POLY-Dictionary - Polymer Clay Terms and Dictionary

polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline The list below summarizes the terms, techniques and materials frequently used among polymer clay artists.

Not sure what a term in polymer clay means? 
You can browse and check it out, by alphabetical order
Some terms have a link to tutorials or more information.

Can't find a term/technique/material? I'd love to hear what other terms you want to know!
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More polymer basics can be found in these pages -
Polymer Clay - How to Start
Polymer Clay Types
Polymer Clay Storage
Polymer Clay Safety Tips
Polymer Clay Conditioning
Polymer Clay Baking

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

 

Letter Term/Technique/Material/Tools Photo
A
   
  Acetone
Acetone is the organic compound. This colorless, mobile, flammable liquid is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory. Also used for transferring purposes.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  acetone
  Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint is fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. It Is used as a wash to antique surfaces, add color and depth, fill stamps and applied to cured/raw clay, to antique allow paint to dry and than wipe with cloth or sand lightly to remove top layer. Can be cured to set.
acrylic paints polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Acrylic Sealant (or Varnish)
An acrylic-based finish (or varnish) usually applied over cured polymer clay. Acrylic sealants are available in gloss, satin, or matte finish. Not every varnish found in craft stores is suitable for polymer clay work, some may interact with polymer clay and stay sticky for ever. Check before applying on a big-size project and always prefer the polymer clay manufacturers varnish to make sure you are applying the correct type.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline varnish
  Air-Dry Clay
A similar material but not identical to polymer clay. Several brands available. This material is air dried and not cured in oven heat. Since its properties are different than polymer clay, not all techniques can be adapted to this material.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline airdry
  Alcohol (95%)
Used for cleaning hands, work surface, and polymer clay pieces.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Antique
Antique pieces usually have a bit rusted, ancient look. To antique a new item, artificial patinas are applied. For polymer clay, such patinas may be added using acrylic paints which are brushed over the piece and than removed from the top surface with sanding paper/baby wipes (depending on the desired effect) while leaving it in crevices. (photo - Studio Sculpey - Antiquing Medium)
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Applique
Means, to apply on top of something
 
  Armature
An internal structural base for a sculpture or even jewelry and beads. The armature could be made out of wire, foil, paper, or other materials. It is widely used with polymer clay to add strength to sculpted pieces and to reduce the amount of clay needed for sculpting (big polymer clay pieces, for example). Armature may be permanent (left in the clay sculpture) or temporary (removed after baking).
 
  Art Clay Silver (ACS)
A brand of PMC (Precious Metal Clay).
 
  Artistic Wire
Colored copper craft wire - Artistic Wire Ltd offers extensive line of colored wire, Colored Copper Wire and Silver Plated Wire is available in fifty five (55) colors and thirteen (13) gauges.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline wire
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  Back Filling
A technique when a pattern carved in baked polymer clay is filled with raw clay (and then baked again).
 
  Baking
The process of curing polymer clay. All materials combined with polymer clay in your art piece must withstand the heat of the oven.
More details on baking polymer clay can be found in this page
 oven polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Bargello
Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello palace in Florence, which have a "flame stitch" pattern. For polymer clay, it is a technique imitating the bargello style embroidery.
 
  Bead Roller
Tool used to make uniform beads. This tool usually consists of two pieces of half-tube that can be interlocked. A bead is formed by sliding these two pieces against each other.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline bead roller
  Bezel
The rim which encompasses and fastens a jewel, watch crystal, lens or other object. A similar look may be created with polymer clay. 
my PolyPediaOnline Vol. 18 "Disc-Chic" uses recycled bezels
 
  BIC Pen
One kind of oven proof pen that can be covered with polymer clay (without the ink). Easy to make and low cost. Can be found in office depot stores in packs of 10/12.
 
