Working with the polymer is an art. An expert who has spent years in modelling and designing may also face problems when working with polymer clay. Polymer clay that has become hard and needs a thorough treatment to be in a workable format is our target.
A major problem that the crafters come across is the hardness of the polymer clay. The polymer clay that has become too hard to be workable is our central point of discussion. I mean that stored polymer clay has become half cured because of the warmer weather conditions.
Our internet exploration has revealed that this sits economical to cure the stored clay instead of buying a new packet. So, in some sense, our topic also carries the solution of the question of how to make workable the old stored polymer clay.
How to Make Polymer Clay Soft
There are three main methods to make polymer clay soft.
- Squeezing the polymer clay
- Using a Mallet or NeverKneed toool for bashing
- Mixing the polymer clay with softer clay
Can You make Every Brand of Polymer Clay Soft?
Yes, you can make almost every brand of polymer clay soft. The answer does not apply to those brands which have a single, or say specific role, once in a project.
These are highly expensive brands and thus are used in a specific modelling project. I am outlining the solutions for those brands or products that have common usage in every modelling project.
Determine Hardness of Your Polymer Clay
The very 1st step in the process of softening the polymer clay is to determine how hard the polymer clay is.
This is the point where you might get sidetracked. Some brands manufacture polymer clay products that vary in quality. The variation in quality has a connection with the hardness and softness of the polymer clay.
So, you must check if the hardness is due to the brandâ€™s quality. If you are okay with brands quality, I mean, if you have made a fresh purchase, it is okay to go ahead.
Now, if your polymer clay has a rock-like physical structure and hardness, that means you have old clay. Plasticizers have gone from that clay.
It is a test to determine whether the polymer clay is fresh or it is old clay. According to this test, a fresh clay must be squeezable to the extent that if you try to squeeze it, then it should be squeezed to some extent, even if it is cool or a little bit like a new brand.
If it is not possible to squeeze the clay, then it is an older clay or partially cured. At least, the block piece of the polymer clay should get rounded off from the edges and corners if it is a fresh piece.
If the test fails and the block piece is rock hard, it means you have come across an old or partially cured clay.
How to Make Polymer Clay Soft
Now, when you have categorized the polymer clay regarding its hardness, the next step is to subject it to the process of softening.
1. If Polymer Clay Is A Bit Hard
As I have told above, a clay that is fresh or a little bit can be made workable by just rounding off with hands. If you can achieve the results with a little effort, it is good to go. But, if it is hard enough to sore your hands, and you feel comfortable; there are suggestions:
- Use a good quality mallet.
- Put your polymer into a bag.
- Bash it until it starts to move.
That is the simplest and cheapest way to make polymer clay soft. A lump of polymer clay that is not too old and still has some life signs in it is the best method for such a lump of polymer clay.
Use Of NeverKnead Tool
It is a tool that has the specific purpose of conditioning polymer clay. The use of NeverKnead can make the process very easy. You have to put very little effort into conditioning the polymer clay while using this gadget. This is available in the market at a fair price.
So, it is a good alternative for those who feel fatigued while conditioning the polymer clay with their hands.
2. If Polymer Clay Is Too Old
Polymer clay brands are manufactured the way that they last long in the face of unfavourable weather.
The above statement can be true only if polymer clay is kept or saved properly. I mean, if it is not subject to warmer weather or high temperatures.
The reason behind the polymer clay becoming hard is that it has lost plasticizers. So, the reintroduction of plasticizers is the way through which we can make the polymer clay soft.
You can start adding plasticizers by adding a few things for making the process easier.
- Put your clay into a bag and bash it until it.
- Use a food processor to crumble the bashed clay in it.
- Start adding plasticizers in the food processor until your clay becomes soft enough to become workable.
Working With Plasticizers
- Add a few drops of translucent liquid polymer clay. A few drops will give you the desired results. This is the best method because this liquid polymer clay is very cheap.
Research suggests Kato translucent liquid clay is the least expensive. However, you can use many other liquids that work well.
- Many people also suggest the use of mineral oil, baby oil, Sculpey clay softener. These products can generate immediate results and are very good at use. However, if you add these oils carelessly, this can turn the clay into a squidgy mess. I recommend Polymer Clay Softener Oil.
Note: If you increase the translucent oil a bit more than required, this will increase the ratio of translucent in your clay.
The field of art crafting cannot allow you to be reckless while working in the workspace. You have to take many things into count.
Keep these things in mind.
- Donâ€™t accumulate the stock of polymer clay.
- Order from the store which has an established reputation in the market.
- Keep in mind the season and weather problems.
Beatrix Ainsley (Bea to her friends) is an abstract artist who was heavily inspired in her twenties by the abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s. Since then Bea has acquired three degrees in Science, Education and most importantly Fine Art. Her art works showcase exploring emotion and introspection of self. To achieve this – the use of bold, sweeping, intricate layers of color, and spontaneity of form is enhanced by reflecting on decades of life experiences. Bea has amassed a vast knowledge of art in all its forms, and hopes to pass it on with her contributions here.