If you're just starting out with polymer clay for jewellery making, which clay is the best? There are different types for different applications - sculpting, model making, embellishments and jewellery making. For good quality jewellery you need clay that is strong, flexible and can hold up to wear and tear without being brittle and snapping...and not all of them are made equal. If you're looking to sell your creations you should definitely make sure you're using the right products for the job!
Here are a list of brands that are widely available here in New Zealand that I like to use for jewellery:
- SCULPEY PREMO! - This is my favourite for having a big colour range and ease of conditioning. After baking it is strong and has good flex which allows it to stand up well to being handled and worn. I'm hella rough with my jewellery and assume my customers are are too so Premo! has my heart!
- FIMO PROFESSIONAL - Fimo is the O.G. of polymer clay. You probably played with it at school. If your Great Aunt bought you a shitty fridge magnet or wall plaque with your name on it from a gift shop in Te Awamutu in 1997...it'll be made of FIMO. It's slightly firmer than Premo so it's a good clay for doing fine detailed work. Fimo SOFT is way more readily available than Fimo Professional but it can be very crumbly. I never buy Fimo SOFT online because I like to squeeze the packets and see how old they feel before purchasing. If it's still soft-ish I'll buy it, if it's hard I'll leave it.
- FIMO EFFECT - These are a range of special effect clays such as translucent colours, sparkles, glitters and some pastel tones. A number of them change colour after baking so it pays to bake some test pieces first so you don't get a lil colour change surprise.
- DU-KIT - Du-kit is a random New Zealand made brand of polymer clay and I freaken love it. Their white clay is the whitest of all the whites (I find white from other brands can be a little bit off-white). It's flexible, easy to condition and available all over the country. It also seems to be a bit cheaper which is good if you're starting out.
There are some brands that aren't as widely available in New Zealand. If you don't mind ordering clay online from overseas there are lots out there to choose from. To tell you the truth I can't bear to wait ages for shipping because I'm hella impatient so I don't go out of my way to get them very often...
- Fimo Leather - It is ultra bendy (you can sew it like fabric!) and has a leather surface texture.
- Sculpey Souffle - This is a super nice soft clay in a range of pretty colours.
- Cernit - A super popular brand in the US. I've seen it at Gordon Harris ONE TIME and they only had a weird green and an aqua blue colour.
- Kato Polyclay - I've never tried this but it has good reviews online! It was invented by a jewellery maker for jewellery making purposes so I'm sure it's up to task.
THE FOLLOWING BRAND AREN'T GOOD POLYMER CLAY FOR JEWELLERY MAKING OK. Just don't even go there.
- Sculpey III. It's available everywhere but it's too brittle for jewellery...good for sculpting and modelling though!
- Sully from Lincraft. Greasy and squishy.
- Any generic nameless brands from Ali Express, Wish dot com, eBay, random brands off discounted sites. They're probably poisonous and they're sloppy and weird.
None of this is very useful if I don't tell you where to buy these products. That's coming in the next installment...