Recently I have been experimenting with different forms of polymer clay to make the head, forearms, lower legs and chest of the dolls. I started with Sculpy because it was the only polymer sold at the local craft store, Party Time, in Napa (now, sadly, out of business). Sculpy III, specifically, is a good work-horse clay. However, it takes quite a lot of kneading to shape it. The kneading warms the clay so it is workable.
Last December, after making a portrait doll on commission for a friend and customer, my thumb joints became red and swollen, forcing me to stop work for several weeks. I recovered, but I have changed my practice. I take frequent rest periods and switch to alternate activities that don’t involve my thumbs. Opening and closing my hands frequently to stretch them and improve circulation helps also. I find it’s good to have some ice/gel packs ready in the freezer to apply to my joints as needed. I never in my life would have anticipated this! Yikes!
I was searching around on the internet for a clay that responds better and found some very useful You Tube instruction videos on dollmaking. One artist recommended Cernit clay, which I promptly ordered from Polymer Clay Express. I am finishing up with the Sculpy on a new doll and haven’t opened the Cernit yet. It is a wonderful Bisque color.
I am currently preparing to dress the Tall Doll, Grace. She is made from wire, cotton, silk, Sculpy III Polymer Clay, acrylic paints, various fabrics. Her wig is made from human hair.