Polyform Products manufactures several versions of polymer clay in its Sculpey line. When fresh, these clays are fairly soft and easy to condition. All formulas are suitable for sculpting. Sculpey (original) is the least expensive of all of the polymer clays but the weakest. Sculptures made of Sculpey need a strong armature, an inner skeleton of stiff wire or wadded aluminum foil in the limbs and body. Requires a light touch during modeling.
Super Sculpey is a strong, soft clay available in only one color, beige-pink. Its color, strength and maliability make it a favorite of doll artists. Like original Sculpey, it takes acrylic paint very well.
Sculpey III, available in 32 colors, is a weak, very soft clay and requires a light touch. Sculptures made of Sculpey III need to have a strong armature. After baking, the clay has a matte finish.
Premo Sculpey has the great strength. Designed as an all purpose polymer clay with many applications, it is a soft, slightly tacky clay available in 32 colors. Leaching Premo produces a firm, workable clay that is stronger than most others. Tip: Premo is my favorite, but try them all to find the clays best for you.
Flexiclay is initially very firm, but softens during use. Excellent for molds, it remains flexible after baking. Experiment with this new product. Flexiclay comes in eight basic colors.
Sculpey Clay Softener is their clay softening diluent.
Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft, Fimo Stone, Quick Mix, and Fimo Gloss are products manufactured by Eberhardt Faber, a long-standing art supply company. Fimo Classic is a strong, firm clay with a slightly chalky feel, never tacky. This clay seems to have the best "memory" of all of the clays and can take a lot of handling. Because it is difficult to blend one sculptural element to another, I don't use Fimo for modeling, but I do like it for canework, a method of creating intricate patterns out of colored clay. Fimo yields very crisp designs for that purpose.
Fimo Soft is an easy-to-condition clay available in 12 colors. A clay for the modeler with a light touch. This clay is very soft, but responds well. Tip: Mixing 4 parts Fimo Soft to 1 part Fimo Classic makes an ideal sculpting medium.
Fimo Stone, available in six colors, is a specialty clay with the look of stone. Like other clays of its type, it has more uses than simulating stone.
Quick Mix is their clay softener and Fimo Gloss is their acrylic varnish
Cernit is a clay manufactured by T + F GmbH of Germany. Initially waxy and firm, Cernit is the most heat sensitive of the polymer clays, becoming softer as you work with it. A special feathering and pressure technique is necessary to blend sculptural components. When warm, Cernit has a fair "memory." A good clay for very large figures, this clay needs a strong armature to help it keep its shape during modeling. Cernit's excellent strength after baking, its translucent colors, and porcelain-like finish make it a favorite of doll artists.
From New Zealand, Du-Kit is manufactured by Creative Products and is available in stores in New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. Available in a rainbow of colors, Du-Kit is an excellent sculpting medium with all the attributes of a world class product. Easy to blend and not too sensitive to the sculptor's touch. I fell in love with this clay! It bakes at a slightly higher temperature than some of the others (260-300° F), but not so high as to make home crafters and artists uncomfortable. Sculptures made from Du-Kit are very strong without being brittle. Try it, you'll like it! Something tells me we will be hearing a lot more about Du-Kit before long.
Introduced in 2002, Kato Polyclay is an exciting addition to the medium! Though it is brand new, I have had the pleasure of working with this product and look forward to using it often. Kato has managed to refine a polymer clay which keeps the sculptor in mind. Easily blended and fused, it's very flexible after baking and can be re-positioned while still warm. Color-faithful, it darkens only slightly after baking and can handle extended baking times well. Available in all the rainbow colors and several specialty hues, Kato Polyclay may just become the new sensation in polymer clay.
Artist's Modelene is an Australian product, distributed by Edward Elias Import/Export in Melbourne. This PC has been in use for years in Australia and its school system, so if you are from "Down Under" you are probably very familiar with it. Available in six flesh tones and a variety of "rainbow" colors, this clay is strong after baking, and not too sensitive while working. My experience with Modelene is limited since it is so hard to find outside of Australia, but I can say it handles well and yields a strong finished work. -