I've been working with polymer clay almost every day for the past 9 months. I still learn things about it that surprise me!
So what exactly is polymer clay?
Polymer clay is a manmade clay consisting of one of the most widely used plastics in the world (polyvinyl chloride or PVC). It isn't like ceramics that gets fired in a kiln, and it also isn't air-dry modeling clay. Polymer clay actually gets baked in an oven at very low temperatures.
What is it like after baking?
Once the clay pieces are done curing, they're hard and slightly flexible (although I don't recommend you testing out the flexibility of your earrings/ dish/ hair clips). The clay is also EXTREMELY lightweight, which is why it's perfect for making larger statement earrings. A lot of my customers tell me that they can barely feel them in their ears!
This is also why you might be surprised about the consistency of your jewelry dish. typically, ring dishes are made of ceramic. That means that they're hard and prone to shattering. Unlike ceramic, polymer clay will not shatter if dropped, and bends before breaking. Please be gentle with it as they're still fragile!
How should I care for my clay items?
Polymer clay is a slightly flexible material when cured, and it can be easily scratched by harder materials such as metal. Be sure to store your earrings carefully away from other metal jewelry (save the box they come in for easy storage)! Unlike ceramic or porcelain, polymer clay will not shatter if dropped, and bends before breaking- but please take care and remember that each earring is handmade, wearable art!
Makeup or other dirt can be removed from clay components by GENTLY going over dirty spots with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol or acetone (if earrings are matte, acetone may be used- if not, use rubbing alcohol).
Raw brass components may tarnish and darken over time if exposed to water and oils from the skin, but can be easily cleaned with a soft jewelry cloth and/or tarnish remover.
Jewelry dishes with a glossy glaze can also be cleaned with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol. Do not use acetone!