Monday, September 28, 2009

Clay Info

I don't remember where this came from but there's some really good info.....

My question is there a major difference between using Sculpey III and Super Sculpey?

There are differences in 3 of the Sculpeys --between Sculpey III and SuperSculpey (flesh), and also differences between those and original Sculpey, and also differences between those 3 and all the other brands/lines of polymer clay.

1. Re strength, original Sculpey, S III, and SS are all the most brittle polymer clay brands/lines after baking in any areas where they're thin (i.e., not "fat" and rounded) so will break easily if stressed--original Sculpey is worse than the other two.

2. Re handling, those 3 clays are fairly soft so can be difficult to sculpt with to get fine details, to keep distortion at bay, to avoid fingerprints, etc. Clayers with hot hands or environments will have even more problems and may need to continuously cool the clay/hands, or "leach" some of the plasticizer out of the clay before shaping (or use a firmer clay).
Some clayers just like to use other brands/lines of flesh-colored or solid-colored clays to sculpt with anyway (especially if they're pushing-pulling on the clay, as with earth clay), and/or many clayers like to mix SS with another brand of clay for more firmness while raw, less "plaquing," etc.
The clay that's in an individual box of SS can feel pretty different from that in other boxes too depending on age (how "advanced" they are), as well as exact type of plasticizer available at time of manufacture and other things. Some clayers even have "tests" they apply to SS before deciding on purchase.

3. Re baking, those 3 lines will also darken more than most other lines (though that may not matter to you if you're simply painting over them)... in fact, SS-flesh especially is sometimes baked a long time for extra strength by those who use polymer clay for sculpting in that situation. Again, original Sculpey will change the most and the most easily--actually, white orig. Sculpey turns a bit "purplish" rather than just darkening.
"Translucent" polymer clays will also darken more easily than opaque colors.
...SuperSculpey is basically just a lightly tinted translucent clay.
...Sculpey III colors often have a lot of translucent clay in them (though that's often not obvious), compared to other brands.

I have a 50% off coupon for Micheals and I was thinking of buying a big block of polymer clay.

Be aware too that there are cheaper ways to buy other brands and lines of polymer clay besides what's easily available at retail stores. For example:
...Super-Sculpey Firm is supposed to be a stronger "sculpting" polymer clay after baking
...Kato Polyclay, Premo, Cernit, and the Fimos are usually available in large bricks online (and cheaper by weight than you'd find in retail stores)
(...and using armatures under thicker clay sculpts can bring the price down too)

There's loads more detail on all those topics on these pages of my site, if you're interested:

Sculpey, Sculpey III, SuperSculpey, etc, and other brands of polymer clay... + strength on any particular brand/line of clay you want to know about on Strength

preferred polymer clays for sculpting + smoothing info, etc. on Polymer Clays for Sculpting... and also Fingerprints/Smoothing and General Sculpting Tips

making your own skin-colored clay on Skin

baking especially on Times & Temps... and perhaps on Darkening, Scorching

cooling clays + leaching on Cooling ...and perhaps on Leaching

translucent clays, plaquing, etc. perhaps on Plaquing ...and on Brands

painting on top of polymer clay, if you're interested
...from Preparing the Clay down through Misc.Re Paints...& Other Paints

suppliers of polymer clay (online and local) on Polymer Clay suppliers

really love the translucent clay, and I use it in quite a few projects, this is why I want to mix sculpey III with other brands, such as the sparkley clays.
You can mix any brand or line of polymer clay with any other brand or line of polymer clay. What you'll get in color/characteristics/etc is directly proportional to the amount of each you've added.

You can certainly mix Sculpey III's translucent with one of the FimoSoft glitter clays (or instead with a mica-containing metallic-colored clay like gold/silver/copper/sometimes colors like red/blue/green, in the Premo or Kato lines, or some by FimoSoft... or even Sculpey III or Cernit though they have much less mica in them than the others have). Be aware though that those FimoSoft "glitter" clays are really pretty transparent where the "translcuents" are not truly transparent unless they're very-very thin, used as a covering generally (..for more appearance of depth, translucents or translucents mixed with other clays or colorants are usually given a gloss surface with a gloss finish or sanding/electric buffing).

You can, however, mix your own glitter or your own other "inclusions" into a translucent clay (brands with translucents: Kato, Premo (2), FimoSoft, Cernit, Sculpey III) and get some great results.
These inclusions can be all kinds of things from polyester glitters to sand, metallic powders, herbs/spices, etc., etc.
You can also make "tinted translcuents" (for adding inclusions or not) by adding a tad of solid polymer clay to a translcuent, or for more clarity use alcohol inks or artists oil paints, etc.

There's more info on using translucent clays as well as the various brands/lines of it and their differences, and also on putting inclusions into polymer clay on these pages if you're interested in much more info:

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