What is liquid polymer clay and how to use it?

by - Thursday, January 18, 2018

The explanation is simple - liquid clay is a polymer clay in a liquid state. Liquid polymer clay is a viscous, slightly sticky medium-density liquid. Since it's liquid, it does not require softening. It does not dry or cures in the air. It must be baked in the oven in order to harden.

Types of liquid clay

There are three most commonly used brands of liquid clay.
Fimo - It is available only in translucent (clear) color. It is packed in 50 and 200 milliliters (1.69 and 6.76 fl oz) bottles.
Sculpey - It comes in three different colors (clear, white, black) and effects (pearl, gold, silver). It's packed in 59 ml (2 fl oz) bottle.
Kato - It comes in various colors (black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and translucent). It's packed in 60 ml (2 fl oz) bottle.
Learn what is liquid polymer clay and how to use it

Storage of liquid polymer clay

All liquid clays should be kept in the original packaging. Liquid clay attracts dust, so if it's stored badly it can become dirty and unusable. If you mixed your own color of liquid clay you should store it in a plastic, metal or glass container that has a well fitting lid or to protect it from falling dust and other impurities with aluminum foil and rubber band.

Application of liquid polymer clay

Liquid clay is applied directly from the tube. Special extension on the bottle allows its precise application to the desired object. It can also be applied and mixed with a metal stick or thick wire that you'll wipe up after finishing work with 70 % rubbing alcohol. After cleaning you can use the metal stick again for applying liquid clay.
Sometimes I even use my fingers to apply liquid polymer clay. After that, you have to clean your hands with rubbing alcohol and wash them well with soap and lukewarm water.
Learn what is liquid polymer clay and how to use it
Photo: P. Đorđević
Avoid using a paintbrush or wooden stick for the application and/or mixing. Because of the stickiness of liquid clay and its inability to tighten in the air or to be washed with water, it is difficult to clean paintbrush or wooden stick so you have to throw it away.
To remove the excess of liquid clay from your creation use a cotton pad or Q - tip on which you have poured a few drops of 70 % rubbing alcohol.

How to use liquid polymer clay 

Liquid clay has wide use in polymer clay art. In addition to being used as polymer clay softener, or for joining two pieces (fresh or baked) of polymer clay, it is also used for adhesion of polymer clay with wood, metal, glass... When the liquid clay is baked the bond it created with the fused elements is very strong. To learn how to apply liquid clay on glass check my tutorial for making polymer clay cup and saucer.
In order to achieve specific effects, it can be tinted with various paints and pigments, as well as mixed with mica powders, metal leafs or flakes, tinsel, sequins, sand, dry flowers... You can use it for mixing your own color shades of liquid clays, for glazing polymer clay creations and for transferring photos on clay and other objects.
Learn what is liquid polymer clay and how to use it
Photo: P. Đorđević
I use all three brands for my polymer clay creations, depending on the effect I want to accomplish. I mostly use clear liquid clays because that way I have more work opportunities since it becomes transparent (colorless) after baking in the oven. Also, I like to mix my own colors when I need them. For example, I use Sculpey liquid clay for bonding, Kato for color mixing, and Fimo for glazing and various other techniques.

How to bake liquid polymer clay

Baking temperature depend on the type of liquid clay you use. The ideal temperature for Fimo is 110 ° C (220 ° F), but it can handle slightly higher temperature (130 ° C/266 ° F). You will bake Sculpey at 130 ° C (266 ° F), and Kato at 150 ° C (302 ° F). Duration of baking depends on the type of project you work on, but basically, you will bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
If you use liquid clay as a glaze you can set it with a heat gun for a minute or two and then bake it completely in the oven for 30 minutes. But, even though I gave you the exact time and temperature of the baking it's the best to read manufacturers instruction every time you use liquid clay, especially if you do not have experience with this material.

You'll Definitely Like This!