Summer has just begun, and with hours and days of free time, why not try something new? After all, summer is about having fun while accomplishing what you can’t during the school year. An exciting art form you can learn this summer is sculpting with polymer clay.
Three years ago, I began using this type of clay to make many charms, from cupcakes to pigs to ice cream. Now you can do so, too!
The first thing to do before you start is to invest in a solid brand of clay. I use Sculpey 3 because of its convenience. It has the perfect texture, doesn’t dry out, and bakes relatively quickly. I have also tried Sculpey Premo, but this brand isn’t as easy to mold, and it crumbles quickly. However, for experienced users who want the greater variety of colors, this may be perfect. There are many other brands available, so you can experiment and have fun with them!
For tools, I’d suggest not to get anything too fancy. A simple plastic knife and clay roller are likely good enough. These may actually come with the clay that you purchase (I know they do with some of the Sculpey 3 sets), which makes life a lot easier! If not, just purchase a few of your favorites.
As you decide what to make, watch tutorials to learn different techniques of molding clay, cutting it, mixing colors, etc. It’s great to learn a few tips and tricks to make your designs look professional. Another person’s perspective can really change your perception of a design, too! For example, I’d seen many photos of complicated clay dragons and was wary of making my own. However, after watching tutorials, I realized I needed to take things step by step and had the courage to create one.
I also like to take inspiration from photos on the internet and change them up a little. In fact, it’s very fun to do so-as long as you don’t get carried away at looking at the pretty pictures for hours (what, no, I didn’t do that before... ;) ).
One tip I’d like to share is to pay attention to detail. If you’re sculpting with polymer clay, you’re likely working on a small scale. Try to work through each portion of your design carefully, and take your time. Polymer clay requires much patience, but is very rewarding! Also, a lot of the time my creations change as I sculpt, so don't worry about sticking to one perfect idea you have in mind. It's cool to see what you come up with as you go!
Finally, don’t feel bad if your designs don’t turn out perfect. Mine never turn out exactly how I want, and that’s just part of the process! Pay attention to what you can improve on, practice new techniques to get better. Over time, you will (I promise).
Before we wrap up, I’ve included a few of my creations below for some inspiration. Happy sculpting!
Congratulations, you’re all ready to get working with polymer clay! What will you create this summer?