I was delighted when my friends at Sculpey asked me to give their Sculpey Souffle Oven-Bake Clay a try. I have always considered polymer clay my first obsession in the craft world. Back in the 1980’s, my sister Heidi Borchers and my Momma Aleene and I took a polymer clay cruise where we learned how to make millefiore clay canes. It was 3 days of pure creative bliss. We always chuckle when we think back on Momma’s job during that cruise which was to sit on the clay. I don’t remember why we didn’t have a pasta machine but at that time we were taught to pre-warm the clay by sitting on it.
Fast forward to the 1990’s and I went on a creative binge making polymer clay aromatherapy jewelry that I sold at retail. So, since I’ve tried just about all the clays on the market, I was excited to give Souffle a try!
This clay is lightweight making it perfect for creating those medium to larger jewelry projects. It’s exceptionally strong and will not crack when baked in large pieces. I read that its strength and ability to hold detail makes it an excellent clay for advanced techniques such as mokume gane, bargello and caning. It’s also designed to have a beautiful suede-like finish when baked.
This Souffle set includes 12 fun colors including: Igloo, Canary, Pistachio, Jade, Pumpkin, Cherry Pie, So 80’s, Turnip, Sea Glass, Lagoon, Cowboy, and Poppy Seed. The colors are bright and fashionable. You’ll need to be sure to go on-line and Google Sculpey Souffle and see all the amazing projects that you can create but for me, I wanted something simple and fast and Igloo and Poppy Seed were my colors of choice.
The first question that comes to mind for me when working with polymer clay is always “Is it easy to condition?”, so to give it a test, I broke off a piece of the black (Poppy Seed) and I’m pleased to say that Souffle is very easy to condition by rolling it in your hands.
I did the same with the white (Igloo) and found it was very soft and easy to roll.
This is a fast and easy way to roll out a consistent thickness if you don’t have a pasta machine. Of course, if you want a thicker piece, just tape more craft sticks together (or less if desired).
There are all sorts of wonderful tools designed specifically for polymer clay crafting but in a pinch, I just use my craft sticks and pvc pipe to roll out pieces.
I wanted to create a quick and easy project, so I grabbed a wood stamp with a dragonfly design. I know that many tutorials suggest that you spray water on the stamp before stamping onto the polymer clay but since this Souffle clay was not sticky, I decided to go ahead and stamp without water. It worked perfectly, but be sure to test for yourself.
You will also want to test out how firmly that you want to stamp your design. For this design, I wanted a deep impression so I gave the stamp a firm press into the clay. Be sure you don’t press too hard because you can distort the design. For this pendant shape, I wanted to keep it as round as possible.
You can also stamp the design into the clay and then use your Sculpey Knife Tool to cut away the excess clay from the outside of the design. Using the design as the guide, just cut away the excess clay along the design line.
When cutting away the excess, leave a small allowance along the edge of your design. Notice how the Knife Tool leaves a rough edge but it’s easy to smooth edges with your fingers and the Sculpey Blunt Point Tool just by rolling it along the edges on the front and back of your design.
Depending on how you plan to hang your pendant, at this step, you can use the Sculpey Needle End Pointer Tool to pierce a hole. Be sure to match the hole size to the jewelry wire or cording that you plan to use. The Pointer Tool is a great way to start the hole and then you can use a toothpick to enlarge it if needed.
Now it’s time to bake.
Following the package instructions, you will need to bake your pieces on oven-proof glass or a metal surface at 275 degrees F) for 30 minutes per 1/4″ of thickness. Also, per the package instructions, do not use a microwave oven and do not exceed the package directions temperatures or recommended baking time. Also, I was taught from the very beginning to always dedicate my polymer clay tools (pasta machine, baking tray and toaster oven) to my polymer clay crafts only.
Once you have baked and cooled your pieces, it’s time to start thinking about how you would like to color and finish them. I selected black and white for the base of my pieces because I love to use alcohol inks and shimmer finishes but keep in mind that this Souffle set features an awesome set of colors that will look beautiful when mixed and matched into mokume gane, bargello and caning.
Lumiere paints apply beautifully over the black suede finish of Souffle clay. Just squeeze out a small puddle of paint and dab a cosmetic sponge into the paint. Remember, a little bit goes a long way. Dab it onto the surface of the clay and keep layering until you have the color you want. Be sure to leave some of the black peeking through.
You can layer the shimmer colors to create a variety of effects on your clay pendants. The shimmer paints look beautiful over any of the clay colors.
On my white Souffle clay dragonfly pendants, I like to color with alcohol inks. You can dab with a cosmetic sponge or squeeze liberally over the surface. As you layer the colors, dab back any excess with a paper towel to reveal beautiful color effects. You can seal these pieces with a matte or glossy sealer. If you did not pierce your piece for jewelry wire, you can glue a jewelry bail onto the back and hang on your favorite chain.
Look at the beautiful detail that you can achieve with this Sculpey Souffle clay. It’s a winner in my book!
Disclaimer: Product provided by manufacturer. Testing, creativity, opinions and designs are my own!