Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
I often get a lot of questions about the way I use clay, and I thought it would be fun to give you a bunch of random tips that can make things a bit easier and look much better! I use many of these tips myself, so I hope that you will find them useful!

:tp: Your work surface is extremely important. I find that working with your clay on a ceramic tile works best, but you can use marble or granite or even a piece of glass. This is great because the clay doesn't stick very easily. Plastic is okay, but it isn't the best.

:tp: Keep your work surface dust free. Dust is your enemy. It is everywhere! Before you work with your clay, give your work surface a nice big wipe with some paper towel and a bit of rubbing alcohol or get some of those alcohol wipes. This gets off any surface dirt that may be on the surface as well as the dreaded dust.

:tp: Your hands need to be as dust free as your work surface. What I do is wash my hands with dishsoap before I start, and than I either air dry my hands in front of my fan or I wipe them with paper towels. Don't use towels - they are LOADED with fuzzies. Keep a good supply of cheap papertowel. I use the "Green" papertowel that is made from recycable materials because it is better for the environment.

:tp: Your hands are dirtier than they look! Do yourself a favour and keep a white piece of clay on hand to wipe your hands and work surface with before you start. You can use this piece over and over again. You don't HAVE to use white, but if you do use white you can really SEE that it is working. You'll be surprised how dirty it gets after awhile.

:tp: Before you begin, you need some clay! I would recommend buying one pack of each type of brand and see what clay you really like. This way, you don't buy ten colours of one brand and figure out you don't like it. A lot of people find that Sculpey III and Fimo Soft are the best brands to start out with because they are easy to work with.

:tp: Richer colours stain your hands, such as blue, black, and red. When you go to use a lighter colour, this residue from the richer shades will discolour your lighter shades. To avoid this, you may want to do all your sculpting and shaping with the lighter shades first, and than use the darker ones. Or just wipe your hands down after each colour with some rubbing alcohol and paper towel and than give that scrap white piece of clay a little bit of a knead to get all that crud off your fingers.

:tp: Your hands and fingers are your friends. Look at all the beautiful work they do! Take care of them. All that clay handling and washing of the hands can take it's toll. When you aren't working with clay, give those hands of yours some nice treatment. Keep your nails maintained, keep your hands soft with some cream of some sort, and be nice to them and they will keep working for you for a long time!

:tp: The most expensive tools aren't always the best. In fact, I don't think I own anything spectacular. Things like toothbrushes, safety pins, and toothpicks are your best tools!

:tp: No matter how clean your hands and surface are, white clay always seems to attract the most dust. However, there is a way around this. Before you begin to bake your clay, get a cotton swab and dip it in some rubbing alcohol, and give the white a little bit of a wipe. The swab picks up all the dust and leaves the surface nice and clean!

:tp: If you hate fingerprints on your pieces, get yourself some of those surgical gloves. If they are too big and bulky or make the process more difficult, get yourself some "finger cots" to cover your thumb and index fingers. You use these fingers the most.

:tp: Liquid cay is great for smoothing out imperfections. Just put a tiny bit on the clay and rub it in. Another good way is to use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to get a smoother surface.

:tp: A fantastic way to slice canes is with a thin piece of wire! Or a one of those wire cheese cutters. Heh.

:tp: I would invest in an acrylic roller for rolling out clay. Wooden rollers really stain up easily and aren't too smooth. Instead of rolling out clay on your surface, lay down a ziploc baggie, some tracing paper, or parchment paper to roll on. It won't stick.

:tp: When cutting canes, it is best to either put them in a freezer first and slice them when their cold to reduce distortion, OR you can bake a small piece of the cane at once, and slice it while it is hot right out of the oven. This completely gets rid of distortion since the clay is already set!

What do you think? Should I give more tips again sometime?

Want to see my work? Check out my website at MonsterKookies.com. You can look through my gallery to see my past work or you can check out my shop to see what's in stock. For those of you who don't use Etsy, you can also just get it directly through me. I am always taking commissions!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconallyarcade:
AllyArcade Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009
haha i do all the exact same things. XD
i too hate fuzzies and dust :angered:
Reply
:iconlatuna6:
latuna6 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
Hey there I can't remember if I asked you if it was ok to feature this in my blog, I thought I did...so I went ahead and feature you and your article and stuff, and I want to do so for your other posts if that's ok.

