Create crafts from plastic materialsman began at the dawn of civilization. The first raw material for this was the usual natural clay - a product formed in the process of destruction of the rock. There is red, white, blue and even black. But in the modern world, polymer clay is gaining increasing popularity. This plastic material for modeling various crafts, hardening under the influence of high temperatures. The needlewomen also call self-hardening masses like polymeric clay, such as cold porcelain, Deco, etc. Plastic and thermoplastic are wonderful materials for creativity. The craftsmen create incredible flowers from them, indistinguishable from the living, bright and original jewelry, elements of the decor of the premises and much more. In the vastness of the Internet, there are many photos of various products from all types of polymer clay and hundreds of master classes to create one particular craft, for example, a pair of earrings or a rose flower. At the same time, most of these lessons suggest that needlewomen already have basic knowledge and ability to work with polymer clay. Finding advice for beginners in this information pile is not easy. Our article offers the most important aspects of working with plastics, the basis of modeling, information about the properties of this material and precautions for working with it. Self-hardening polymer clay. Consistency similar to marshmallows, very plasticand easily stretches. Plastic can be easily rolled out in a very thin layer. Freezes in the air during the day. This material is used by needlewomen for the most part to create flowers. There is also a puppet plastic. Its advantage is the possibility of grinding the product after hardening, cutting off excess layers and correcting defects, if the product is slightly wet. This material must be stored tightly packed, preventing air from entering. At work, it is necessary to cover with a damp cloth or a napkin that part of clay, which is not currently used. Crafts made of such clay are light and fragile. When contacting with water, they can be deformed, therefore it is better to use a clean dry brush or feather puff to care for them. Therefore, self-hardening plastic is used mainly to create flowers and pupae. Thermoplastic or baked polymer clay. This material cures at a temperature of 110° С to 130 ° С. When creating hand-made articles at home, they are baked in the oven or even "boiled" in boiling water. In order to work as long as possible, you must strictly adhere to the temperature specified in the instructions for thermoplastic. For this purpose it is necessary to use an additional thermometer, since the thermostat on the oven can show a temperature different from the real one. The difference in degrees can lead to the fact that the thermoplastic will overheat (this will be understood by the unpleasant smell) or will not be baked. In this case, the product will look ready, and at the same time, crumble after a few months. In addition to the thermometer assistant will be a timer. You can certainly monitor the time yourself, while knowing that the signal will sound on time, you can safely deal with their affairs. Of course, do not forget about such security measures, as potholders or mittens. The hands of the master are her most important tool. All crafts are baked on a surface. It can serve as ceramic tiles or any refractory and heat-resistant dishes. The main thing to remember is that if its surface has any texture, then the texture of the product will also become uneven. When baked on a glossy surface of glass, ceramics or metal, the place where the product touches it will also become glossy. For small crafts, like beads, you can use thick cardboard, folded accordion. Also for small parts, a container filled with soda, flour or other powder, which must be covered with a napkin, is suitable. Another option for baked beads is a shish kebab. Instead of skewers, you can use knitting needles. The duration of baking will depend directly on the size of the product. For tiny flowers, a few minutes (from 5 to 8) will suffice, for crafts with a thickness of 3 to 5 mm it may take 20 minutes. In any case, the clay layer should not exceed 1 cm, otherwise the article will not be baked to the end. When creating large details, for example, puppet heads and bodies, needlewomen use cunning. From the foil a lump is formed, a little smaller in size than the hand-made article and covered with a layer of plastic. In this case, the desired volume is achieved, and the thickness of the layer does not exceed the allowable one. Thermoplastic for consistency at work is similar to plasticine. If the room is cool, you will need to apply a little more effort to mend it. The old polymer clay, crumbles, does not warm up well in the hands and loses some of the plasticity. When storing the opened package it is better to wrap in a polyethylene film and to place as far as possible from heat. Giving thermoplastic softness can be done with special softeners or vegetable oil. Baked products are very durable. Thin details are flexible enough and