  Blade
Blades for polymer clay are available in craft stores and are used to cut raw polymer clay. They are usually 6" (15 cm) long and come in both flexible and rigid types.
 blades polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Brayer
A small hand roller, typically used in printmaking techniques to spread ink. They can be made of rubber, sponge, or plastic. It is used by PC artists to smooth out paper on polymer clay (for paper transfer technique).
For most applications, it may be substituted with a regular Roller.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  brayer
  Buffing
Polishing and buffing are finishing processes for smoothing or putting a high shine to a workpiece's surface using repetitive circular motions and a work wheel. For polymer clay, it is usually the next step after Sanding. Polymer clay objects may be buffed using a buffing machine, a Dremel with a buffing wheel attachment, or manually. Buffing is one of the ways to finish a polymer clay object.
 
  Buffing wheel-machine
driving wheel with a muslin or flannel disc for bringing polymer to a shine
 
  Bull's eye
A cane design in circles that increase in size and radiate out from a midpoint, like a target.
 bullzeye polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Burnishing
Burnishing tools smoothes the surface of the clay, secures paper, gold leaf, foils to the clay evenly without air bubbles. I usually use a ruler (short), business card or my credit card.
 
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  Cabouchon Mold
A cabochon (pronounced ‘kab-o-shon’) is a convex or dome object with a flat back. Such a mold is available for making identical items. flexible of solid.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Cane (caneworking)
A technique used by glass makers. A cane is made from rods of glass melted together to form a design that can be revealed when a cane is sliced. In Polymer clay, a cane may be reduced, which allows creating intricate designs with many details. Slices of cane are applied to a surface to form a pattern. The same technique is now used for polymer clay. Also see Millefiori.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline millefiori
  Carving
Cutting solid material (wood, stone, cured or raw polymer clay) into a special shape by removing small pieces of it with carving tools. Usually similar or the same tools are used for carving all of these materials.
See also PolyPediaOnline Vol. 19 Tutorial for carving accessories
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline carving
  Cernit
A brand of Polymer Clay available in many colors, including those imitating stones. It is one of the strongest clays, comparable to Kato.Available in specialized stores and on line. Check this page to learn more on the different brands of polymer clay.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline cernit
  Chalk
A variety of chalks can also be used with polymer clay, for most applications, you'll need to turn the chalk into powder by rubbing it against a piece of paper. Artist's chalk pastels (also called "soft pastels"-but not oil pastels) are one option, as are the cheap sidewalk chalks manufactured for children. Chalks can be mixed into raw clay or made into paints, but they are most popular as surface treatments. Use them to add color to doll's faces. Give loaves of miniature bread pleasant warmth with a light application of golden-brown powder.
 
  Clay Block/Brick
Block -A small unit of polymer clay, usually 2 or 3 ounces (56 grams)
Brick-A large unit of polymer clay, usually 13 to 16 ounces (450 grams)
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Clay Gun
Extruder, a tool similar to a syringe. It is usually equipped with series of interchangeable disks that allow forming different designs by pushing polymer clay through them.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline extruder
  Clay Softener
A special diluent designed to aid in Conditioning of polymer clay that is too stiff to work with. May be substituted with Liquid Clay.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline softner
  Conditioning
Making polymer clay more pliable by mixing, kneading, or rolling it.
Check page about conditioning polymer clay.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  conditioning
  Consistency
Consistency of polymer clay means all your clay have the same softness/firmness. If you intend to use caning techniques in polymer clay, uniformity in clay consistency is critical.
 
  Convection oven
Oven with a continuous flow of air that keeps temperatures even throughout.
 
  Covering (with polymer clay)
A technique involving layering sheets of polymer clay or polymer clay details over an object such as glass, box, egg, vessel, pen, etc. Objects may be covered completely or partially.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline covering
  Curing
see Baking.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Cutters
Any shaped metal/plastic tool that cuts repeatable designs, from small Kemper cutters to cookie cutters
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline cookie cutters
  Cutting
See Blades and Cutters.
 
  Cylinder
A shape of polymer clay that looks like a plug or a marshmallow. 
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
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  Discs
Round die made of metal, clay or other. Extruder discs are shaped with openings for use with extruders.
 
  Dividing Clay
Polymer clay packages are divided to parts.

