Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nasty Old Clay

So here goes. I am going to condition some clay that is nasty hard. The white clay in the pictures was given to me by Eugenia. It is Sculply original that was on sale but was really beyond conditioning with pasta machine alone. So I have brought in the heavy hitter, a food processor that has definitely seen better days, but it still has the guts to be a clay tool.

The blue in the picture is a couple of canes that have gotten hard, they are Fimo Soft, but not so soft anymore. I have read that you should cut the clay into 1/2 inch pieces but after a couple of cuts this clay just crumpled with my fingers.

I run the food processor until the clay looks like little pebbles, really little pebbles. I have processed about 1/2 pound in this batch. I tried to measure how much Sculpy Clay Softener but the stuff coated the spoon. My best guess is that I used about 1 teaspoon with this batch. (that's about as accurate as I can get Barb - I think it depends on how dried out the clay is.)

I run the processor until the clay begins to stick together. (I usually refer to this as the "cottage cheese from hell stage".)The clay gathers up nicely at this point. I turn into onto wax paper and fold the paper over before rolling the clay together. I think the clay stuck to the processor more that usually because of the Sculpy. When I do this with Fimo alone it gathers up with out having to scrapped out of the machine with as much diligence.

In the final three pictures of the clay being put through the past machine, the first is before is processing, the second is ten times through the machine and the last one is twenty times through the machine. And that all she wrote.


Carmen said...

Show me what you've been working on this week!!!

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

That is some nasty old clay! I don't think I've ever had a batch as bad as that. Nice to see it finally came together. Just goes to show you should never through out your clay , no matter how old it is!

Anonymous said...

I bought some fimo soft on special and it was just like yours. I have found 3 methods of dealing with this problem. 1) mixing it with vaseline - cheap, and messy when done by hand - wear gloves and work it in - it works really well, but don't try foil work with this clay. 2) mix in liquid kato -works like a dream
3) add some very soft clay - I usually add some conditioned premo as it is so soft when worked but firms up nicely when resting.
As you can see I'm at the experimental phase, and my old food processor is on it's last legs - I need it in the kitchen.

Joan Tayler said...

I have found that this clay should be used soon after it is conditioned. It seems to fall into old ways sooner that I expected.