|How to condition clay
Whenever you start a new craft, there are basics to learn. It’s no different for working with polymer clay. The clay used comes in varying pack sizes and brands.
The clay is very firm; in fact, so firm that you cannot use it straight from the pack. It must be conditioned, as we say in the crafting world. What does this mean? Basically, it needs to be softened to a workable material so you can start creating with it.
What tools will I need?
You will need a ceramic tile; the clay doesn’t stick to ceramic so this is an essential piece of equipment. A tissue blade and acrylic roller are also used to the conditioning process. And of course, a pasta machine which makes the process much easier. However, you can condition clay using an acrylic roller but it may take longer to soften.
How is it done?
First, on a ceramic tile, you should cut the clay using your tissue blade into manageable chunks. Then roll the chunks together using your acrylic roller. You should have a flat piece of clay on your tile.
Take the clay, and run it through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold the clay and continue rolling it through the machine until the clay is ‘floppy’. You may need to adjust your setting on the pasta machine as the clay becomes thinner so it can be rolled easily.
Your clay is ready to use. Remember you will need to condition each colour of clay you intend to use.
Attend a workshop to learn more about using polymer clay for your own creations.