How flexible is polymer clay exactly? Are some brands of polymer more flexible than others? If you’re wondering about that I totally understand. First of all, I know how important it is not to want to deal with fragile clay, and how to spot fragility early on.
The answer: Polymer clay is flexible in addition to being strong and resilient. If you performed due diligence during the baking session, your resulting product (depending on how thick the parts involved were) flex if you attempt to bend it slightly.
If you do push on it with your finger, and it snaps, this is a sign it didn’t get enough baking time, the temperature may have been off, or no. 3 – you may have used a low-grade brand.
Here’s a Case in Point…
A case in point – this little mini boombox I sculpted (inspired by 80s-90s pop culture) Notice the difference in thickness for the details, like the handle:
I’m not advocating for deliberately “abusing” your projects afterward, but after cooling, it’s a good idea to do a simple check with your finger, with a thin slab object , it should flex slightly, but spring back easily.
There have always been those rare occasions when I have had something break – not often, but on occasion. I think I may have been using Sculpey III at the time. I had something I made in which a corner broke off that i eventually repaired. I made it in the 90s and perhaps at the time that was on me, maybe I did not bake it long enough. Or it could have been that particular Sculpey III.
Here is the small object I referenced; notice that the handle of the boombox is thinner and more delicate than the rest of it, and I am able to push it in with my finger and it springs back.
Another thing to love about this clay, right? Try that with some of that air dry type and then get back with me,. Thin pieces are always delicate and could snap if manipulated the wrong way.
How important is it for your clay to be flexible? Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. Jewelry pieces would be a good example. Some things, maybe not. Either way, good luck to you and have fun with your projects!