This month’s Craftiosity kit was marble clay coasters, made using polymer clay. I always have mixed feelings when I receive a kit with polymer clay in, because I am so familiar with it and have used it for years so I’m not as excited as when I receive a box containing a craft I’ve never done before. On the other hand I’m always interested to see what different techniques and tricks I might learn that I may never have tried.
Included in the box was:
- Fimo polymer clay (black, white and gold)
- Wooden rolling pin
- Baking paper
- Cardboard cutter
- Paper template
I usually use a brand of polymer clay called Premo Sculpey, mainly because that’s what I used when I was first taught, so I haven’t used Fimo very much. One of the things I really liked about it was the division guidelines. Premo only has four guidelines for slicing off blocks of clay, but the Fimo had larger guidelines on one side and smaller guidelines on the other. This is so useful if you want to make sure you are using the same amount of clay each time, or you want the same amount of several different colours. I was slightly sceptical that the cardboard cutter wouldn’t be any good, but the Fimo seemed to be a lot softer than Premo and the cardboard cutter had no problems going through the block.
Marbling the clay is always the fun bit! There isn’t really any science to it, you just make sausages with your chosen colours and twist them together. Obviously the more you twist the less defined your pattern will be as the colours start to blend together and the less you twist the more blocky your pattern will be. Once the clay has been twisted in on itself enough, you can form it into a ball ready for rolling out.
Once the clay had been rolled out to a large enough size to accommodate the paper template (the instructions recommended a 3mm thickness) it was time to cut out the hexagonal shape of the coasters. Here is where the cardboard cutter had a bit of trouble. The cardboard had to be a certain thickness to maintain its rigidity, but that meant that it didn’t produce a nice clean cut. I completely understand the complications of sending blades through the post, but I think a tissue blade or even a craft knife would be better to use at this point. I always find that the cleaner you can make it before it goes in the oven, the less sanding it will need when it comes out.
The instructions said to put it in the oven for thirty minutes, however I know that my oven can be a bit fierce, especially with thinner items, so I set a timer for fifteen minutes and checked them. I felt that the white clay was started to look a bit dark and I didn’t want them to burn so I took them out. After they had cooled I then sanded them. The sand paper provided was a finer grade which worked really well and didn’t leave any scratches on the coasters. I did actually trim some of the rougher edges with a pair of scissors as well! I squashed the offcuts together and rolled them out to create a fifth coaster so I didn’t waste any of the clay, which I then baked whilst I was sanding the others!
This was such a great project, which I think would also be great for older kids as long as they were supervised by an adult, especially with the oven part! The whole project took me around an hour and a half in total, which I guess would vary depending on how long you bake the coasters and let them cool down for. Another good one from Craftiosity (https://craftiosity.co.uk/)!
I’m looking forward to receiving some Christmas themed boxes in the post soon. I don’t normally start thinking about Christmas until December, but I think this year we could all use some extra cheer! I’m also starting my gift shopping soon as it will be mostly online and I want to support small businesses so I want to get in early and beat any postal cut off dates!