Polymer clay Information

Polymer clay is a sculptable material based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride . It usually contains no clay minerals, and is only called "clay" because its texture and working properties resemble those of mineral clay. It is sold in craft, hobby, and art stores, and is used by artists, hobbyists, and children.

Polymer clays all contain a basis of PVC and one or more of several kinds of liquid plasticizer. Pigments may be added to the translucent base to create a variety of colors, along with small amounts of kaolin or white china clay or other opaquing agents where opacity is desired. Mica may be added to simulate pearlescent and metallic effects.

Bakelite, an early plastic used in both practical and decorative applications, was extremely popular with designers and had an early form of polymer clay available in kits, but the phenol base of uncured Bakelite was flammable and these were discontinued. Modern polymer clays are based on a plastic modeling compound brought to the attention of German doll maker Kathe Kruse in the late 1930s as a possible replacement for plastics that had become difficult to obtain during the early days of World War II. It was not suitable for use in her doll factory, so Kruse turned it over to her daughter Maureen, who was known in the family as "Fifi". The formulation was later sold to Eberhardt Faber and marketed under the name "FIMO" in honor of Maureen.

Wikipedia, Polymer clay, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_clay (as of Apr 8, 2010)

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