Polymer Clay for Beginners: All You need to know before starting | Monika Sleke | Skillshare

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Polymer Clay for Beginners: All You need to know before starting

teacher avatar Monika Sleke

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. 1 workplace

    • 3. 2 tools

    • 4. 3 debunk the myths

    • 5. 4 finishing

    • 6. 5 assembly

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About This Class

This class is designed for people who wants to try polymer clay, but feels a little overwhelmed with all the  information. In this class I will explain the most essential topics about polymer clay to make the beginning easier and less daunting.

In this class You will learn:

  • how to choose a good workplace for Your projects
  • what tools do You really need to start
  • understand and avoid popular misleading information about polymer clay
  • project finishing techniques
  • what you need to finish/assemble Your project (jewellery) to a final product.

Meet Your Teacher

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Monika Sleke


Hello, I'm Monika. I am a real DIY pro and I love crafts.

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1. Intro: Hello, my name is Monica and I'm fundamentally activist. I'm working with clay for over four years now, and I want them to share my experience with you and do this, listen and then I be about the very, very beginnings. And I wanted to show you what is the essentials, what you need to start. 2. 1 workplace: So first thing is the workplace where you're planning to work. And if you want to start ornamental way, you will need a table that, so it doesn't need to be special table for special purposes, for polymer clay. It can be just like any table you haven't met home. The only rule is that it must be absolutely clean from dust and and I think what can get into the clay. So let's save a non creating something. I am hovering around everything but can reach around and unmute so I eliminate as much dust as possible. And most importantly, I'm trying to remove all the hair from my amazing because they are everywhere. And I know that I'm not the only person who has pets at home. So especially if you have a dog or cat or parallel to 0 handstand, make sure there is no head. Okay? And other than that, well, you know, you cannot really work on the table itself. Like, well, you can, but you shouldn't, I think. So. There is two sides are that some people like to have ceramic tile to work on. And it must be smooth obviously. And I live to work on glass plate like this. Of course, if you would go to craft shop, they will ask for like, what are the Macleay services to work on? They would give you some special branded math. I think they Silicon Macs or something. You can buy those if you have a very rich, if you are not very rich, you can go to local supermarket and grab coupled, settling tiles, doses from glass, whatever. Or you can go to DAY. Like, I don't know, in England, we have in q or home-based in America. I think there is At Home Depot. So you can go there and now it's just a sample tire and you will have it. That's all very simple. The only thing to consider about glass or ceramic tile, well, it must be heat proofs, so you need to kinda try it first. Well, it's not like it's going to bake in crazy high temperatures, but it should not crack in a 113 degrees of Celsius. So make sure you try it first before you actually putting your play on. 3. 2 tools: And now topic number 2 is the actual tools. Well, simple as that. You will need an oven. You will need to polymer clay. But I'm not going to dig deep into that because it's another topic hand. I will talk about it later. What kinda played to use it? And of course the risk. Couple more things which you can try on. So number one would be rolling pin. And I have a wooden rolling pin and this is absolutely not ideal solution. So if you can invest into acrylic or plastic or whatever rolling pen, That's the good way to go. And usually a very small, fine, quite smaller than that would be very easy for you to work. And if you don't want to use a company like rolling pen, alternatively, you can use pasta machine, which is what I'm using usually limb. So I don't make any pastor at machine just to be clear. And I bought it specifically for polymer clay and it's not that expensive. And you think I think I paid 10 pounds or something and I bought it for me eBay. And it has eight thicknesses settings. And it just very simple. It's completely up to you with what you prefer and how far you want to go with your polymer clay. So that would maybe help you to decide. So that was my pasta machine. Anyways, if you're not really looking forward to invest into pasta machine right now or to buy acrylic rolling pin. There is no need because you can use just a glass jar from the mayonnaise from ghetto, from a honey form, whatever you just ate and knew that this throwaway, but just below those paper labels and wash it nicely. And it can be a role if you just want to see it. This graft is good for you. So next very important stuff is blade. Yes, my blade is little bit there are 10 very much used, tried to keep it clean if you can. And I have a twin of a short and I have one long one. I think it's June now. It's one. I have one long one and I haven't unpacked it yet because I just feel like this one is good enough for me and I don't need it. But it's no rule. You can use whichever blade you like. But you know, there is no rule if you like London blade, you can use longer. And again, I know there is some branded blades to buy if you want to, but I bought mine, I think from a wish. And I paid like just Bennis for rate and imagine that they weren't just find the F-sharp as hell and the cuts fingers were about. So be careful all the time. Now let's talk about the