Polymer Clay Studio Tools - Which Household Items And Objects We Can Take To Our Studio?
By Iris Mishly
What household items we can take to our studio?
Cleaning stuff, hygiene and makeup -
dishes scotch pads - These are ideals for texture, you can use them in all kinds of shapes, sizes, thickness, and they are wonderful. A tip I learned from the great Nan Roche, is to hold your sanding paper on top of a scotch pad, this way the sanding paper is being held by the soft pad and your hand & fingers get a much more comfortable support.
baby wipes - cleaning and more cleaning! clean you clay, your hands, your floor, your pasta machine, these wipes are very useful.
floor polish - although i do not use floor polish as a finish to my work, "Future" Floor Polish is a great example of this. Some people like to dip their beads in finishing liquids, or you can use a brush and apply few layers until you get the effect you want. This material is an alternative to gloss and lacquer.
Tooth brush - another texturing tool (and cleans as well!)
Makeup brushes - I have a store nearby that sells cheap makeup brushes that are soft and nice, suitable for applying paint, lacquar, gloss or resin.
Makeup powders - those are great as metallic/matt effects on stamped clay, i use to be a makeup artist and have tons of those powders, they are perfect for clay and can be a wonderful substitute to the mica powders (see photo).
Lotion - a good material we can use with very dry clay, just add a small amount of lotion to your dry clay and keep conditioning it, it helps softening the material.
Manicure sponges - the manicure sponges have 2 main purposes - 1st is for sanding in medium-coarse grit and 2nd is texturing.
Manicure stickers - nails stickers are a great decoration for cured polymer clay designs - flowers, butterflies, dots, etc. Don't cure them, the plastic in them won't survive the heat of the oven. same with plastic rhinestones.
Stylus - this tool is awesome, making these cute dots on your clay whether it is cured or raw, i love "dotting" my clay, you can also use acrylic paints to add dots after cure.
Vaseline or other Petroleum Jelly - same use as lotion.
Talcum - very useful release agent, brush your stamps, texture sheets for easy releasing. you can also use cornflower for the same purpose. Be careful not to inhale talcum, it's not healthy.
Dental Clinic -
Syringe - although this tool is not something i want to meet in real life, it is great for measuring material, especially when working with resin which has to be weighted carefully. i know some people use them as extruders, but i haven't try that:)
Dental tools for sculpturing - these tools are perfect for sculpturing and miniatures. if you are into those subjects - it's a must have.
Molding materials - haven't try those either but i heard from one of my students which is a dentist that the dental mold works great for polymer clay as well.
Sanding paper - sanding paper in all kinds of grits are welcome in our studio - coarse? use it for texture. fine? use it for sanding. they are fun to use, cheap and make a beautiful finish on your back pieces.
Lathe machines - Never used those but i saw the magic done with them by grant diffendaffer.
Tool boxes - working tools for your DH? no, they can be a great storage box for US! i have tons of boxes from the hardware store used to store my canes, tools, cutters etc!
Ceramic tiles - take all the leftovers from your home renovation (or ask the neighbor for some tiles) and use them as working surface. they are cleaned easily and can be cured in the oven.
Mesh - this is one of my favorites! metal mesh can be cured so it can be used as an addition to our clay designs, as armature and many other uses.
Screws/Nails etc - steam punk style? these oven proof tools and materials are a cool decoration for your work. they are also useful for texturing, piercing, and just for fun.
Pliers - it was supposed to be the other way around but i always find MY pliers at my DH tool box! these tools are a must for wire work, jewelry making and any studio needs a couple of these.
Silicone Gun - mostly used as an assistant to older polymer clay extruders (scroll down on this page) if you don't have the green Makin's extruder, you may want to use the silicone extruder as an aid.
My name is Iris Mishly and I am a polymer clay artist. After 15 years as a web designer, the coincidence led me to discover polymer clay in November 2004, I took 1 lesson, and i knew it was different from anything I'd ever done before. I am the founder of PolyPediaOnline which was established on 2009 to allow artists and hobbiests from all over the world to learn from my personal experience from any where in the world: polymer clay free tutorials & videos, jewelry, accessories and millefiori canes tutorials.
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