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Monday, December 7, 2015

EZ Clay Conditioning, Finally - Secret Tools Series: Pt 4

What a cute opening photo, & I Promise he actually plays a role in my latest clay conditioning discovery. But, before I give you the 3 ULTIMATE clay conditioning tricks, let's take a quick peak at what you DON'T have to do ever again, shall we?

DON'T sit on your clay - Life's to short
DON'T stick your clay in your bra or pants waistline
DON'T add mineral oil to your clay in the name of conditioning
DON'T walk on the packages OR hit unopened packages with a mallet
(Although the mallet is still Awesome for OLD age hardened clay)
Definitely NEVER EVER put in a food processor that you'll spend hours cleaning

Those are at least a few of the silly, time consuming tricks I tried in those early years. We clayers have come a long way - WooHoo!  In this article I will give you the 3 EZ conditioning tools, based on cost. 

Tool #1 = FREE
An astounding price & a tool you already have - your pasta / clay machine. Simply cut your clay into strips & feed those strips into your clay / pasta machine. It will be workable in a few passes. Start on your thickest setting & decrease it as it begins to relax by 1 click. I have a Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine which I understand has sturdier construction than many of the machines designed specifically for 'Clay'. I cut my bars into sections approximately 1/4" thick. Now, it's the only type of clay machine I've used so you should definitely try thinner slices until you know what your polymer clay machine is comfortable with, ok? 

Tool #2 = Very Inexpensive ($10 - $25)
I had my heat gun out sealing a baked piece with UTEE embossing powder & just for giggles, hit some nearby unconditioned clay for a few seconds. Hence, tool #2 was born! You can use your blade to cut a 2 oz bar in half, & then cut a 't' into each half - creating 8 separate pieces. 


Give the pile a little 'bump' to knock them away from each other & open the spaces between them & then hit them with your Heat Gun for 6-8 seconds, easy cheesy done. You will be ready to work comfortably by hand in no time flat! I leave my heat gun standing on end out of a mason jar to keep it handy because the little wire stand isn't sturdy. IF you don't have a 'heat gun', they really are inexpensive & most will last for years. Extra added perk - embossing on polymer clay Rocks! Here is the 1 I always used...

Darice Embossing Multi-Purpose Heat Tool - $11.43 + FREE Shipping

Behold, tragedy ensues & I must devise a New Way
Tragedy, in this case, refers to Mickey...
AKA "the Terrorist'

How I can adore something so rotten defies logic, but I do! So... when his terrorist activities hinder my clay play time, I adjust. In this particular case, he developed a strange passion for chewing through my heat gun wires. I haven't got the slightest idea what that's about, but after he ate through my 5th heat gun in a matter of  2 months - it was time to try a new thing. I didn't want my sweet innocent baby fried (yes - I live in a world of denial  :-)  & I was sick of buying heat guns, So, I treated myself to...

Tool #3 - Never Knead
What an awesome dandy tool this beauty is! I'm a bit slow to invest in the slightly higher priced tools (ok, we can say it, I'm Cheap!) My NeverKnead is the BEST clay investment I've ever made, what an awesome tool... & also a toy because it has made conditioning my clay fun. I do 6 pound canes & slabs & simply conditioning my clay was an all day chore before. Now I breeze right through it.

Deb, the creator of NeverKnead, also provided me with a gorgeous 'Lime Green' NeverKnead that is cheery & bright & color coordinates with my workspace perfectly!

IF your Budget allows, you'll NEVER be sorry for buying a NeverKnead... 
they are Awesome!!!

We don't know what tomorrow holds, but at the time of this writing, IF you are at

& spend a bit of time looking around, 
there will be a pop-up offering a 20% discount - WOW!!!
I suggest you act quickly, that's an Amazing deal!

With that said, I'm off & running.
Hugs & Happy Claying from Liz & Micky in Las Vegas  

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