I’ve got some friends interested in starting in polymer clay work over in my beading group. One member asked me what is the better clay to use. Of course, that’s really personal opinion….but there are some differences in polymer clays when it comes to colors and firmness. So, here’s a quick rundown of clays, listing them by manufacturer.
From Eberhard Faber (Germany):
- Fimo Classic: The first brand of polymer clay, Fimo, was invented in Germany, during World War I. A German doll maker was looking for an alternative to porcelain, and in her quest, invented FIne MOdeling material, or FIMO. The original stuff is very stiff out of the package, and takes a lot of kneading and warming to make it workable. I’ve got tired hands, and it’s more trouble than it’s worth for me.
- Fimo Soft: Getting the idea, they are. This has more of the softening agent in it and it’s ready to use out of the package. you really don’t even have to knead it, just start working it. If you find that it’s too soft (sticky, and fingerprints show), you can roll out a sheet and place it on a piece of white paper…. the extra softening agent will leach out.
- Fimo Effect: Sparkly clay- has glittery effect. Can be used to mix into other clays, too.
From Polyform of Illinois, USA:
- Premo: This is comparable to Fimo Classic, but easier to use out of the package. Takes a lot less kneading and warming to get it workable. I like Premo for beads because it is a little stiffer than Sculpy III, but not as crumbly and unyielding as Fimo Classic. Probably my most-used brand. I also really like the gold and silver versions, which have mica flakes embedded in the clay, offering a host of creative options with that alone!
- Sculpy III: Comparable to Fimo Soft. Very soft and malleable…maybe a bit firmer than the Fimo version? Still can get a little “sticky,” especially in the white. Which means it picks up lint. (Here’s how I know.)
Kato Polyclay: This hasn’t been readily available in my area, so I haven’t tested it myself. However, Donna Kato is a very well-respected polymer clay artist, and she helped develop this line. From what the website says, it’ available in Hobby Lobby stores and at PolymerClayExpress online.
Know, I haven’t tried all of the polymer clays out there – the Sculpy lights, the Cernits, et al…. but these seem to be the most available and used for beginning polymer clay crafters.
As always, follow the directions on the package to bake and cure the clay effectively. Happy Claying!
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