Friday 1 November 2019

Zen Chickens and Polymer Clay Comparisons. . .

A few weeks ago I was running low on Cernit, my go to Poly clay brand, (go to for no other reason than I tried it out and thought it was perfectly Ok so I stayed with it), but there was none to be had from my usual suppliers for some odd reason.

So, undeterred, I bought some Fimo pro instead, as it's well thought of etc and a bit cheaper than Cernit I think. I would check that last statement but can't be bothered. . .

Whatever. . . I thought I would just give you my thoughts on Fimo Pro vs Cernit if you are interested. Well, you are going to get them even if you're not interested. .

Cernit is a very tough and flexible clay, it has a fair amount of give to it and can be used to make quite thin things without becoming too fragile to work with. Fimo Pro is also tough, but has a different feel. It's less flexible, stiffer without actually being brittle.
I would be wary of going too thin with it though perhaps.

The two types of bead I have been making recently have been my 'Turned Look' spikes and 'spindles', and my image transfer tile beads. I am finding that I have to be a bit more careful when using Fimo for my turned beads than I do when using Cernit, due to its less forgiving nature.
I think I will use Cernit for those type of beads going forward.

I found that Fimo Pro was nice to use for image transfer work on flat, tile beads due to it's relative stiffness and tendency to let me produce slightly more refined edges when shaping them. Cernit's more 'chewey' quality made it feel a bit less exact somehow.
A subjective view for sure and not really discernible to the eye I don't think, but that's how it felt when working with it. I will use Fimo Pro for my image trans work in future. Truth to materials and all that ;-)

They both take an image well enough, Fimo perhaps needing a more gentle touch to avoid the image coming away when transferring using the water and rubbing method.
The issue of the image getting sticky while transferring is slightly less of an issue with Fimo than Cernit, (though a mixture of Cernit Trans and regular Cernit takes an image well. The image seems to stick to it better. I must try some Fimo trans sometime).
Fimo produces finer dust when sanded I think, it seems 'dryer' than Cernit. I wear a facemask when sanding whichever brand I am using.

Dunno if this has been of any use to anyone, it's all subjective stuff and your mileage may vary of course. I was surprised that I noticed differences in brands of poly clay, I must have developed an unconscious Cernit bias in technique over the years ;-)

I like both brands and now I have located some more Cernit, I can use them to their particular strengths. I did try some Fimo Soft, but that was pretty horrible, on a par with Sculpey Original in my opinion, only more brittle and 'dusty'. OK for bead cores but not anything that needs to be robust I don't think.

Oh yeah, Zen Chickens. . . No not a new band I discovered or a name for people afraid of particular meditation philosophies, let me elucidate. .

Our 4 chickens have the run of the garden and the orchard and are very tame. They like to gather around our feet if we are sitting on the terrace to eat, like we do in summer quite often. My wife has a habit of giving them her almost empty cereal bowl to finish off. They love this and all tuck in. . .
I noticed that there is one particularly resonant ceramic bowl with a pleasing note to it. When four chickens are pecking at it at random intervals it sounds like one of those 'singing bowls' you can get in those new age shops, as an aid to meditation, only not as soothing ;-)
Anyway, I think I should record it or film it sometime and put it online as a meditation aid ;-) So there you have it, Zen Chickens.

see you next time, Jon x

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