Polymer Clay Brands
Polymer clay is a type of hardenable modeling clay based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is put into an oven to harden. Polymer clay is generally used for making arts and craft items, and is also used in commercial applications to make decorative parts. Art made from polymer clay can now be found in major museums.
Cernit polymer clay is good for general clay work, jewellery and small sculpting projects. It is very strong and flexible after baking, and sands and buffs very well. In particular, the translucents are very clear, and the metallics, with the wide range of colours, are very good, especially with mica shift techniques. One word of warning – because all the Cernit clays have a degree of translucency, they tend to darken after curing, so, if a precise colour effect is important to you, it is best to do a test cure before you embark on your project.
Click more details below to find out about the different Cernit polymer clay ranges.
How to Cure
Cure at 130°C (265°F) in a preheated oven for 30 minutes
Fimo is a polymer clay brand made by German stationery company called Staedtler. It was the first polymer clay available and is the most well-known brand of clay in Europe due to it being accessible in most craft stores.
All Fimo ranges, with exception of Fimo Leather, are cured at 110’C and can be mixed with one another.
FIMO offers a wide range of different polymer clays. You can find out more click more details below.
How to Cure
Cure at 110°C in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Except for Fimo Leather which cures at 130°C .
Kato Polyclay was developed by Van Aken alongside polymer clay artist Donna Kato.
It is best used for Cane work, items where you need strength or rigidity. It can be used very thin.
Pros: It’s much firmer than other brands so ideal for making canes without the need for leaching. It holds it shape well and doesn’t distort much. It’s rigid when cured. There is a limited number of colours, you don’t have lots of colours to buy or store and you can mix your own unique colours. Colours mix well as they are designed to be mixed. Very little colour change on curing. It’s very durable.
Cons: It can take more work to condition. It has a distinctive smell which some people don’t like. There is a limited number of colours, if you don’t like mixing colours yourself. It’s rigid when cured so not ideal if you need flexibility. It cures at a higher temperature than other brands meaning it’s not ideal for combining with other brands. The white can discolour a little when curing.
How to Cure
Kato Polyclay should be cured at about 150°C, however it can be cured within the range of 135°C and 165°C but it is approved for curing up to 175°C. When cured at elevated temperatures, Kato Polyclay will become harder and stronger, and have an increased surface gloss.
It is recommended that you cure your piece for 10-30 minutes depending on thickness. That is 10 minutes from when the oven gets to the curing temperature. For optimal strength, it is recommended that you cure your piece for 30-60 minutes.
Pardo is a German brand of clay, made by Viva Décor. Pardo clay is made with natural beeswax sothere is no smell when it cures in the oven. The curing creates a waxy bloom on the surface which can be wiped off immediately after curing. It comes in a wide range of colour palettes and it is sold in 56 g handy resealable packets. It is unlike any clay you will have handled before. It takes texture really well; and it is particularly good for making canes. A lot of people don’t use it because it has limited stockists in the UK and it has a reputation of being a nightmare to condition, but if you can get past that and learn to work with that element it will reward you with some fantastic results.
Pardo is particularly good if you want a translucent product. It is the clearest, purist translucent on the market. You can get amazing glass like effects. Pardo is extremely hard when cured. It is not easily broken making it ideal for jewellery making.
Pros: Translucency: It is the most translucent clay on the market. Whiteness: The whites stay white when it has been cured. Colour: wide range of colours, good for creating colour blends. Strength: Super hard, strong clay even on thin pieces.
Cons: Plaquing: In the translucent range can be an issue but this is true with all translucent, it appears worse in the Pardo range because it is much clearer so the plaquing is more obvious. Conditioning: Pardo is difficult to condition unless it is brand-new, fresh out of the packet. It tends to be crumbly almost pastry like in its texture. Most people think that it is old clay and cannot be conditioned but it can, you just need to know how to handle it. It cannot be treated like Fimo soft or Premo. You need a different approach.
How to Cure
Cure in the oven at 120° for 30 minutes