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Polymer clay

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 12:41 PM

My DD (10) has recently discovered polymer clay and is now absolutely passionate about it (asks for extra pocket money jobs to help pay for clay, wants all her upcoming birthday presents to be clay, has gone to a jewelery-making polymer clay class, borrows books from the library, Googles ideas incessantly, etc...).  It's rare for her to be so excited about something - she has many hobbies but this is the one that's really piqued her interest and I'm keen to foster her enthusiasm.

So how can I help her with this?  Are there online forums, particularly child-friendly ones, that can give her ideas?  Are there any on-going classes she can join (in Melbourne).  Does anyone know of the 'best' places to buy the clay?  I've found the cheapest is Lincraft ($4/clay), followed by Riot Art & Craft and Spotlight (between $5-7 per clay).  Given she obviously wants to use a range of colours, it's getting expensive!  I know there are internet cheapies - are these any good?

Any other suggestions on how to support her interest are most welcome :-)

#2 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 25 February 2019 - 04:05 PM

Youtube polmer clay channels such as 'Ace of Clay', 'Nerdecrafter' and Australian 'Creative Rachy' are all kid friendly. Cheap clay is hard to work with. Most of the Youtubers above use Sculpy or Fimo (Officeworks does this). Please don't buy Aliexpress clay or the $2 shop clay, it's hard to work, the Youtubers above have videos explaining about cheap vs expensive clay. However sculpting tools from Aliexpress are totally fine and are much cheaper than elsewhere.
Are you a VIP member at Spotlight? They had a deal in January for Sculpy clays, buy 2 and get one free, and I got a 40% off a full priced item this week in my emaiil.
Regarding colours, does she know she can paint items with acrylic paint? Or colour white or translucent clay with chalk pastels? You simply scrape the chalk pastel and kneed the powder into the clay.
Is she making beads or charms or sculptures? If sculptures, she can stretch her clay use out by using aluminum foil and wire armature and wrapping sheets of clay over this. Apparently a cheap or second hand pasta machine is invaluable.
I am dabbling in polymer clay, but mainly as a technique to my more expensive hobby of doll repainting. Don't let her get sucked into that vortex. I am well in truly down that rabbit hole....

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