I really love how convenient and easy it is to make art with polymer clay, but keeping it for reuse is another thing. I know you agree how annoying it is to find mounds of polymer clay patched on surfaces days after you finished using it and how messy the mixture is easily distributed everywhere that can be easily spotted.
The best way a polymer clay artist can keep using their materials is by obtaining an elaborate organization system for your different types of polymer clay. It would be best also to learn where it sticks to avoid messiness every time store it.
It would help if you found a way to store it away without messing up your office or studio on the sessions, you tint and color the clay.
Here are some ways I think you consolidate polymer clay for later use as the well-put artist you are.
How To Store Polymer Clay
Store your polymer clay in a sealed container, choosing different sizes to store more supplies at once. The most important thing is to avoid storing the polymer clay in a humid place where it might get gooey and crumbly. You can also label the container for future reference.
Firstly, you ought to keep your clay in dry but cool storage since heat messes with its composition and overall quality. The containers and methods I suggest are completely non-conductors of heat and stay completely dry or humidity nonabsorbent.
Store Polymer Clay in Plastic Containers
Most of the store purchased clay is wrapped in plastic wrapping and is usually in its best condition. Plastic is the best and most accessible way of clay storage without worrying about sticking or smudging. However, not all plastics are safe since polymer melts various types of plastic.
The binders and fillers used to make polymer clay are all synthetic components which might, with the most crucial one being plasticizers. The plasticizer is meant to make plastic flexible and supple and work on some surfaces you might think are safe for storage.
Since it can be confusing to master all types of plastic to store your clay, the trick is to go for really marked plastics, usually at the outside bottom. The safest, most accessible type is polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PETE. The rigid glossy plastic disposable container is used for packaging standard products such as soda, ketchup, hot sauce, and even liquid soap. Your local container dealer can guide you on PETE containers for generally purchasing all plastics categorized as ‘food safe.’
Other plastic types appropriate for polymer clay storage are opaque bottles, usually used to store cosmetic products like conditioner or detergent. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers are the best, especially since they have heat reflective properties because of opaqueness. Talk to the dealer too for advice, and they might have multi-divided HDPE containers that can hold clay blocks.
Finally, you can also store polymer clay in Ziploc bags or other freezer bags. Polyethylene bags especially come in hand if your office has wooden or glass storage surfaces with no particular use. You should, however, avoid the white written part since it will stick on the clay.
You can order many sections containers from amazon or Pinterest to reduce storage space. All in all, check out resin codes number 1, 2, and 4 for polymer clay-safe plastics.
Using Glass To Store Polymer Clay
Clean glass is another efficient way to store polymer clay. It is nonabsorbent and consistently excellent unless sitting in direct sunlight, which is the wrong position. Look out for wide base glass containers, and old jam or chocolate spread jars will perfectly work for storage.
Every time you finish using the clay, use a little water to round or shape the clay and insert it in the glass. The slight mist helps prevent the frustrations of clay from sticking to your palms.
Does Polymer Clay Go Dry or Bad?
Polymer clay is created with a polyvinylchloride (PVC) base, which only has the plasticizer as the active base. Therefore clay will not go dry or bad when exposed for long periods in free air.
However, you want to store your clay correctly to maintain its fresh state to keep its texture and flexibility. Storing clay in polyethylene bags will keep its mint condition for as long as ten years without going bad.
There are, however, different conditions that can affect the quality of polymer clay, especially for beginner users. Unlike natural clay, polymer clay does not necessarily require a lot of heat to cure.
Natural clay cures in extremely hot kilns to maintain its original shape since it is water-based. Polymer clay can quickly cure at a temperature above 70 degrees Celsius.
So if you live the clay sitting out on a metallic surface exposed to these conditions, such as near our cooking stove or oven, you decide to cure the clay, which means it’s already done and unfeasible.
For a long time, the adhesive liquid in polymer clay tends to filter out from the components. It is essential to put it in air-tight containers that will not dry out the sticking liquid because it helps to remold the polymer clay back into its usable form. If the storing package is leaked from this container, the resultant clay is crumbly and dried out, which is hard to work on.
Some experts say a little mineral oil revamps its previous condition if you have dried out polymer clay. Also, using baby oil or some other pure moisturizing oil works, but pure mineral oil is best for professional modeling polymer clay. Knead the clay with this oil for a bit of time, say thirty minutes, and let it sit for some hours. You can afterward use the clay as you would have fresh polymer clay.
The most appropriate way to organize your clay is in nice plastic containers that you would put food in since the fillers used to make the clay will not melt it out. Plastic bags such as Ziplocs and regular grocery bags are tacky and untidy, but they will assist if you have metallic or wooden storage.
Generally, the key to storing polymer clay is protecting it from heat and other synthetic fluids or inks that might react. As for me, my best organization sets are air-tight plastic and glass containers.