Polymer Clay Tools

Here is some information about tools you may find useful for working with polymer clay. For more information about where to buy them please see our supplier links page

Blades

You will need a thin and sharp blade for cutting clay. You can buy special clay blades, sometimes referred to as tissue blades which are long and are available either as a rigid blade or a flexible blade. Rigid blades are what you need to cut slices of clay from a block or thin slices from a ‘cane’. Flexible blades enable you to cut curved shapes. A scalpel or craft knife is also useful for detailed cutting and picking up tiny bits of clay.

Curing

Your home oven is fine but do check the temperature with an oven thermometer. You will need surfaces to bake on; small ceramic tiles are useful for flat items. A baking tray is useful as it can be filled with baking soda or polyester wadding (check it can withstand curing temperature before using to bake clay items) to support curved or uneven shapes. Cardboard will also work as a baking surface. You can use glass, ceramic or metal objects to support clay whilst curing such as a coke can or a glazed ceramic bowl or mug and drinking glasses. If you don’t want shiny spots on the back of what you are baking you can bake on regular paper.


Needle tool

For making holes in clay, piercing air bubbles, and many other uses. You can buy needle tools or make a polymer clay handle for a large needle. It’s useful to have different sizes if you can find them.

Pasta Machine

Not essential if you are going to sculpt with polymer clay but highly recommended if you are going to make jewellery especially if you intend to work with canes that are built up from sheets and logs of clay. Useful for easy conditioning of clay and making evenly thick sheets of different thicknesses. If you don’t have a pasta machine use a roller and thickness guides to do this, playing cards or magazines can be used as thickness guides.

Roller

An acrylic roller is good as it is firm, smooth and doesn’t stick. You can also use metal or other plastic rollers. They are useful for flattening and conditioning clay and smoothing.

Smoothing tool

A thin rod such as a knitting needle (double-ended are easiest) or a thin acrylic rod is a useful tool for smoothing joins in clay.

Work surface

Anything that is flat, smooth and will protect your table from the blades we use to cut the clay will do. Ideal things are a smooth ceramic tile or a smooth glass chopping board, but you can use marble, a sheet of thick plastic or even a laminated piece of paper. Smooth surfaces will grip the clay a little, this is sometimes useful and sometimes not. You could use a glass tile and work on index cards when you don’t want it to stick.