In this edition of the pcPolyzine Beginner's Corner, we'll share some easy ways to keep your tools and clay clean!
As much as we all try, there's always that time when something lands on our clay piece or an unexpected smidgen of another color shows up in our light colored work. As annoying as it can be, here are a few tips and tricks to keep your tools and clay clean!
Baby Wipes: Probably the most useful thing you can keep in your studio is baby wipes. Many brands will do the job, but try to find ones that don't leave behind strings or fibers. Your clay machine and all your tools can be cleaned quickly using baby wipes.
Hand Sanitizer: This ones is for your hands! After working with clay, many times there's a leftover residue. Sometimes it's even pigment (I'm not pointing fingers, but red clay!). The good news is that alcohol-based hand sanitizer helps to break down the polymer clay so it comes off your hands. Use the sanitizer and wipe the residue off with a paper towel. Follow by washing with soap and water.
White Scrap Clay: Sometimes we just miss a small amount of clay in our clay machines -- it happens! To help reduce the chances of a missed piece of clay getting mixed into your light colors, run a scrap piece of white clay through your machine a few times on various settings to collect those random leftovers.
Rubbing Alcohol: Have you ever noticed a speck of a different color clay that just showed up on your work. Or maybe it was a random fiber that just appeared. Keep rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs in your studio to target the area and quickly clean it.
Tweezers: This one may take a little practice, but you can also remove unwanted hairs or fibers from your polymer clay work with tweezers. Be careful not to leave an impression on your clay as you remove things though.
Knife (or other pointed tool): A knife is the same way—be careful. But sometimes you need a pointed end to specifically lift things up that have made their way onto your clay.
Tape: And of course you can use tape! Gently press a piece of tape over the area where you're trying to remove debris and then pull it up. Do be cautious with this approach—tape can easily remove your foil or other embellishments.