Posted on 8th May 2012
Polymer clay is a pliable polymer compound used by artists and crafters. It can be used much like clay.
Polymer clay became popular because of its unique characteristics versus regular clay. It comes in dozens of colors, and the clays can be blended together to create any desired color just as you would paint. Or if you techniques such as caneworking and marbling, the clay can be layered without blending the colors. It doesn't dry out so it can be worked for a long period of time.
Epoxy clay also has similar characteristics. It comes in many different colors and can be blended together or stacked for caning or marbling much like polymer clay. The working time is different because it has a limited time that it is pliable. This time varies based upon the design of the particular formula of epoxy clay.
Polymer clay must be fired. This is the process that fuses the particles into a solid. This can be done with relatively low temperatures. A home oven or hobby ovens can be used. When fired, the clay gets hard enough to make durable objects.Here is the favorite difference in these two products. Epoxy clay remains soft until the two components of the clay are combined. This starts a hardening process that takes a period of time to harden. It is self-hardening. It requires no firing, oven, or special device to create very hard objects.
Fimo list price is $13.95 for 13 oz. It can be found at discount prices for around $7.00. Epoxy clay 16 oz. is $15 to $18, but a 5 lb. container is $36 to $38 which drops it to $7.00 to $7.80 per lb. In 20 lb. lots it drops under $6.oo per lb.
With polymer clay you can cover anything that won't burn at the low firing temperatures. Epoxy clay will stick to almost anything as well as putting layers on already cured clay. Epoxy clay can be sanded or carved with rotary tools or stone sculpting tools after it is hardened.
Polymer clay is used in colors to create the finished look that you want. Epoxy clays are usually used as a base be painted to the desired finish. However due to the many colors it comes in, it is also used as the finish color.
Both polymer clay and epoxy clay can be mixed and used with your hands as they do not have harmful chemicals or irritants.
At Artplace.com we do not sell polymer clays due to the shelf life, many different brands and colors, and various personal preferences of polymer clay users. As artists, we only use epoxy clays because we feel they are much more versatile, and are more economical, accept any kind of finish, do not have to be fired, and are durable enough for heavy outside use.