All About Sculpey
Sculpey is a family of polymer clays produced by Polyform. Sculpey has been around in some form since the 60s and has been produced in a wide range of varieties. You may have worked with the colored Sculpey III or Premo! clays in crafting projects. Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm are two favorites in the sculpting community.
Many sculptors create their own homemade mixtures of Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm. By mixing these two clays together in a 50/50 mix, you get the workability of Super Sculpey combined with the ability to hold texture that is inherent to Sculpey Firm. Of course, this means having to spend extra time mixing clay, taking valuable work time away from your projects.
Well, the fine folks over at Polyform have been keeping an eye on polymer sculptors and have heard our woes. They have just added Sculpey Medium Blend to their product line. This is the perfect blend of Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm. Mix your clay no longer! Not only do I now get to save precious time in my work day, I can also spare my hands the stress that comes with manually mixing clay.
How does Sculpey Medium Blend Fare?
When compared side by side, Sculpey Medium is an almost exact color match to my home blend. Sculpey’s blend is a bit firmer than my own and definitely much smoother. I especially like how easily it blends together as grittiness is a frequent issue with my own clay blends.
All of my sculptures start with a metal armature, which Sculpey medium adheres to quite nicely. While I still need to use a coating of epoxy clay over the armature for support, it is still a very firm clay that can take a lot of pressure and handling.
Like all polymer clays, Sculpey Medium reacts to heat. Over-handling the clay can result in a mushy mess. However, I notice that this clay can take heat and keep its shape for a longer period versus other similar clays. Though it does take a little work to soften Sculpey Medium right out of the box, kneading it for around 15 seconds will get it to a workable consistency.
Sculpey Medium handles a variety of tools like a champ. I can even break out my metal tools that I normally only use for harder clays like wax. Being able to work this clay with your hands AND be able to carve into it with tools is really my favorite aspect about this product. Another preferred quality is that it handles rubbing alcohol very nicely. I use this for final clean up work and it often dries out the clay when using my own blends. Not the case with Sculpey Medium!
After baking the piece according to the directions on the box, my Sculpey Firm piece was a breeze to sand. The clay seems to have a less brittle texture than I often see with other clays, protecting it against cracks under the pressure of sanding. I finished my piece with a coat of primer followed by Cel Vinyl paints. This worked just as expected on the surface of the baked piece.
Sculpey Medium Blend is not only a wonderful addition to Polyform’s line of clays, it has become an instant favorite in my arsenal of clays. Sculpey Medium’s pliable yet firm texture gives sculptors a perfect way to create detailed sculptures without a lot of specialized tools or equipment. While you do need a metal armature to support most sculptures, a simple set of tools and an oven are the only other things you will need to get started. Sculpey Medium is great for beginners and experienced sculptors alike. Make sure to grab a box or two next time you are at your favorite art shop. You won’t be disappointed!