Monday, June 29, 2009

All About Fimo (Polymer) Clay

pate fimo, pate polymère, modellage, souris

Did you used to love modeling clay? Kneading it, mixing colors, and creating imaginary characters? If so, you’ll love polymer clay, commonly known as Fimo clay!

Often used in the film industry for making on-screen characters, Fimo has invaded homes both through arts and crafts and through other diverse forms, such as jewelry (beads, rings, pendants), key rings, and decorative items of every kind.

Polymer clay is ideal for making small objects because it become very hard after baking. It's resistant to water and can be sculpted, sanded, painted, polished, or even varnished.

Here are some general guidelines about polymer clay.

Introduction to polymer clay

  • Polymer clay is also known generically as polyclay or Fimo clay, but several brands exist: Sculpey, Cernit, GemColor, and Creall-Therm.

  • Typically, it comes in small loaves, in a large range of colors that can be molded together to give sequined, marbled or metallic effects or to create new colors.
    • It is considered to be “soft” when it is very malleable from the beginning and as “classic” when it requires some work to soften it up before use.
    • Generally, a 58-g (2-oz.) loaf will cost around 2 euros (2.80 USD).

  • Once opened, it stores for a long time, as long as it is wrapped in its original paper and then covered in aluminium foil or plastic wrap and stored in a cool place in an airtight container.

  • To begin, we recommend buying three loaves in the primary colors, which you can mix to make all sorts of colors.

Safety Guidelines

Polymer clay contains PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and plasticizers that make it toxic and call for certain precautions:

  • Avoid contact with mouth or eyes.

  • Wash your hands carefully after use.

  • Polymer clay is not suitable for children under 7.

  • Use tools and utensils strictly dedicated to this use.

  • Avoid cooking the clay at a very high temperature for a long time. This can burn your creations as well as release toxic gases. The manufacturers' instructions should always be followed.

Translation: Emma-Jane


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