Last week I showed you how I cut polymer clay with my Cricut- basically, I made a very thin sheet of polymer clay and cured it, making a veneer that I could then cut with an electronic cutter.
But I got to wondering- which brand of polymer clay would make the best veneer? You need it to be strong, but flexible, and not too brittle. So I took three common brands of polymer clays- Premo, Sculpey III, and Pardo Jewellry Clay- and tested them out with manual punches, manual dies, and the Cricut E2 die cutting machine.
Just a note on how I conducted my tests: I conditioned each brand of clay thoroughly, then rolled it out on the thinnest setting on a sheet of deli wrap. I cured each sheet according to manufacturer’s directions. Each brand of clay has been in my studio for a year, as I just I used what was on hand.
First, I tried each sheet of PC veneer with a manual punch.
Next, I used a more detailed manual punch- this one by Martha Stewart Crafts:
As you can see, this punch has much more detail, and the Premo and Pardo clays were too brittle to handle it. Only the Sculpey III captured the detail without breaking.
Next I tried three manual dies: a Spellbinders Nestabilities (diamond) a Cuttlebug die (Scallop Flower) and a Sizzix die (5-petal flower.)
With these simple designs, all performed well. I also tried using a more complex Sizzlets die, but that one couldn’t cut through any of the veneers- the die was simply too shallow.
Lastly, it was time to load them up into the Cricut. The results were so surprising that I left it all on the mat so you could see for yourself.
Again- the Premo and Pardo Clays were too brittle to handle the machine cutting. But the Sculpey III worked like a charm. Here’s the cut I got:
I hope you’ve found this helpful- I know that I have. It’s great to know which is the best clay for the job, whether your are punching, die cutting, or using a digital machine to cut your polymer clay veneer.