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Thinnest without breaking?

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  • Thinnest without breaking?

    Hi everyone,
    I want to know what is the minimum thickness of polymer clay without fear of breaking. I have included two photographs of someone's work as example. The reason I am asking is because whenever I have tried to make band rings or thin-ish pendants they have easily broken while applying a little bit of force. However in this photographs the artist seems to use very thin pieces?
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  • #2
    I think one of the reasons no-one has replied to your question is the inclusion of another person's work as your example

    I don't really think it is good forum ettiquette to analyse another maker's work unless they have specifically requested it.

    So if you don't mind - I won't answer your question in relation to the examples you showed. I don't know the work or the artist - I have no idea how their work is contructed and I don't really want to judge them, uninvited, just on the strength of a photo.

    I know for example that I have made jewellery in the past ultra-thin by laminating it onto sheet metal - people would have no idea looking at the photos, but it doesn't mean a thing. Likewise with the artists work you showed - do we, for example, know just from the photo if those components are *just* polymer clay and do not have a supporting armature within them?

    Do we really know just from viewing exactly how thick the clay is anyway? I have many times been surprised when I finally see work that I know from photos in real life only to find the whole peice way bigger (or sometimes smaller) than I had imagined. This is why we always have to give measurements when selling our work, as it isn't always clear from photos.

    Therefore, I think if you have questions about any specific peice of work, it is best to discuss it with the person who made it rather than post it in a public forum for dissection. I don't mean that as a criticism of you for raising the subject. Just I think it maybe explains why no-one has felt comfortable in answering and joining this thread maybe?

    SO.... ignoring the photos above, lets just take the question in general. Because it is a good question!

    How thick should clay be?

    Well, I think the best way to find out is by trial and error - you take the clay you use and just bake sheets of different thicknesses to find out what happens when you try to break them. I think the new formulation Fimo classic and the cernit are incredibly strong at even just 2-3 mm thick.

    The other thing is context - some shapes are just inherently stronger than others. I would happily make a domed hollow lentil bead with clay 3 mm thick. But would I make a long, thin pendant just 3 mm thick? I don't think I would.

    So the design too can play a part in the decision process.

    I think it is important that artists selling their work do their best to make their product strong. And yes, at times I have seen work that makes me cringe as I can see it will not hold up to wear and tear. I have to say that is usually though the beginners who are just maybe jumping on the selling bandwagon a little too soon before they really understand the medium. I think once people are more experienced and making the more complicated works, they usually have done their homework on the durability of the product, or at least you would hope so!

    Emma - unique art beads & more - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my - Like me at Facebook!


    • #3
      I do apologise immensely if I have offended anyone and now I have learnt a new lesson!
      I only used those photograph as you say as an example of something that i think looks thin and not to criticise her work in any way.
      And I also thank you for taking time to answer it despite of the misunderstanding.
      Again, apologies.



      • #4
        Oh Caprizzosa, I do hope I didn't come across like I was telling you off. I probably did and I am so sorry about that.

        I can only tell you, I have learned this lesson the hard way before now too. That is how I know ;-)

        I agree too - the work you showed is stunning isnt it.

        Emma - unique art beads & more - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my - Like me at Facebook!


        • #5
          You did not come across that way ) so do not worry,Iam just glad you told me! And yes her work is stunning. Mind you, your illumirare beads are truly amazing too!!