How to Choose Polymer Clay
There are so many types (or brands) of polymer clay available on the market today, that novice clayers are sometimes confused and are not sure which brand to choose.
If your project description does not specify any particular brand of polymer clay, my advice is to consider the following questions:
- What techniques are you planning to use?
For caning, choose stiffer clays (such as Premo or Kato). For other projects, softer clays would work as well.
- How strong are your hands?
Softer clays (such as Sculpey III, Fimo Soft, or Ultralight) are much easier to condition than some other clays (such as Kato).
- How much will your final product be handled?
You will need the stronger clays for projects such as jewelry, while a small sculpture (intended for sitting on a shelf looking pretty) can be less durable.
- Do you like the colors available for the brand you are considering?
While different colors of polymer clays may be mixed to create a custom color, you are still limited by the original palette available for each brand. Some brands have brighter colors than others, and some do not offer metallic or pearlescent varieties.
- How will you buy your clay?
For instance, Pardo is currently available online only, Kato can be found online and in Hobby Lobby, while Craft Smart is available only in Michael's. Other clays, such as FIMO, Premo, and Sculpey lines are more widely available and can be found in most craft stores as well as online.
- Does the price matter?
Do not forget to check the package size when comparing the prices. Most clays are packaged in 2-oz packages, but some come in bigger or smaller packages.
For a brief description of the most common polymer clays available in the United States, please refer to the Types of Polymer Clay