When referring to half, 1/4, 1/8 pack, this is how it looks -

FIMO
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
a whole package (56 grams) Divided into quarters Divided into 1/8

PREMO
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
a whole package (56 grams) Divided into quarters Divided into 1/8

 
  Drill Bits
Drill bits are cutting tools used to create cylindrical holes. Bits are held in a tool called a drill, which rotates them and provides torque and axial force to create the hole. These are special drill tiny bits to use with cured clay for making holes.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  drill
 E
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  Embossing Powders
Stampers use embossing powders to create a three-dimensional stamped image. Embossing powders can be successfully combined with polymer clay to create a variety of surface and imitative effects. It can be directly mixed into clay and baked in the oven.
 
  Etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in the metal. In polymer clay, used with images printed out on a toner based copier, placed on clay and creates a design when transferred.
 
  Eyelets
Eyelets are metal rings, usually made of brass, which serve as reinforcement to a hole in fabric, clay or paper. The etymology of the name is from the 14th century Old French word oillet, meaning "little eye." Eyelets are metal rings with a flange surrounding the hole. The flange extends into a barrel that is inserted through a hole in the material and set by hand or machine. The barrel either rolls or spreads out, grabbing the material and strengthening the hole.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline eyelets
  Eye Shadow
In the absence of mica powders, a good substitute is eye shadow, blush, or any other cosmetic powder.
Use eye shadow just as you would specialty powders-but be sure to use old makeup that is no longer intended for use on your (or someone else's) face. If you don't have old eye shadow to dedicate to craft use, just scrape a little of the powder into a separate container and work from that.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline makeup powder
  Extruder
See Clay Gun
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline extruder
 F
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  Faux
A French word for false or fake. Examples of artistic imitation of different materials and techniques include faux bone, faux jade, faux amber, faux stained glass
 
  Filigree
Originally, a jewelry technique when an intricate design is formed using metal wire pieces soldered together. Picture of a polymer clay pendant with metal filigree part (tutorial). Also: Polymer clay filigree is formed by strings of clay applied in coils or freeform shapes onto polymer clay or other surface to create a textured design.
 
  FIMO
A brand of Polymer Clay. Available in two types, Fimo Classic and Fimo Soft. Refer to the different brands of polymer clay page.
 
  Findings
The mechanical parts of jewelry making; clasps, pin backs, earring parts and more.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline fifindings
  Finish
Any way of smoothing the surface or giving a shine including sanding and buffing, or added glosses and glazes. Compatible products include those made by polymer clay manufacturers, Future Acrylic Floor Polish, Rust-Oleum Waterbased Varathane
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline varnish
  Flattening
The act of rolling polymer clay using a roller, brayer or a pasta machine. This movement transforms polymer clay into sheets according to your preferred thickness.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline flattening
  Food Processor
A kitchen utensil for chopping food. Some polymer clay artists use it to condition stiff clay. You can find more details on conditioning polymer clay in this page.
 
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  Glitter
Glitter is a product used by crafters and designers to create a sparkling or shimmering effect. Glitter is primarily composed of very tiny flecks of glass, stone, paper or plastic, although polyester is perhaps the most common material used in modern glitter production
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline glitter
  Glue/Adhesive
An adhesive, or glue, is a mixture in a liquid or semi-liquid state that adheres or bonds items together.
In polymer clay Liquid clays are probably the best and strongest glue for polymer clay. they must be baked to cure.
Reactive synthetic glues (epoxy, polyurethane, urea resin & resorcinol)
formulated from synthetic components, cure primarily by chemical reaction.Silicone glues such as E6000 or Goop are very thick clear glue flexible after drying.
See also white plastic glue.


 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline glue e-6000
  Glow in the Dark Clay
luminescent Polymer Clay that glows in the dark. Available from different manufacturers.
 
