Types of Polymer Clay (continued)
Fimo Classic is stiffer than any of the Sculpey clays, so it keeps the shapes and colors you want, making it a very good choice for cane-work. It comes in 24 bright colors. This clay is now manufactured by Staedtler (Germany) and available in most craft stores in the USA.
Fimo Soft is very similar to Sculpey III in its properties. It comes in 52 colors.
Kato is the stiffest of all of polymer clays, but it is also the strongest when baked. This is my clay of choice for all my jewelry projects. This clay comes in 21 colors, including translucent, metallic, and concentrates. The metallic and pearl colors have extra mica in them compared to other brands. The 8 basic colors are truly complementary, which makes them very easy to mix into virtually any color. I especially like the color concentrates, because they are literally packed with pigments, and create very rich colors when mixed with other clays (Kato concentrates do need to be mixed with regular clay because they are too brittle to be used in sculpting on their own). Kato polyclay is manufactured by Van Aken International (USA).
Cernit is available in more than 60 colors, including pearlescent, neon, and natural colors. It is the clay of choice for doll makers and loved for its porcelain-like finish. This clay is easy to condition, but can be easily overworked (warms up and get mushy). It is very strong after baking; in fact, it is one of the strongest clays. Manufactured in Belgium, Cernit is less common in the USA than other clays. It can be found online.
Craft Smart is Michael's store brand. It comes in at least 28 colors and can be easily painted. This clay is more affordable than other brands, but it seems to be too soft in its raw form and too brittle once baked. Also, it seems to dry out much faster than other polymer clays, so while it is very soft when fresh, it quickly becomes pretty hard and difficult to condition. Overall, I would not recommend it to any serious clayers.
Pardo is the newest clay on the market, and it came from Germany (Viva Decor). It has no odor before, during, and after baking because it is made with beeswax. When baked, it is strong and flexible, while in its raw form it is quite soft. This clay comes in 70 beautiful, jewel-like colors. Pardo translucent clay is one of the best (if not the best) translucent clays available right now. It is more expensive than other brands. In the USA, it can be purchased online only.
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