house, especially if you're planning to make jewelry, which I assume probably you build. So visitation right here. You don't need it necessarily. This is just what I use sometimes. So I really don't want to put you off from polymer clay. I really want to encourage you. So if you don't have this crazy scary electric tools, really are host. This is the tool. These are the whole bunches. There is million sizes, million ways how you can cut this shape. The only difference between those two is that if you want to drill the holes, you will need to do it after the clay is baked. And if you want to punish the house, you will need to do it before you're baking the claim. And if you haven't got any of these things and you don't really want to invest right now because you're trying it out. Don't already. I think you have two things at home. It's amazing tool, Believe me, to fix can save the world. So that these little guys, you can punch the holes. You can shape it, see you can make various patterns, textures. You just let your imagination to take care of it. And the last thing which is absolutely essential tool you need to have is open. And I'm going to talk about Owens because other no much. I just assume that you probably have all read at home. And I know there is a room I'm in internet that you can actually make your polymer clay in microwave. You can't just don't do it. If you have any thoughts I know oven. Just don't buy it polemically and don't start at all by an oven, depending on what you like. But don't microwave it. Alright. So shapes. Now, let's talk about shapes. You'll then need them in a way it's not like the back necessary. You can cut around your own shapes late if you like. But if you want something, they have a constant, very clean look. I would suggest that you should have some shapes to begin with. If you have cookie cutters at home, you can use those, but they are usually a little bit too big, especially when I found that I started making earrings. I'd like I cannot make Lego size airing and because I know I wouldn't pay to liberate and I know that other people would hate to their red. So it just doesn't really work for me. And yeah, it's simple as that you need some lake at this and this is just the way about it. So fucking about clay. There is a lot of different brands and I know that it can be difficult to choose from one basic lamb. I wanted just to introduce you into this. Some of those which I like the most, which is Val, which is, which isn't. I use most lithium or clay. And this is all the theme overlays I liked. I have more colors, but I wanted to show you only lays now because we all kind of different in some way. I'm using femoral because I'm European and this is the most accessible Parliament lay in Europe. But I'm pretty sure that in America you're using Remo, which is my personal favorite one, but I really get my hands on it. Anyway. There is one more professional. It is the probably the strongest and the best female plane. And it's obviously is used for professionals. That one is femoral salt, which is very, very nice to start with. If you are a beginner, I would recommend you maybe to start with this. Also, I have another color as well. And why soft claim? It's much, much, much easier to condition that. As I know that your hands can get really, really sore in the clay is very hard. And another section thermo has is effect and here I have leather effect and seriously it looks like lava. So I'm not really keen on that one, but because I think it looks a little bit strange, but maybe it's the color I chose. But it's, if you have something in mind, it's really, really can make beautiful grabbed from it. And there is another demo effect and that one is translucent. So it's something that I'd be completely transposon, but as long as you condition it, as small LIATE will be, it will have a very strong pinkish 10, but it will be somewhat clear. This, I have this SQL-based souffle. I don't know if I'm pronouncing that correctly ago now, but I quite like this as well. They are very good and from school, the brand, these are the best ones for jewelry making. So that's all about, we're all up to you. What you're going to choose. Is it just my preference? So I have these two and I have learned this one is the first 78 package I ever had. I cannot really give opinion much about it, but why I bought it is because they say that even a thin pieces Bakes and stays very strong after baking. So it has some more flexibility to it comparing to others. And once I will try it more, I will definitely give my opinion about it. So you will know. 4. 3 debunk the myths: Okay, so now I want to clear up some myths about polymer clay. I heard the rumor that you need to keep your play in an airtight container because otherwise it will be unusable and dry out. Esl now, it can dry out a little bit and it can dry out completely if you're living in a very warm and hot climate, of course, but if you live in that kinda mild, the mildly cold dish, whether all the England like I do or somewhere similar and that things are not happen. The only thing I would suggest to keep your clay in a sealed container is dust. That's the only reason. And that's all. And another thing about Olympic limits is varnishing. You cannot, you cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot put a nail. Varnish as a glaze on polymer clay. It's wrong. You can't do it. It will make it sticky, it will make it wrong, it will make it ugly and disgusting to look at in about two weeks time. Why? Because nail varnish is designed to make your nails look nice and it lasts about how much? The week, Sunday mass and its chromosome. So here this is exactly what's gonna happen on polymer clay. And we don't want that. If you want to place it, there is a special glazes like polymer clay glaze. I use it in my videos. Sometimes. You if you