Home Polymer Clay The way to Forestall Polymer Clay Sticking in Cutters

The way to Forestall Polymer Clay Sticking in Cutters


Are you a jewellery maker who makes use of 3-D printed cutters to make polymer clay earrings? Are you bored with getting poor outcomes as a result of the clay sticks within the cutters and will get distorted (or worse) while you attempt to pull it out of the cutters? I’ve been watching on social media for the previous few months and been disenchanted on the incomplete and deceptive recommendation being given for tips on how to cope with this downside. Maintain up! Right here’s the news on this generally misunderstood difficulty of stopping your polymer clay from sticking in cutters or different instruments.

Does polymer clay turn out to be caught in your printed cutters?

The Work Floor Issues

Polymer clay is of course sticky. That’s regular. Due to this, polymer crafters and makers have lengthy used shiny work surfaces to maintain their clay beneath management. In contrast to baking cookies (which we don’t wish to follow the desk so we use flour), we DO need polymer clay to stay. If the clay is caught to the work floor, then it gained’t follow your cutter. Engaged on paper signifies that the clay has no alternative and can jam itself fairly tightly into your cutter. It’s actually that straightforward. The clay mustn’t (usually) stick within the cutters.

When skilled makers recommend {that a} shiny work floor is greatest, new makers typically object and say they will’t get their items off the work floor with out distortion. There’s a trick to that, after all, and I’ve defined it (with a video) in a separate article right here.

Sticky, however Not Comfortable!

As I stated, polymer clay is generally a bit sticky. But when your clay resembles caramel or taffy and you’ll’t decide up your items with out them distorting or twisting out of form, then your clay is just too mushy. A part of working with polymer clay is knowing how totally different manufacturers deal with and the way clay’s texture adjustments over time. That is a part of conditioning your clay. It’s best to modify your clay’s texture to make it simple to deal with with out taking fingerprints, dropping its form, or making you afraid to the touch it. Recent clay is means too mushy and practically at all times must be leached. Your clay needs to be the feel of a pleasant dry Swiss cheese (minus the holes) not of these sticky and floppy American cheese slices within the plastic wrapper.

Should you began working with clay through the Pandemic, you’re seemingly used to utilizing clay that’s means too mushy as a result of it was hitting the cabinets with none storage time. This was an anomaly. Quickly the shares of clay shall be extra agency. Some manufacturers will even be fairly onerous and crumbly. That is regular. Additionally, that’s what conditioning will deal with!

The Sort of Cutter Issues!

Should you’re utilizing a easy cutter form (comparable to these circles, arches, ovals, hexagons, teardrops from Hobbyrian) with none problematic areas the place clay can turn out to be lodged, then simply use the cutters and have enjoyable. Easy cutter shapes ought to launch simply. It’s even higher to offer your cutter a bit wiggle earlier than you elevate it from the clay. That may assist clean the sides and separate the clay from the sides of the cutter.

These easy cutter shapes are from Hobbyrian.

Intricate Shapes

In case your cutter has a very intricate form, it’s not at all times potential to maintain the clay from sticking contained in the cutter. Typically a cutter form is poorly designed and can current issues it doesn’t matter what you do. Good cutter makers check this earlier than promoting their cutters! Moreover, some intricate shapes are simply going to be awkward and can at all times lure clay.

Debossing Cutters

Debossing cutters are cutters with an outer leading edge and an interior design that solely goes half means down the cutter. It’s meant to press a design into the floor of the clay whereas the periphery cuts the clay form. The most important problem when utilizing debossing cutters is to make use of a clay sheet or slab of the appropriate thickness. In case your sheet is just too skinny, the debossing traces gained’t press into the clay. If the sheet is just too thick, the clay balloons up into the cutter, probably making it tough to take away.

Debossing cutters from Phoenix & Spruce, Goyna Studio, and Hobbyrian.

Easy debossing cutters ought to nonetheless take away cleanly out of your clay. However extra intricate or advanced designs are going to be fairly tough to take away cleanly. On this case (as if you end up utilizing texture sheets, texture mats, or stamps), it would be best to use a launch of some kind.

Final Resort – Use a Launch

As you’ll study from this text, releases are substances you apply to the floor of the clay or to a device to maintain the clay from sticking to the device. Widespread releases for polymer clay are cornstarch, water, and Armor-All. All of them have their plusses and minuses. I recommend you give every a attempt so you understand how they carry out and which one you may want to make use of for a particular scenario.

Cornstarch is usually really useful to stop sticking in cutters, which is sweet. It’s an important launch. But it surely’s typically demonstrated on social media in a means that harkens again to our childhood cookie-making days. Don’t use cornstarch the way in which you employ flour when making sugar cookies with cutters! It’s messy, pointless, and causes you additional work. When correctly used, cornstarch doesn’t must be eliminated out of your items! Reasonably than dipping the cutter right into a bowl of cornstarch, use a floofy brush and apply an invisible layer to the CLAY.

Attempt Armor-All

Armor-All or Son-of-a-Gun are silicone-based leather-based protectant sprays typically bought in automotive outlets. They make glorious releases when sprayed on texture stamps. However I not too long ago realized of an important tip from Gillian Wiseman throughout considered one of our Blue Bottle Insiders Drop-Ins. Gillian dampens a sponge with Armor-All after which presses the cutter to the sponge. This distributes simply the correct amount to the cutter and prevents extra from getting throughout your clay. She says she solely must press the cutter to the sponge each 4 or 5 shapes, somewhat than each time.

One other nice article with ideas and methods for utilizing debossing cutters is from The Clay Impress right here.


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