TUTORIAL / HOW TO ROLL A POLYMER CLAY SLAB
On paper, rolling out a polymer clay slab sounds easy, but when you get to actually trying it, it sometimes doesn't work out like you originally anticipated. We commonly get questions like "How do you get rid of air bubbles?", "Do you need a clay machine to condition clay?", "Why do air bubbles rise when I cure my clay?". Well, this blog post is going to answer all of them!
Air bubbles, the bane of every polymer clay maker's existence. Here are our tips on how to avoid them:
When you start conditioning your clay, it is really important to avoid making air bubbles in the first place. The best way to do this is by avoid folding large bits of the clay over each other.
Or, if you do fold the clay, you *must* use a roller to roll the folded bit of the clay first.
A tip we suggest it rather than folding your clay, tear the piece in half and place it on top to continue rolling and conditioning.
If you do see an air bubble during the conditioning or rolling out process, use a knife to pop it. It will only leave a small mark behind that can usually be fixed by smoothing the clay out with your finger.
A lot of makers worry that conditioning polymer clay is only possible with a clay or pasta machine. This is NOT true. Conditioning by hand will take longer but will not make it any better or worse if done correctly. If you are in a position to purchase a clay machine though, it will make the *world* of difference, especially if you are a business and producing a large amount of polymer clay jewellery. Conditioning clay all day, everyday is likely to cause a lot of pain and injury from repetitive movement. A clay conditioning machine will also speed the conditioning process up. BUT, just to emphasise - it certainly is not a necessity.
The reason air bubbles rise to the top of your clay when they cure in an oven is because of air bubbles that lie underneath the surface. They rise to the surface during the curing process and cannot be saved after they are cured. The *only* way to avoid this is by following the same instructions as previously mentioned.
Hopefully these handy tips help you out! Happy making!