Artist-How-To

Artist's E-Books to Support and Inspire Creativity

*All images and words copyright of Diane Dobson-Barton dba as Barton Studio 2002-2007

Home / Shop / Free Articles

 

Make Your Own Polymer Clay Tools

Finding the necessary tools for sculpting in polymer clay can be difficult.  Of course there are nut pickers, but they do not serve all of the sculptor's needs.

Making your own tools for sculpting in polymer clay, can be a creative act in itself.

The selection of tool shown on the left, aside from the awl, were made by myself over the years.

To make a simple one ended hand tool, roll out a polymer clay handle in the size and shape you desire and insert the tool end into the clay.  Bake according to the clay manufactures directions. 

(I have heard of other artists gluing the tips in, but if cured well, I find this is not necessary)

The tips of the tools can be made from sewing needles, pins, or knitting needles. The variety of possibilities is endless. The handle can also be used to smooth the surface of the polymer clay by rolling it across. You can make the clay textures, angles or shapes that you use often.

My favorite tool is one made by cutting 3 inches off of a knitting needle.  FYI I did the cutting with a Dremel tool attachment.  You can also use the Dremel to shape the tools into a variety of shapes and points.

Be very careful to use safety precautions when cutting metal.  You won't be able to be very productive if you get metal shavings in your eyes!

A close up of my newest tool handle after it was sanded, polished and glazed.