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Directory of Polymer Clay Resources

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This category contains resources, instructions and non commercial artist's exhibits pertaining to polymer clay. Polymer Clay originated in Germany in the late 1930's. Mrs.Rehbinder accidentally discovered this chemical by-product during WWII. Her mother, Kathe Kruse, was a famous doll-maker. During the war, Mrs.Rehbinder could not obtain proper raw materials to fashion dolls' heads. During her experiments with other materials, looking for something suitable, she found this clay-like by-product and called it Fifi Mosaik. This combined her nickname, Fifi, and the fact that she also found it useful to make mosaic-type designs with the product. Suitable to modeling and easily hardened in the home oven, she marketed this product on her own until 1964, when she consulted with Eberhard Faber, and the product FIMO was created and marketed in the U.S., primarily for children. In the late 1960's a company in Illinois called Polyform started to produce Sculpey, the American equivalent of FIMO. Other brands on the market, mostly coming from Germany, are Formello, Modello and Cernit. Each brand of clay has its own unique characteristics and full range of colors. Starting in the eighties, new techniques such as caning and covering things with layers of clay advanced this "hobby" far beyond sculpting little figures and dolls. Serious artists discovered its versatile properties and polymer clay moved from hobby to craft. The discovery of using steel manual pasta machines as a way to condition, mix colors and roll out thin sheets of clay, advanced the art at a tremendous rate. Polymer clay can be molded, sculpted, rolled, cut out, carved, glittered, lacquered, sanded, tied, caned, stamped, built, flattened, painted, rubber stamped, squished, twisted embellished with powders and paint. In addition to jewelry and dolls it can be made into books, paintings, boxes, purses, vessels, and frames. It can cover anything that can withstand baking just under 275 degrees such as, pens, bottles, eggs, pots and rocks - whatever the imagination allows. Susan Lamb Polymer Clay Editor


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