Soften it up Baby!
Conditioning polymer clay is essential to creating beautiful objects! Mixing and warming the clay makes it easy to work with. It also moves the particles around so that the clay cures correctly.
All you need is your two hands. Squish it, roll it, wad it up. Getting out any air bubbles. You will soon feel that it is more pliable and smooth. I use an acrylic roller for larger chunks to start the process. I then fold it and roll it out again. It usually doesn’t take long to do.
Occasionally you may have to work older clay longer. Using a pasta machine can roll out clay quickly. It also helps if you have arthritis and find squeezing clay a little painful. You will want have the pretty flat so you don’t put too much strain on your machine. Don’t try to stick a block in there. Flatten it out some, then pass it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting.
A word about air bubbles.
Air bubbles will undoubtedly invade your clay. This happens when folding, stacking, molding etc. You can poke the bubbles with a needle tool then smooth the clay out. Being careful how you lay clay down will help. Start at one end and carefully roll the clay down to avoid trapping air under it, smoothing it as you go. When folding, squish the center of the fold gently then work you way out on each side squeezing gently.
I have had few projects come out of the oven with a nice bubble. but hey, you live and learn! You will see as you progress through your polymer clay journey, that you get better and better at avoiding these annoying bubbles.
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