Abstract Cactus Pin

What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer Clay is a clay-like art material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plasticizer and pigment. It never dries out and hardens when cured by baking in a toaster oven (generally between 275 and 300 degrees, depending on the brand of clay). Polymer Clay is non-toxic so it’s an ideal art medium for people of all ages. Polymer Clay has really grown up. People used to think of this medium as just for kids, now it is in many high-end galleries and museums all over the world. You can take this art medium to whatever level pleases you.

What inspires me?

Often I am inspired by a color, a word or phrase, or going for a walk. I have learned that while I have not explored any ability I might have to draw, being able to sketch is a completely different skill set. Just walking around my garden making rough sketches of plants, not based on a perfect drawing but what it makes me feel. Then I can reinterpret that with the clay. It isn’t always successful but I always come away having learned something that takes me on another journey.

Necklace created with clay and telephone wire- inspired by paper rings we made as children for the Christmas tree

What can I do with Polymer Clay?

Colors can be mixed to create an infinite range of new colors. There are so many possible techniques including, but not limited to: bead making, sculpting, stamping, weaving, painting, and caning. You can imitate glass, stone, metal, and leather. After curing, Polymer Clay can be carved, sanded, painted, and polished. Use Polymer Clay to create jewelry, wall art, buttons- just about anything you can think of. There are artists creating purses out of it, crocheting with it and using it as veneer on furniture.

Your main tools are a pasta machine and a toaster oven. Most tools from other mediums can be used with Polymer Clay. That is also true of skills you learned in other mediums. There is no waste because there is so much you can do with the scrap clay! It is durable, strong, lightweight and incredibly versatile.

I love functional art. One of the reasons I do buttons, switch plate covers, baskets/pots, pens, and candle votives. I find inspiration looking at art in other mediums and trying to figure out how to do it out of Polymer Clay- like basket weaving, or making ‘glass’ beads.

I love to tell a story with my art. I find that creating mosaics helps me to do that. I am very inspired by fabrics and textile art. I use fabric as a texture in many of my pieces to give it a textile look and touch. There are still so many things I want to accomplish with Polymer Clay, I have never been bored with it.

I have included some links if you have a desire to try polymer clay for yourself!

I have included some links if you have a desire to try polymer clay for yourself!


Blue Bottle Tree- Great Newsletter, info, and tutorials:

For some Free Tutorials:

Also check polymer clay on Youtube.

Basic Tutorials, some free, and supplies:

Polymer Clay Daily - Great Blog!:

Studio Mojo - subscription - online:


There are hundreds of books on Polymer Clay. Check your library, or purchase on Amazon.

Supplies: My favorite clay is Premo, I also like Soufflé (both made by Polyform) and Cernit Brand- particularly the Translucent and the Metallics. You can buy at most craft stores, here are some other options for all kinds of polymer clay and supplies: Note: the pandemic has made clay more challenging to find as it is in high demand. There are many other resources for polymer clay, these are just some that I have used. Shades of Clay is in Canada.

Favorite pasta machine is Atlas (they do also have motors available), you can also buy them used. The link is for the updated Atlas (you can remove the blades to clean them). You can also find the regular Atlas on Amazon. Another option for people starting out is the Sculpey brand, JoAnn’s has it very affordable with the coupons they usually have (they call it a clay conditioning machine).

Polymer Clay Love: a new resource of inspiration. There are many polymer clay groups on Facebook too.

A wonderful resource is to check for other Polymer Clay Artists or Polymer Clay Guilds in your area. There are literally Polymer Clay Guilds all over the world. You can also find more information from the International Polymer Clay Association at: