By General Crafts Contributor Amy from the Etsy Shop DangerousRainboCraft.
What is a clay machine?
A clay machine is a tool used in polymer clay crafting to easily create flat sheets of clay. Clay machines can be set to different thickness levels depending on what you need for your project.
Can I use it straight out of the box?
First look over your clay machine and wipe it down with a damp (just use water) paper towel to remove any dust or packing grease that could be on your machine.
How do I care for a pasta machine?
Never overload your machine with too thick of clay or too hard of clay, this can break down the gears. Clean your machine after every use with a damp paper towel and dry with a dry paper towel. Store your machine in the box it came in to prevent it from collecting dust. If you live in a dusty house like me some dust can still get on your machine through cracks in the box and you may want to wipe it down before use as well. I also like to run some scrap white clay through my machine before use to pick up any extra dust or color pigments that I may have missed while cleaning.
What setting do I start with?
Always start with the first or #1 setting which is the thickest setting. From there work down by 1 setting at a time till you have the thickness you want. Overloading your machine with too thick of clay can damage your gears and ruin your machine so always start with the first setting.
Do I need to prep my clay?
Too hard of clay can also damage your machine so work with your clay so that it is soft before using in a machine.
What are some benefits of having a clay machine?
You can create even thin sheets of clay that are perfect for using with clay cutters, creating canes, and much more. You can even create color blends. A clay machine can be a great time saver for many clay artist.
How do I create a color blend?
There are several ways to create color blends. In my Polymer Clay Feather Cane tutorial I created a blend using 2 colors. Want to blend 3 colors? Try the tear drop method!
Tear drop blend method:
Select 3 colors of clay and roll them into evenly sized balls. Choose colors that will blend well together.
Roll each of your 3 clays into elongated tear drops. Arrange them so the thick ends and thin ends are butt up against one another as shown.
Use your fingers to flatten your clay.
Run your work through your clay machine at setting 1 using your center clay as an imaginary center. Try to keep the center of your work as straight as possible.
Fold your work in half with bottom center and top center touching. Run your work through your machine with the fold going in first.
Repeat the process of folding your clay in half and running through your machine till you get a blend you are happy with. I ran my work through my machine about 20 times.