a heads up, the Sculpey color recipe sample pics will be sent on Monday as soon as I get to my mothers house! (I live in a tiny apartment so I keep all my clay stuff at my mothers)

  22. Jamie, 04 July, 2009

    Yay!! Sculpey III is my favorite clay for colors! I cant wait to see them Carrie! Thank you Cindy for passing them along, even though I know Sculpey III isnt one of your favorite clays. XOXO Jamie

  23. Ashlyn, 05 July, 2009

    I for one would absolutely love to see some recipes for Kato clay. They come in pretty basic colours, and I have no eye for colour theory! It’s pretty trial and error whenever I attempt to make a new colour.

  24. Sue, 05 July, 2009

    Hi Ashlyn,

    There USED to be an absolutely brilliant Kato colour mixing chart at the following location (I think):

    It’s not there any more, but basically it had 9 shades and tints of each of 16 colours across the spectrum.

    I did save a copy of it on my computer for my own use. I’m not sure if I could legitimately pass it on, but if anybody who knows about such things thinks I could then I’d be more than happy to do so!

    I spent an afternoon making myself a set of reference chips from that chart, and once I’d done that I found I could mix practically any colour I wanted “straight off the cuff”, with maybe only minor tinkering with the amount of grey for desaturated colours, by seeing where it sat on the chart and then combining the adjacent recipes.

    I actually made two sets of colour reference chips. The first was a set of small rectangular chips which I laid out in a big spectrum-spanning rectangle like the colour chart. This is good for when I think “I want a colour that sits about _there_” on that chart. I take the recipe it’s closest to as a base and then see what’s different in the other recipes around the colour, and modify it accordingly.

    The second set of larger chips joined my “colour recipe reference set”, which is basically all the colours I’ve ever mixed systematically that I’ve liked. For each of these I make a 3cm chip with a hole in the corner. Once its cured I write the recipe on the back, and string it on a ball chain wherever it belongs colourwise. It’s a bit like those paint colour fandecks in concept, and it’s really handy for holding against beads/gemstones/fabric/etc. (or other colour chips!) when choosing colours for a design: I only need to flip the chip over to have the recipe on hand.

    Anyway, for those who know about such things, do you think it would be OK for me to pass that chart on?


  25. Anna Sabina, 05 July, 2009

    I believe you can share it but cannot sell it. If it was free in the past I imagine Donna Kato would want it passed along. You can always e-mail her and see what she says.

  26. Ashlyn, 05 July, 2009

    That sounds like a fabulous system Sue! I can’t imagine that anyone would object to previously free content being shared for free.

  27. Cindy Lietz, 05 July, 2009

    Hang on guys, there may be a reason why it is no longer posted. Maybe you better ask Shades of Clay, why it is no longer posted. Someone may have a problem with us posting it here. However, with permission, I would be happy to add it as a resource.

  28. Sue, 05 July, 2009

    Fair enough! I’ve emailed them, and I’ve taken it down for the time being.

  29. Sue, 06 July, 2009

    I just received a lovely email from Margaret at Shades of Clay: to paraphrase, the link to the Kato colour mixing chart had escaped during their web site software upgrade.

    Anyway, the great thing is that it’s now fixed, and the colour chart is accessible again at the following location:

    >> << There's now a link to it too from the Shades of Clay colour recipes page: >> << Yay! :)

  30. Cindy Lietz, 08 July, 2009

    That is excellent news Sue! You are such a trooper for going to all that effort! Everyone (especially me), really appreciates it!

  31. Ken H., 09 July, 2009

    I appreciate it as well, went to the web site to view the chart due to not being able to go there by pasting the link. Fantastic resource.

  32. Ken H., 09 July, 2009

    Even the formulas to replicate some of the other colors like Premo Cad. Red using Kato, which is nice to know if you run out of one brands color mid-project.

  33. Penny, 05 October, 2009

    I managed to have a go this afternoon at working with the Studio. Interesting stuff – stained my fingers which I didn’t appreciate. Mailable, but rather too soft for my liking. Really lovely colours – but one could mix those out of all the other clays! Still an open verdict for me!

  34. Cindy Lietz, 05 October, 2009

    Yeah it is a different clay to work with that’s for sure. But with each clay, the properties it has, can be used to it’s advantage for different types of projects. I find Studio by Sculpey clay perfect for faux leather but not so much for faux jade. That is why you need to have the different clays around to play with. To see what is best for which situation.

    The tools are fab though for everything. Have you tried them yet?

  35. lynn watts, 29 January, 2010

    I have not tried the tools by studio,but have some of the clay. I still like Kato and Fimo Classic for holding detail and not smearing. It is harder to condition but Donna gave me a solution, use a mallet to smack your clay in the pkg. it came in or put in a plastic bag and hit it with a mallet to soften the clay prior to rolling thru the PM. That worked pretty good. Donna is a great person, softly spoken,and enjoys the clay. Her husband is a wonderful man as well. He supports his wife greatly. Did anyone watch HGTV The Carol Duvall Show? Donna was on there quite a bit. I like Premo and the colors but still like Kato,Fimo best.

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