Mini Food Processor - AKA My New Toy
I love sculpting in polymer clay, however the process of mixing clay can be VERY tedious. This is especially true when mixing clay for a sculpture for a number of reasons. Using a pasta machine (my old method) for mixing clay takes FOREVER with a somewhat extensive preparation process. Light and fresh clay has a tendency to pick up lint, dust, dirt, anything and everything that happens to be around at the time.
Thus the longer the mixing process, the long the clay is exposed, and the more 'dirty' the clay turns out. The final sculpture looks less 'professional' if it is studded with lint.
And my newer issue with the pasta machine, is the difficulty in adding liquid polymer clay. I've discovered that conditioning some liquid clay into the mix makes it softer and more malleable, however, this was disasterous in my pasta machine meaning I had to do it by hand.
This is especially difficult with my injured hand/thumb (from military deployment)
The old Mixing ProcessPreparing the Clay to be mixed (I chose random scraps for this demo)
Each 'blob' of clay has to be slightly conditioned and shaped to fit into the pasta machine
Each blob of clay is run through the pasta machine a few times for a somewhat uniform sheet
The colors to be mixed are stacked, and run through the pasta machine again, and again
Until a uniform color blend is achieved
This process isn't too bad for a smaller sculpture or color combination, but this can take the better part of an hour for something as large as a 3 Inch Bunny
Old vs New
Enter the Food ProcessorI've read about artists using food processors for mixing clay, and finally decided to treat myself (Under $20 on amazon) I purchased the Proctor Silex 1-1/2-Cup Food Chopperideal for a small to medium magical sculpture
Does it measure up?I decided to do my first mixing trial with camera at hand
Preparing a mix of clay to be blended: Sculpey Living Doll and Premo Translucent. I will then add some TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey)
I roughly shredded the clay and dropped them into the food processor
Power ON, and WOW!!
I then added a generous few drops of TLS
Total Preparation + Mixing Time: TWO MINUTES,
Level of pain to my injured hand: ZERO
Foreseeable Benefits:The first and most obvious is TIME. I have essentially cut an hour out of the sculpting process.
On a personal level, this takes the stress of mixing off my hands, ideal for people with hand injuries
I can 'store' the unused clay in the processor. I typically mix up more clay than required. I'd rather mix too much of a clay color, than to run out mid-sculpture and have to try copying the color combination and consistency
The clay keeps CLEAN!! the processor is so tiny, I don't see the need to remove the clay, I will simply store the entire unit on my craft-cart and take out bits of clay as needed. And if a few days pass in between uses I will simply power it up for a few seconds and recondition (re-soften) the clay.
I am in love with my new toy!!