can restore their original shape. For example, on a layer of 0.8 mm there will be no damage, even if it is bent in half. So, when it became clear with the kinds of polymer clay, it's time to study the tools, without which the creation of fine products will be impossible. Now it will not be pasta machines, extruders and other unfamiliar words. And of course, in order to dazzle a pretty little thing, there is no need to buy up the whole store with plastic. To begin with, it is still necessary to determine what exactly it will be for a hand-made article. Do not rush to buy many flashy bright shades of clay. Choose two or three more calm colors and be sure to get white plastic. With its help you can create different shades and colors. The next acquisition is varnish. It can be different, it can make the finished product gloss or matte, add saturation to the colors and strength of the product. Also, the varnish can serve as a fixer, if the craft has to be painted. The most popular among needlewomen - water-soluble acrylic varnishes. They have a polyurethane base, there is practically no smell and very little drying time. Before coating the craft with varnish, its surface must be degreased and for work best suited brushes made of synthetics. Another important detail is the working surface. Anything smooth will do. It can be ceramic or glass tiles. The main thing is that the surface should not absorb clay and be absolutely clean, because the plastic has the feature of instantly collecting all the small debris on the desktop. To work with clay it is necessary to use knives. Suitable office supplies. The main thing in the blade is its sharpness, it depends on how much the place of the cut will be deformed. You can buy in the store a special set of stacks and skalok to work with clay, but almost any of them can be replaced with improvised tools. To start up toothpicks, knitting needles, instead of rolling, you can use a glass bottle. The surface of thermoplastic is very sensitive to fingerprints, if the product does not assume any uneven texture on it, on which the finger pads are not visible, then it is worth using gloves. It is important that they are the right size. If the latex is firmly wrapped around your fingers, it will be more convenient to work. Foil, paper napkins are used as a substrate for baking. In a ball of foil, you can stick toothpicks with billets of beads, arrange the flower so that the petals do not lose shape. Paper napkins help products not to acquire glossy texture in places where they come into contact with the surface. To create crafts, various cutters are also used, which can be replaced with baking molds. Sheets that impart a certain texture, a syringe with different nozzles - an extruder, a paste machine, which helps in rolling out layers of different thickness, creating smooth gradients and more, various powders, for example, with a pearl effect, giving shades, liquid plastic for gluing individual parts and details and much more can be needed when the creation of crafts made of polymer clay will pass from the category "this can be interesting" in the section "This is my vocation". About precautions. In operation, thermoplastic can be harmful to health only during heating. You should carefully read the instructions attached to the clay. It is necessary to carefully ventilate the room, where clay is baked, remove all food or cover with polyethylene, open the window and not let the kids in. After baking, be sure to wash the oven and, of course, do not bake the shelves at the same time as food. While crafts made of plasticine did not become a hobby for life, and you did not purchase a pasta machine for a smooth transition of colors, this can be done manually. The method consists in a phased mixing of the triangles of plastics. In this master class, the transition of colors from white to pink is considered. It is good to stretch the plastic of white color and divide it into 3 identical pieces. One to postpone, the second to give the form of a rectangle, and to the third to mix pink thermoplastic and carefully to stretch, having formed a rectangle. Two rectangles (white and pink flowers) cut along the diagonal and connect halves with different colors. Cut the resulting two-color rectangles across into a large number of equal parts. Mix each segment and arrange them one by one. Add the last remaining pure white rectangle. The resulting workpiece can be squeezed. In order to create a small flower this transition is enough. If you want a smoother transition, you can flatten and stretch the workpiece, and then fold it in half and so several times. Important. The more contrast colors, the more difficult it will be to get a smooth transition. If a gradient is created for small flowers or other artifacts of a smooth transition from black to white or from green to red, it will be impossible to achieve. At a width of less than 1 cm, such a transition simply will not be visible. If the layers are already stretched billet slightly offset, it turns out beautiful streaks in the section of the steep cylinder.