Here's the link: [link]

If that's not ok just let me know and I will take it down immediately!
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
And by the way, I read the blog as well and you did an excellent job! I like how you make your blogs more colourful by adding lots of pictures! :love:
Reply
:iconlatuna6:
latuna6 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009
oh thank you! ^_^ I'm glad you like it because I'll be featuring you some more lol
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Wheeeee YAY! Keep me posted! :aww:
Reply
:iconlatuna6:
latuna6 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009
will do!
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No no, I think I remember you saying something about it! That is fine and peachy with me, hehe. :D
Reply
:iconlatuna6:
latuna6 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009
yay!
Reply
:iconleedlpuff:
Leedlpuff Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009
:iconmoarplz: TIPS! Yes yes YES! I loved these! They are very helpful!
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Great! :D
Reply
:iconleedlpuff:
Leedlpuff Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
:)
Reply
:iconcountesscocofang:
CountessCocoFang Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol i just noticed the T.P. bullet points XD
I made a pretty polymer clay necklace (it's in my gallery if you wanna look :D) using some of your tips. Thanks for all your advice and sharing your special clay seeeeecreeehhtsss! lol ^-^
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe, wonderful. I shall go look! :D I don't know why I used toilet paper bullets... they just look so damn cute! :D
Reply
:iconcountesscocofang:
CountessCocoFang Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha how did you do toilet paper bullet points anyway? I like em :P
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe... SEE!

:tp: :tp: :tp: :tp: :tp:

Their in the emoticons. :) It's a colon, tp, than another colon.
Reply
:iconcountesscocofang:
CountessCocoFang Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha :tp: :tp: neat! XD
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehehehe :D
:toilet: :shithappens:
Reply
:iconcountesscocofang:
CountessCocoFang Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
You missed the toilet!!!!! Here use this :tp: ahahahaahaa XD Genius!
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Hahhahaha! :rofl:
Reply
:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Those are helpful tips.

It's funny... I usually roll out my clay with a sharpie. :P
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, if you think about it, I said "acrylic roller", and sharpies are made from plastic, and acrylic is a type of plastic isn't it? Hehe. Whatever works! :D
Reply
:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, I wasn't trying to contradict you, so--yes, exactly! Non-sticky acrylic rollers are good! :D
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree! :D
Reply
:iconathalour:
Athalour Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009   General Artist
Now this is what I call handy. :D
And it explains the boo-boos I've made with clay!
Thank you so much for sharing. :D
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No problem! :)
Reply
:iconkrazykawaii:
krazykawaii Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009   Artisan Crafter
This is great! Tips like these when I started my clay escapade a while back would have been my bible :XD:
I'll make sure to look back at this if I get stuck at anything, thank you so much for sharing! :heart:
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeay! You're welcome for sure!
Reply
:iconkrazykawaii:
krazykawaii Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009   Artisan Crafter
w00t! Oh, nd you should put more of these up in the future if you're up to it! :horns:
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I shall! :)
Reply
:iconkrazykawaii:
krazykawaii Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009   Artisan Crafter
Shweet :D
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe. :D
Reply
:iconmouiikara:
mouiikara Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a good one! Although I think if you post a picture or two... it would've been even better X3
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe, I don't know what I could have posted a picture of... :P Hehe
Reply
:iconmouiikara:
mouiikara Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd love to see samples... say for example... hmm. For example, the difference between a cleaned piece (alcohol/cotton swab you say) and one that's got smudge marks or finger prints. Or work samples. :3

That's just a suggestion though. I think there are people who would also appreciate pictures.
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I shall definately consider it :)
Reply
:iconmugshotpro:
mugshotpro Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
You have to give tips regularly. It was not only helpful, but inspiring.
I enjoy your industrial heart collection. Do you paint your finished pieces or is it just colored clay? If you do paint them, what with?
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, the clay I use is actually a silver coloured clay, but I just find that silver coloured clay is more sparkly than metallic, so I go over the raw clay with this stuff called "Eberhard Faber Silver Powder" in this tiny glass container. Someone gave the viles to me after they told me they wanted to use it on their face, and I told them that it wouldn't be a good idea! So they gave it to me. You can't find the powder anymore in the same container, I think it is called something else now though. It's the same company as Fimo, obviously, so I am sure they make a similar product. :) Pearl Ex powders would probably work, too.
Reply
:iconmugshotpro:
mugshotpro Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
OK what about your more colorful pieces? Do you use any paint after it's been "fired" or is it all colored clay, or a mixtuer?
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
All of my colours are just the clay themselves. Hehe :)
Reply
:iconmugshotpro:
mugshotpro Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Impressive...VERY impressive.
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank-you! :D :D :D
Reply
:iconadcdmc:
adcdmc Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
thanks for all the great tips :)
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconchaoie:
chaoie Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
omg, must learn from the master :D :D :D

thanx so much ^w^
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Haha, awww thanks so much! :hug:
Reply
:iconchaoie:
chaoie Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009
teehee :lmao:
Reply
:icontwinklestar-graphics:
TwinkleStar-Graphics Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
Awesome article! I am just starting out in polymer clay and this article is really helpful. Thanks for the tips. :)
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No problem! I'm glad I could help!
Reply
:iconneko-pancake:
Neko-Pancake Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Awesome article!
Reply
:iconmonsterkookies:
monsterkookies Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Weee, thanks!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconmonsterkookies: More from monsterkookies


Featured in Collections

Polymer Clay Tips Tutorials by crossingmyrubicon




Details

Submitted on
January 17, 2009
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
2,729 (3 today)
Favourites
93 (who?)
Comments
60
×