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How to Cut Polymer Clay with a Digital Die-Cutting Machine

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A while ago my pal Lisa Pavelka was showing off her fabulous Pardo Jewellry Clay by Viva Decor at CHA Winter 2011- it’s so flexible after baking, you can actually use a paper punch to cut it! So I got to thinking- why not cut it with a Cricut? I played around a bit, and actually got it to work. Here’s how you do it.



 
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Step 1: Condition Your Clay

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Condition your clay well- I actually used scrap clay from various projects, so it’s a mish-mash of Pardo, Sculpey and Premo. (PS- I tried this later with straight-up Premo & it did not work as well as the mixed clay.) Roll it through a pasta machine (yes, you kinda need one for this) until it’s at it’s thinnest setting. Then place the clay on a sheet of deli-wrap and roll it through again. Do this carefully-make sure there are no bubbles or huge wrinkles- because you’ll bake the clay on this sheet.

Step 2: Cure Your Clay

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Bake your clay. Watch it carefully- it’s so thin it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so! Remove the deli paper as quickly as you can. It likes to stick if it cools fully. (That’s not a problem, though- you can just use a scrubbie to remove the excess paper that has stuck on.)

Step 3: Prepare Your Mat

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Get ready to cut. Using blue painter’s tape, secure your sheet of clay to the mat. Set your cutting guide to “heavy paper” if you have an E2, or use {speed:5 pressure:5 depth:2} if you don’t. And for both, I recommend the multi-cut feature and have it cut TWICE.

Step 4: Cut!

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You may need to troubleshoot a bit if it doens't work perfectly the first time-like uou may need to go back over it a bit with a craft blade or replace your blade, but I’m still pretty impressed with the results!
apress2 months ago

Auto die cutting machines can cut sheets with different
designs. But how can it possible with polymer clay? Will it affect machine's
process? http://www.printingpressmachineries.com/autoprint-repetto.html

You stated that the clay was flexible after baking. Once you get them cut out, what do you do with them? I make jewelry and thought this would be fun to try, seeing that I also have a Cricut machine. But if the clay stays flexible it probably wouldn't work. I do like what you came up with though.
mstyle1832 years ago
good luck.. very interesting..
foobear2 years ago
very cool technique. I hadn't heard of this new clay, it sounds very interesting. thank you!
CraftTestDummies (author)  foobear2 years ago
If you'd like to read my review of Pardo clay, visit this link:
http://www.crafttestdummies.com/craft-product-reviews/craft-product-review-lisa-pavelka-signature-art-clay-by-viva-decor/

There are also some links in that post to other clay reviews. Thanks for commenting!
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