  Gold leaf
Thin sheets of composite metal stored between tissue paper, used to create a crackle finish when stretched, used in Mokume Gane with translucent clay. Gold leaf or sometimes copper or silver comes in extremely thin sheets that you can apply directly on polymer clay before or after baking. Because gold leaf will tarnish over time, be sure to use a sealant.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline gold leaf
  Gold Leafing Pen
Same as above, in pen style.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Granitex
Brand of Polymer Clay imitating the look of stone. This clay contains tiny fibers and comes in various colors. This clay is very similar to Sculpey III in its qualities. You can find more details about types of clay in this page.
 
  Grater
A kitchen tool used for texturing and grate cured clay. When using such a tool, please dedicate it to clay only and buy a new one for your kitchen.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Grit
Degree of coarseness in sandpaper or powders; low numbers such as 60 are very coarse and range to superfine automotive grade at 1200 and 2000. Also available in paper sheets and in pads.

 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline sanding
  Guild
Group of individuals who come together for a common purpose; the National Polymer Clay Guild and local guilds are a great way to share and exchange information and experiences
 
 H
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  Heat Gun
A heat gun is a device used to emit a stream of hot air. They are superficially similar in shape and construction to a hair dryer, though they run at much higher temperatures. They are often found in physics, materials science, chemistry, engineering, and polymer clay mostly for curing.
Handle with caution due to extreme heat.

 
 I
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  Image Transfer
The process of moving an image from a piece of paper onto polymer clay. The transfer occurs when either the top layer of paper or the color pigments (such as color pencil or printer inks) are shifted from the original image onto the surface of polymer clay.
 
  Inclusion
An inclusion or infusion is anything that is mixed into polymer clay to alter its color or texture. Inclusions are most commonly added to translucent or partially translucent clay, but they may be added to any clay, though in opaque clay they will only show on the surface.
Materials other than polymer clay mixed into polymer clay such as – glitter, mica flakes, sand, spices, fibers and many more.
 
  Ink (Alcohol)
Alcohol inks (such as the Piñata series from Jacquard and the Adirondack series from Ranger) are especially popular with polymer clay artists for their vivid, transparent colors and the numerous effects they can achieve.
 
  Inlays
Different objects pressed or fitted into surface. For polymer clay these objects include: beads, stones, shells, pearls, pieces of glass, etc.
 
 J
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  Jelly roll
Spiral cane made with two colors rolled up and sliced; like a cinnamon bun
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline jellyroll
 K
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  Kato
A brand of Polymer Clay. It is one of the strongest clays on the market and my personal preference. Check the page on different types of polymer clay
 
  Kemper Cutters
Specialized cutters for clay - tiny shapes and assortments from Kemper
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  citters
 L
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  Leaching
A process of reducing the amount of plasticizer in clay. See more about leaching in page on conditioning polymer clay.
 
  Liquid Clay
Polymer Clay in a liquid form. Liquid polymer clay are available in different brands (Sculpey, Kato). Used for bonding pieces of raw and/or cured polymer clay, as a glue for findings, as a paper transfer medium, as Clay Softener, etc. Liquid clay will be baked quite clear on glass and creates flexible firm of clay. It has to be baked under similar conditions as regular polymer clay to cure.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline liquid
  Log
Cane component like a snake/cylinder but thicker, also sometimes refers to canes.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline log
 M
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  Makins Clay
see Air-Dry Clay.
 
  Marbling/Marbelize
The incomplete mixing of two or more colors that creates the appearance of marble or stone.
 
  Mica Powders
Mica powders are non-toxic and color fast, with a neutral pH, and though you wouldn't want to purposefully inhale them, they are less dangerous than metal pulvers. Available in a wide array of colors, mica powders have numerous uses for polymer clay artists as well as those who work in other media. They can be applied dry to the surface of raw clay, mixed into raw clay, painted onto raw or cured clay (though most will have to be mixed into a moist medium, first), and so on. Most surface applications will need a coat of polymer clay-friendly finish to prevent the powders from gradually rubbing off.
You can apply the powder with your finger or a brush and it can be cured.
 
  Mica Shift
A technique for metallic and pearl Polymer Clays, when mica powders present in these clays are aligned in different directions forming monochromatic designs with holographic effects.
 
