Trying to figure out which one of the many types of clay YOU
should use can be such a trial!
So what should you do?
The information below are the opinions of Doll Maker Amanda Day. She has been sculpting dolls for many years.
Polymer Clay comes in many different brands that can be useful for the beginner sculptor. It does not air dry; instead it is cured in a standard oven. This lends new doll makers to be able to take their time sculpting and fix mistakes long after they were made. Using a good fan-forced oven wields the best results for baking your OOAK dolls, however any kind of household oven can be used. Do not microwave polymer clay.
Puppen (now called FIMO: Professional) is one of the more flexible types of clay even after baking. This has the advantage of not snapping as soon as fine details are bumped or bent.
You can achieve ultra fine detail. It is a very
soft clay and is not recommended if you find it easier to work with very firm clays. This can be mostly remedied by using some special
sculpting techniques to ensure you never actually hold on the doll while
sculpting it. You can also work in a cooled room. It's softness is beneficial for people who find it difficult to knead firmer clays, as this one requires minimal effort to hand knead and blend.
Puppen Fimo does not get smudges as easily as other types of clays but it still can collect a lot of fluff. Take precautions to ensure your clay does not collect too much dirt.
Puppen comes in 3 different skin tones: Natural, Porcelain and Rose.
Puppen Fimo is cured at 230 degrees Fahrenheit, or 110 degrees
Cernit lends to being sculpted in fine detail yet is still very sturdy. Delicate features such as fingers tend not to shatter as easy as some other brands of clay. It is not as flexible as some clays, so it can still break if fine details are bent.
Fresh out of the packet, Cernit can be very firm and often quite crumbly. However, with vigorous kneading and working of the clay, it becomes very pliable and stretchy.
Cernit needs to be kept very clean as black smudges seem to be more apparent in this brand, especially when blending a slightly dirty piece of clay into a clean piece.
Cernit for Doll Making comes in a large variety of skin tones: Almond, Biscuit, Caramel, Flesh, Nougat, Suntan and White. Great for any nationality.
Cernit is cured at 265 degrees Fahrenheit, or 130 degrees Celsius.
This polymer clay is more fragile, not holding as much flexibility as some other clays. It becomes soft and mailable fairly quickly, being easier to blend than most clays. Moonies tend to be a problem with Super Sculpey, and so are cracks if you are not particular with your sculpting process.
Sculpey has a nice skin appearance, not holding shine like some
polymer clays. It tends to look very realistic.
Super Sculpey has a tendency to get gray smudges on the surface and can collect a lot of fluff. Take precautions to ensure your clay does not collect too much dirt.
Super Sculpey is cured at 130 degrees Celsius or 275 degrees
Fahrenheit for 15 minutes per 6mm (1/4") of thickness.
See “Super Sculpey”. Prosculpt is also one of the few types of clay that are very fragile. All the pros and cons are very similar to Super Sculpey. The baking temperature is also the same. Prosculpt comes in 1lb bars in varying skin tones: Light, Baby, Caucasian Flesh, Ethnic Brown. It was created by the well known doll maker Jack Johnston.
It is popular with many doll makers, however if you intend to ship overseas its fragility levels call for very safe shipping measures.
Kato is one of the more firm types of polymer clay, holding a lot of strength but not a lot of flexibility. This is not a common type of clay used by doll makers but certainly does have it’s place.
Kato does not offer a lot of variety regarding flesh tones, but I have seen it used and look extremely effective. Kato often comes in small packs, so it tends to be more ideal for jewelry makers rather than doll makers.
It can be very difficult to knead or condition; most artists pass
it through a pasta machine to try and get it workable. Not recommended
to people with delicate hands.
It bakes at 135 degrees Celsius 275 degrees Fahrenheit 30
minutes per 1/4" (5mm) thickness.