Polymer clay is a unifying and pliable polymer compound intended for crafters and artists. It is not considered real clay since clay is composed particles of silicate suspended in water. Polymer clay comes from particles of PVC or polyvinyl chloride suspended in a plasticizer. Although real clay and polymer clay are completely different things, polymer clay can be used like clay.
Originally, when these clays were first produced, they were soft prior to curing in low temperatures. Nowadays however, air dry polymer clays are now available. This makes it easier to mold these to one's personal liking. Afterwards, it can be hardened at high temperatures to fixate the design.
There are basic curing and conditioning steps to follow, so that the finished product will not break even in the changing conditions of weather, and in accidental falls. Curing can be done as often as one wants. And afterwards, it can be sanded lightly to smoothen out rough finishes.
The versatility of polymer clays makes it special. It is available in different colors. You can blend paints with this clay in order to make your own unique colors. You can also work out two or three different color-schemes without blending them. This is effective if you greatly prefer effects like marbling and cane working rather than the plain one-colored clay.
The ductility and pliability of polymer clay lets you use certain techniques for textile, architecture, sculpture and glasswork. The best thing about polymer clays is the fact that it does not dry out so people who use it won't have to worry for a time limit whenever they are doing some art forms such as sculptures.
Firing is the process which fuses the fine particles on polymer clay into a solid material. This process requires low heat. The heat must be low enough for you to use your home oven as a kiln. The sizing and colors are not changed during the process of firing. The clay gets hard and solid enough to make your art forms durable objects. There are several techniques to obtain the desired textures. Textures may range from stone-like to glasslike figures.
Polymer clays can be used in many ways. You can actually cover anything with it as long as it doesn't burn or melt during the firing process. You can cover wooden boxes, mirrors, table wares as well as picture frames with this type of clay. A popular application of polymer clay is in jewelries. This clay is used to make pendants, beads, neck pieces as well as bracelets. Buttons and miniature sculptures are also good options.
A number of clay artists developed techniques to give this clay other appearances such as amber, coral, granite, jade, ivory and turquoise. It is very flexible that it can be shaped any way you want.
Keep in mind that this is not suitable for things that use direct contact with the food or with other edible things.
Polymer clay is widely available nowadays due to its surging popularity. Obviously, there is lots of polymer clay in the market. Look in art supply stores, local craft stores and bead shops.