  Millefiori/Millefiore
A technique originally used by glass-makers as early as the 1-st century in Egypt, and further defined in Venetian glass in 19-th century. Millefiori means a thousand flowers. The design is formed using canes. You can find
9 polymer clay millefiori tutorials and some freebies in PolyPediaOnline.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  flower canes millefiori
  Metallic Clay
Polymer clay containing mica particles to give the clay high shine of metal (comes in gold, silver, and copper colors and is available from different manufacturers).
 
  Metallic Leaf
Just as the name implies, metal leaf is made of actual metal. It is possible to purchase real gold, silver, and copper leaf, as well as "composition leaf", which is made of cheaper metals that simulate the look of gold, silver, and copper. Imitation leaf also comes in variegated color patterns.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline gold leaf
  Metallic Powders
Usually, finally ground metal powders with a gum powder, available from different manufacturers. These powders are usually more expensive than Mica Powders. Sometimes, mica powders in metallic colors are referred to as metallic powders.
 
  Mokume Gane
A Japanese metal smithing technique adapted to polymer that uses clay sheets stacked and layered with metallic foils to form "loaves". Areas are raised or lowered with impressions from top or bottom and a blade is used to slice thin pieces horizontally from the top.
 
  Molds
A negative relief impression that allow replication using clay pressed in and pulled out; can be made using polymer clay or silicone compounds, metal, wood etc.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline push molds
  Mosaic
A design formed by many small colored tiles. Both raw and cured polymer clay may be used to make the mosaic tiles.
 
  Mould
See Mold.
 
  Motor
See pasta machine
 
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  Needle Tool
A pointed tool used for piercing, texturing, manipulating small pieces of clay, etc. There are commercial needle tools available or you can just make your own by putting a clay handle on a big needle. Check my free tutorial for making Natasha Beads Needles
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline needle
 O
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  Oil Paints
Oil paints can be used for most of the same purposes as acrylic paints, with one notable exception: Because oil paints take so long (at least six months) to dry completely, there's no sense in even trying to use them for crackling. Since it takes oils so long to dry, you shouldn't cover them with any sort of varnish, which will prevent them from ever drying thoroughly.
 
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  Pardo
A brand of Polymer Clay. It is the newest clay on the market, produced by Viva Decor(Germany). It has no odor before, during, and after baking and comes in 70 beautiful colors. Made with bees wax, it contains no phthalates. When baked, it is strong and flexible, but in its raw form it is a bit soft for millefiori canes.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Parchment/baking paper
Baking parchment is sold by the roll in most places that sell baking supplies. Parchment prevents the baked goods from sticking in the pan. This stick-prevention makes it useful for polymer clay, too. Parchment paper can be used for many of the same applications as wax paper. Parchment paper is less slippery than wax paper, which may make it better than wax paper for some purposes. Baking parchment will not absorb plasticizers from polymer clay, so it is suitable for storing uncured clay.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline parchment paper
  Pasta Machine
Rolling device designed for making noodles, and used with polymer clay to condition, blend colors, texturize and create even sheets of clay of 7-9 variable thicknesses. Comes with hand crank and removable noodle cutters that will cut raw or cured into strips. A motor is also available.
Having a pasta machine isn't essential but having one sure does make a lot of clay things much quicker and easier.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Pastels (oil based crayons)
Pastel is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation. Used to color and tint polymer clay.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Patina
Originally a layer of oxidized metal naturally formed over time on the surface of a metal object (green compound on copper, for example). Artificial patinas are often deliberately added by artists, and are not limited to metal surfaces. See also Antique.
 
  Piercing
The act of making holes in beads, sheets, etc.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline needle tool
  Pigment
Coloring agent
 
  Pigment inks
Pigment inks are used often directly on paper or with embossing powders, opaque colors and metallics. Apply to stamp and press directly into clay, sets when baked. Can be stamped on cured clay and cured in a second baking. Test colors and opacity to ensure desired results and durability.
 
  PearlEx Powders
Brand name for a line of mica powders made by Jacquard.
See Mica Powders.
 
