FAQ: Sculpey and Fimo
What is Sculpey?
Sculpey (notice thereís no "T" in this word) is a clay that hardens when exposed to heat or "baked." There are different types of Sculpey, but what I refer to simply as Sculpey is actually labeled "Sculpey III." Sculpey is very soft, and itís easily shaped. The down side is that it can be somewhat brittle when hard.
What is Fimo?
Fimo is a clay similar to Sculpey. Itís a little harder to shape, but itís also harder once it has been baked. I use Fimo instead of Sculpey in places that will be very thin (like a collar added to a shirt) or places that will be subject to friction (like a shoulderpad near an arm joint).
Where can I get Sculpey and Fimo?
They are available at Wal-Mart (in the crafts section) and at most hobby shops.
How should I "bake" Sculpey and Fimo to make it hard?
Although the packages for these clays will tell you to bake them in the oven, I do not recommend this. The problem comes in when you have Sculpey or Fimo sculpted onto a piece of plastic; the clay can take higher heat than the plastic. Using the oven can lead to melted or seriously warped figures, so Iíve never even tried. Instead, I "bake" Sculpey and Fimo by boiling them in water. This is much safer for the plastic. Iíve also heard that you can use a hairdrier to bake Sculpey or Fimo, although Iíve never tried this.
What I do is put the piece into a glass mug filled with water. I use a glass mug so I can see whatís going on in the mug. I put the mug in the microwave and set it to high. I watch as the water begins to boil, which takes 2 minutes or so, depending on the amount of water. I let the water boil for 30 seconds. Then I take it out and check the piece by lightly pressing the back of my fingernail to the Sculpey/Fimo (using the tip of your fingernail can make a mark if itís not done; using your fingertip can make a fingerprint). If itís still soft, I put it back in to boil for another 30 seconds. Keep repeating until the Sculpey/Fimo does not yield to pressure from the back of your fingernail. Remember that bigger pieces of Sculpey and Fimo will need to be heated longer.
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