Polyclay Process

What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is an oven hardening modeling clay composed of polymers, resins, and pigments. It never dries out or hardens until you cure it in an oven. It can be used to mold, sculpt, and shape in various ways. Onced cured it can be carved, sanded, painted, or polished. It’s a durable, strong, and lightweight material.


In order to start working with polymer clay it must first be conditioned. Conditioning is the process of warming and kneading the clay in order to make it more malleable to use. It increases the clay's pliability, and helps prevent air bubbles from occurring. Once the clay is fully conditioned I bring my imagination to life through various methods such as caning, sculpting, and the skinner blend.

Making a Cane:

Aside from hand sculpting designs, like roses, I use the process of making a polymer Cane. It's the process of crafting a large design/pattern with the clay, and turning it into a log. After you create the large design with clay, a log/cane is created by reducing the design through squeezing and compressing the clay. The design runs the entire length of the log. Slicing the cane will reveal the design, and all slices from the cane will have identical designs.

Aspen Cane:


Butterfly Cane:

The Skinner Blend:

The Skinner Blend is a method of creating sheets of clay in graduated colors, typically from light to dark to give an ombre effect and provide depth to a piece. The Blend method was developed by Judith Skinner. Not only do I use this method to create an ombre look for certain designs, but I also use the method to create a beautiful gradient of rainbow colors.


Another technique I use is Marbling. Marbled clay resembles variegated stone, with natural striations and waves of different colors. The effect is created by rolling multiple solid colors, metallic or gold leaf sheets,  and translucent clay colors into ropes. The rope is then twisted into a log to create the desired pattern.