watch them, you probably see that. Alternatively, I personally use residence. Yep. I like msn. I know some people have mixed feelings about it, but this is my personal opinion. You don't need to if you don't want to. And also, I had that people using mod podge as well. And I tried it. I wasn't completely happy about their result, but it was all right in depending on what you're doing as I'm making jewelry, I really didn't like that kinda foggy glaze. But if you do some figurines or just something crafted, evidently that probably will work fine for you. So what am I saying? Oh, you must obey what's written on the clade package instruction. If it says to bake on 110 degrees in Celsius, this is what you baking no more than that. And here is the collection. If I mixed my clay level one brand and anoxia, which you can do. And they're slightly different temperatures shown on different layers. What they do then well, my suggestion is to bake it on lower temperature but little bit longer rather than under bake it completely or over baking it because I know it's my personal experience. When you mixing Fahrenheit and Celsius, it goes into veteran estimates. Basically what's happened is fundamentally just turns into boiling black plastic. Seriously, I remember that moment of any distinct as hell. And it was just like bubbling black stuff in the oven. And my mom was crazy, angry. I hope she doesn't watch it. So again, you cannot put it into microwave, it's wrong. You must put it in the open. And on the exact written temperature, you can make it little bit longer, like five minutes here and there. And of course, obviously check it and use your common sense if you feel, but it's going to be something wrong, just take it out. 5. 4 finishing: Okay, and now when you bake there play, everything is nice and beautiful, but they have some rough edges surround our beautiful pieces of jewelry or whatever you are baking and what they do now, well, you need to send it. And usually what I'm doing, if there is like really rough, I'm using this tool. I think it's called utility knife as a common name of it. If I'm wrong, please correct me. But which is what I'm using in please be careful because it's the same as the polymer clay blade. It's very, very sharp, very sharp. And when I remove everything what's extremely off from what they wanted, I am using sanding paper and you see there is some gloves on it. Then you buy it. There is involves, but when you use it, it happens to have blogs. And this is made in Poland, BS 888000, top pathos. I think that means this paper is for cars to polish the cars. And this is 8000 read, you can read it all now. And what is so special about that? It is wet sanding paper. It's not event itself, it's very dry, but for the best results, you should read it very well. And Ben San, the object and y and wet on wet watercolor. Why wet? Because if you sending it to dry, there is that friction and it leaves some kinda scars in the polymer clay. And then it is dry. The dust ticks in it and you cannot get them out and you have kinda white marks around your beautiful piece. And I personally don't mind that if you want that, do it, but I don't like that. So I'm using red, then I'm signing it wet. I just not having that. That's very simple. I know alternatively, some people using the manicure machines, I don't know if it is. I never used it. I'm not really into beauty obviously. And yeah, some people do it in that it's great if it works for them. I don't know. I know I try so I can't really tell. But my best way is a sanding paper well, old-fashioned later, what can I do about themselves? So yeah, I think it's about to be finished as you know, like I'm also talking about jewelry making. So then you baked it when you assign dated everything is nice and clean. You may want to varnish it, but it's not necessary. Because fundamentally itself is very, very strong when it's baked and you don't really need to do that. And I think well, okay, Let's talk a little bit about law and machine. You don't need to, but if you want to, you can use monumentally varnish. This is how it calls. You can get that on eBay and Amazon in the graph. Chuck, wherever you find Sita go. And alternatively, as I said before, you can use resin which are using the most. And it Here's the glossiness finish and it gives that extra sturdiness as well. So whether again, if people don't, sometimes one to use resonant, it's like too much. And if you don't want to invest in any of those right now, like don't, you can just send it nicely polish it, and it's going to be absolutely fine. And random, meaning polishing. If 800 grit is not good enough for you go to 100 and go to one hundred and two hundred as high a number as a smoother finish. So it's just up to you what you wanna do. 6. 5 assembly: And finally live as a jewelry maker. I am just assembling my findings. So I'm talking about the ear via I'm talking about the E opposed to jump rings. They're happy. I'm setting my photo might play into some Bezos who abandoned or ring. It all depends on what you wanted to do. And that's going to be if that's going to be done. And alternatively, if you making charms or if you making figurines, you may not need to do anything until afterwards, just like put it in a nice place and enjoy it shall off to all your guests when they will be able to arrive to you. So that's sick. I think if you have anymore questions about something specific, please feel free to ask and thank you very, very much for watching, for asking me those questions so I can give you this information. And I'm really, really happy to share meant to tell you what I already know and share my experience. So I really hope I will find some questions in the comment section. And for now I think I would say bye, I will go and make some nice jewelry from one MLA and see you in my next video. Bye.