The person behind Crafts4joy (sometimes abbreviated as C4J) is me, Annette Swensen, and I live in Southern Alabama (USA) . I have been crafting for as long as I can remember, but in 2008 I stumbled upon polymer clay and have been working with it since. The possibilities with the medium are endless. I do take a break from it every now and then and spread my wings into other crafty creations, which are also available on this site.
There seems to be some confusion when polymer clay is mentioned. People think "pottery" or "earthenware". Polymer clay is none of that.
So ... what exactly is Polymer Clay?
Polymer Clay is not a true clay found in the earth. It was first developed in 1930, in Germany. It is a sculptable material based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It usually contains no clay minerals. It is mixed with plasticizers and color pigment is added (hence all the pretty colors). Original formulations of polymer clay remain soft until cured at relatively low temperatures. Traditional polymer clay hardens by curing at temperatures created in a typical home oven, generally at 265 to 275 degrees F (129 to 135 degrees C), for 15 minutes per 1/4" (6mm) of thickness. Polymer clay has minimal shrinkage and does not or change texture during the curing process. When properly conditioned and cured, most clays create items that will not break if dropped or normally stressed. After it has cured, the clay surface can be left as is, sanded and buffed to create a glass-like finish or finished with a water-based varnish.