Polymer Clay 101: Conditioning, Rolling, and Marbleizing Clay
Learn the basics of preparing clay, mixing colors, and making shapes.
Photography: Johnny Miller
Source: Martha Stewart
Polymer clays: unless otherwise specified, all polymer clays are by Sculpey (Premo, Sculpey III, and Studio by Sculpey) from createforless.com
Pictured: Sculpey III polymer clay in Sunset and White. Premo polymer clay in Alizarin Crimson
Clay-conditioning machine, $25, by Sculpey, joann.com
Conditioning: Polymer clay must be softened to prevent cracking and breakage. Knead it in your hands, and then run it through a conditioning maching (about $25 at craft stores). This tool makes the clay pliable, presses consistently flat sheets of various thicknesses, and blends colors.
To blend, form 2 or 3 rolls of clay and twist together (experiment with different sizes and color combinations).
Flatten roll by hand, and then run it through the conditioning machine.
Use flattened pieces for a stripy look, or roll it up and run it through the machine again for a marbleized effect.