  Photo copy transfer
See image transfer.
 
  PMC (Precious Metal Clay)
Clay-like substance containing metal particles suspended in plasticizers. This is NOT Polymer Clay. PMC has to be fired at high temperatures (above 800F) produced by a kiln or a torch while polymer clay may be cured in a regular oven (requires 275 F). Once fired, PMC object will look like silver or gold (depending on its type).
 
  Plastic Bags
Plastic wrap works great to help protect those beautiful canes or polymer clay sheets that you worked long and hard to create.
You can read more about polymer clay storage in this page
 
  Plasticiser
Any of a group of organic substances used in plastics to impart viscosity, flexibility, softness, and other qualities, an active material in polymer clay.
 
  Polishing
see Buffing.
 
  Powders
Like liquid colors, powdered colors can be used in a variety of techniques with polymer clay, either as surface treatments or as inclusions in solid or liquid clay. Powders can be used to give a black bead the shimmer of silver, to convincingly "brown" a miniature loaf of bread, to tint translucent clay in a rainbow of colors, and much more.
See also Mica Powder, Embossing Powder, Eye Shadow, Chalk, Food Color Powder
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline powders
  Polymer Clay
A modern modeling compound composed primarily of PVC resin, plasticiser, and pigments as well as other fillers, It is soft and pliable when raw, and becomes hard when cured. Items sculpted out of polymer clay are waterproof and fade-resistant.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Pliers
Some of the useful tools jewelry-makers use: round nose pliers-for making round wire loops, Flat nose pliers-for gripping wire, making right-angle bends in wire, etc. Chain nose pliers-for gripping and bending wire, Crimping pliers-for securing crimp beads.
With a good pair of wire snips and pliers, you can turn a piece of wire into all sorts of useful jewelry findings (jump rings, ear wires, pendant bail) or even make an exquisite wire-wrapped pendant.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline pliers
  Plugs
Short fat rolls of clay, sliced and manipulated before reduction
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Premo
A brand of Polymer Clay. This is a very versatile type of clay, suitable for all polymer clay techniques and comfortable to work with. Check out page on brands of polymer clay.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Punches  
  Push Mold
See Mold.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline mold
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 R
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  Reduction
Squeezing and compressing the cane in on itself as the cane is also stretched to lengthen it causes the scale of the design to become smaller. This can be done a little, or a lot.
A PolyPediaOnline TV video shows how to reduce 3 types of cane - round, triangle and rectangle
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline reducing
  Release agent
Use to prevent things from sticking to one another – such as powders or cornstarch, use to prevent stamps from sticking to clay when impressed.
Water – spray on clay before pressing a texture sheet/stamp.
 
  Resin
Resin is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, It is valued for its chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; In polymer clay used for a nice glossy finish. Some are self hardening, some are UV hardening. Self hardening are 2-part which need to be carefully mixed. While the UV resin is a single bottle of resin that needs no mixing and means you can do a single piece of jewelry without mixing the 2 materials.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Retro (millefiori canes)
The RETRO cane is the result of pushing layers of color through a clay gun. The block is reduced and recombined to make a complex square cane that looks like something out of the 1960's.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  retro
  Ripple Blade
Instead of a straight blade, the Ripple Blade is a wavy blade that was made to cut ripple veggies (right).
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Roller
A tool used to make thin sheets of polymer clay. Also see Brayer.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline roller
  Rolling
A term used when referred to polymer clay placed in a pasta machine and also for other purposes.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Rhinestones
A rhinestone is a diamond simulant made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic. Used with polymer clay for decoration.
 
  Rubber Stamps
Comes in various types and kinds, photo on the right shows clear stamps. You are welcome to read more about stamps in the "how to start" page
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline stamps
  Ruler
The good old tool used for measuring length of canes, sizes, etc.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
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  Sanding
A process of making the surface of polymer clay smoother by rubbing it with sand paper.
 
  Scissors
The old useful tool, can be used with polymer clay too, cutting thin sheets of clay or image transfers.
 
