A lot of people ask me what polymer clay do I use. I used to mix together an elaborate recipe of clays. Now, after years of experience and the changes that the polymer clay companies have made to their recipes, I find that isn't always necessary. Watch the video below to hear what my opinions are, and what I find to be my favourite clay to use when making OOAK Artist Dolls.
Movie TRANSCRIPT: Hi everyone, my name is Amanda DeVirgilio and I'm from dollmakersdream.com. I just wanted to answer the question today- what polymer clay do I use? Everyone keeps asking me if there's a particular mix of clay or a secret clay that I don't tell anyone that I use, and it's really not that secret. It tends to change depending on what I'm actually making at the time, because every polymer clay has it's own attributes. Some clays are more flexible than others so they're goof for fine details; some are more sturdy than others so they're good for bases and things like that. I'm just going to take you through some of the clays I actually use when I'm making dolls. The first one would be Super Sculpey Firm. This one tends to be a very sturdy sort of clay so I tend to use that for bases; like this one here (shows Polymer Clay OOAK Doll "The Fairy Emergence"), I've got the Super Sculpey Firm for the tree trunk. The tree doesn't have any fine details or anything like that (that can break off) and it did need to be painted at the end of it so I just use the Super Sculpey Firm. It tends to be very solid. It's good for using for bases. However, I don't use it for dolls that have fine details because it breaks. It's a very brittle sort of polymer clay- it has no flex in it so if you bump it, knock it or anything like that it tends to just break off. So I wouldn't recommend that one if you're sculpting hands and what-not. One of my favourites is actually Puppen Fimo. I use this one for finer details because it's a very flexible sort of clay. It can be tricky to sculpt with sometimes because it's very transparent so you can't see the details on it very well. But it is good, it makes for a fairly flexible... a good sculpture. With this (fairy emergence) I've actually mixed Cernit and Puppen Fimo together and that's because she's got a lot of fine details. She needed to go in the post so I really needed her to be fairly indestructible. What I did was mix half and half ( 50/50 ) of the Cernit and the Puppen Fimo. The reason I mixed them together was because the Cernit tends to be fairly strong, it's a fairly solid sort of clay whereas Puppen Fimo is flexible. So if you mix them together you get a strong flexible sculpture... generally. So that's what I've done with that one. However like I said, they all have their own attributes so with Cernit it tends to get really fine cracks. So if I know that I'm going to be working on a sculpture and I'm going to be baking it several times over (which is called series baking- if I bake the head, then sculpt the torso and bake that) after a while the Cernit starts getting these little hairline cracks. So it's not good if you're sculpting over and over again or baking at a higher temperature, so again, I don't always use those two together. Sometimes I'll just use the Fimo:Puppen; it really depends. Another one that is good for making the polymer clay strong is the KATO Polyclay. If you mix that into the Puppen Fimo or if you've got Super Sculpey or Prosculpt; you mix that in with it, it tends to make it more solid. I find that the clays like Super Sculpey and the Prosculpts, my goodness, they have no flex in them what-so-ever. If I'm trying to make something more flexible I mix in the Fimo Mix Quick. The one benefit of making something more flexible after it's been baked is that they don't break as easily. If you tap on things like the fingers they don't just *clink* and break off. The actually hold together alright because they actually bend a little. Finally, if I really want something to be indestructible I go for the Magic Sculpt. It's a 2-part epoxy resin. It sets hard as stone and you really can't destroy this stuff. You'd have to really be wanting to break it to try and break it. The only thing is that it's a chemical reaction drying, it doesn't "stay soft until you bake it" (like polymer clay) you actually have about a 30 minute window where it's fairly sculptable. So it's not very easy sculpting faces and such in the Magic Sculpt. However it's good for if you want to do fine details that you don't want to break and you know you're going to paint it up (because obviously Magic Sculpt is an ugly colour). But for this one here (polymer clay ooak doll Victoria) I've used it for the hands, because it was another one that was going to be posted. The hands, because the fingers were so long, I knew they'd just break off in the mail. So... *taps fingers on table-top* that's not going to break. Her hands are pretty solid and it's because it's made with that. So my basic rule of thumb is using the Cernit and the Puppen Fimo and mixing them together 50/50 and I use that for the majority of sculptures. If I'm making a base, I'll use Super Sculpey Firm. Sometimes if that's a bit too hard I'll mix in some of the Fimo Mix Quick. Hard details that are going to be painted- use the Magic Sculpt. With the KATO I mix that into pretty much anything I want to make harder. That's it! I hope that helps everybody and have fun! Seeya!