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So what is polymer clay anyway?

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

Like most things popular in decades past, polymer clay has made a tremendous comeback. It seems like everyone and their sister is making polymer clay earrings. So why is it so special?

This clay is not like the clay used to make pottery. Polymer clay is oven hardened clay. It doesn't require a high-temperature firing in a kiln. Pottery, or ceramics, are made from earthen materials while polymer clay is made from a mix of polyvinyl-chloride (PVC), fillers, and binders. To put it bluntly, it's plastic! And that's why it's super lightweight.

Unlike the clay used in ceramics, polymer clay only needs to be heated to about 275F for a short period of time to harden. It is non-toxic and safe to use in your home oven. It can be purchased from craft supply stores like Michael's and Joann Fabrics. Our local Texas Art Supply carries it and it's relatively inexpensive. It's so accessible! And thanks to social media, helpful information is being spread like wildfire.

Polymer clay is available in many colors and like paint, it can be mixed to make an endless number of colors or to create marbling effects. It's even available in translucent, which allows artists to create pieces that mimic stones and gems. Imagine wearing big and beautiful gemstones from your ears except they weigh less than a quarter.

So, it's plastic? Yes.

It's the same plastic that's used to make toys, clothes, handbags, medical devices, and construction materials. And let's not forget our love of vinyl records.

PVC is used in many industries because it's incredibly durable and inexpensive. And yes, plastics manufacturing and single-use plastics are not great for the environment. That is why I save all of my clay scraps. I don't throw anything away and I am keenly aware of the waste I may be creating.

I have projects in the works to use my scraps that I'm excited to share. Stick with me and you'll learn all the ways I use my polymer clay scraps to keep them out of a landfill. After all, I am also a product of the Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle generation...of decades past.

For a ton of information about polymer clay visit It is my go-to resource for all things PC. I’d also recommend the Domestika course by Racheal of Made by Mayberry if you are interested in making your own polymer clay earrings.

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