  Sculpey III
Brand of Polymer Clay. It is a good clay for beginners and kids due to its softness, although it is too soft for some techniques (such as Millefiori, for example). Other types of Sculpey include Sculpey Original, Sculpey Soft, and Super Sculpey. Check types of polymer page for more details
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Seed Beads
Seed beads are uniformly shaped, spheroidal beads ranging in size from under a millimetre to several millimetres. "Seed Bead" is a generic term for any small bead. Usually rounded in shape. Used with polymer clay as decoration. Most of them are not oven proof.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline  seed beads
  Shapelets
Cutting templates used to obtain uniform shapes out of polymer clay Sheet.
 polymer clay dictionary terms shapelets techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Sheets
Flat, even layers of clay, made by rolling the clay with an acrylic rod, a brayer, or a pasta machine.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Slamming
Forcefully throwing the cane down on a flat surface helps "waking up" canes that are slow to move.
 
  Slicing
The process of cutting a millefiori cane into thin pieces
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline slicing
  Snakes
Rolled out pieces of clay that are long with a round diameter. Also referred to by other shapes as in "triangle", "teardrop" or "square" snakes.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline snakes
  Spiral
Curled image inside a cane made by rolling up two colored sheets in a jelly roll shape.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline spiral jelly roll
  Stamp
Texture tool with a positive or raised image that allows the design to be impressed into the surface of clay or used with inks or embossing agents to pattern the surface, see also rubber stamp.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline stamps
  Straws (drinking straws)
Used to pierce polymer clay pieces for holes and for texturing.

 
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  Stripes
Clay pieces that can easily be flatten from a snake of clay by pressing with your thumb or a roller.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline stripes cane
  Skinner Blend
A technique developed by Judith Skinner for creating polymer clay Sheetwith smooth gradations of color.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline skinner blend
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  Texture Sheets
Plates (made out of rubber or soft plastic) with different textures on them which can be pressed into the clay using a Pasta Machine or a Roller.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline texture
  Texturing
A process of creating a texture on the surface of polymer clay using Texture Plates, fabric, sand paper, tree bark, and other objects.
 
  TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey)
A brand of Liquid Clay (right)
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline liquid
  Tooth Picks
A toothpick is a small stick of wood, plastic, bamboo, metal, bone or other substance. Used in polymer clay for piercing holes or as base and armature for supporting sculpturings.
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
  Transferring
see Image Transfer.
 
  Translucent
Admitting or diffusing light so objects can not be seen clearly through it. Refers also to clay with no pigments or fillers that can be sliced very thin and buffed almost clear
 
  Transparent
Transmitting of light so objects can be seen clearly through it
 
  Trimming
The process of cutting leftovers or aligning the clay to the right position/thickness/quantity
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
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  Ultralight
Ultralight (by Sculpey Polyform) is a unique clay, it is very lightweight. This clay is extremely soft and easy to knead, but it becomes very hard after baking. This clay is available only in white, but it can be painted after baking. It makes a nice filler for larger polymer clay beads
.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
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  Varnish
see Acrylic Sealant.
 
  Vessel
A container, usually round (such as a vase or a bowl).
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
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  Wet Sanding
A process of Sanding polymer clay with wet sandpaper.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline sanding
   White Plastic Glue
"White" glues, most white glues are a suspension of polyvinyl acetate (PVA) resin in water, also tacky glues, "wood glues", sizing glues, etc
have medium strength and is water "resistant", flexible and clear after drying.
Can be used for many things with clay, but not good for when real strength is required, often used as an undercoating to prepare an object to be covered with clay (and seals surfaces).
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline glue
  Work Surface
Any surface on which you work with polymer clay. Examples of good work surfaces include ceramic tile, glass, marble, waxed paper, etc.
 
  Wavy Blade
see ripple blade
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline blade
  Wrapping
The process of placing a sheet of clay around a piece, a snake or a millefiori cane
polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline
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  X-acto-knife
A tool with sharp disposable blades used for carving and cutting.
 polymer clay dictionary terms techniques tutorials polypediaonline xacto
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