Sometimes, as when using a mold, polymer clay tends to stick where it shouldn't. Remembering to use a release agent makes life much easier
The following list includes just some of the release agents polymer clay artists and hobbyists have used:
- Water-- This is the cheapest alternative and a favorite, because it won't build up in crevices like other agents do. Water works especially well for detailed molds. Water is a good release for Premo and Sculpey, but isn't generally recommended for Fimo and Cernit, which absorb moisture.
- Powders-- There are several powders from which to choose:
- Cornstarch is a popular choice. It usually washes right off with cool water, though you may want to let the piece cool before rinsing it.
- Baby powder is another alternative. However, some people think that this leaves a residue, even after washing. Residue, if there is any, can be sanded or buffed away.
- Baking soda may help control odors during curing.
- Mica powders, metal pulvers, embossing powders, and powdered chalk can be used, too, though they generally cost more than the other alternatives.
- Potato starch, rice flour, and arrowroot powder and other powdered food products may serve as release agents, as well.
- Glycerin-- This can be useful for casting detailed items. Another benefit of using glycerin is that it doesn't affect surface treatments on the clay (like paint or Pearl-Ex).
- Armor-all-- This product is silicone-based. Nothing will stick to it. While this makes it a good mold release, it can complicate things if you want to add surface treatments (including Future or Varathane) to the clay, afterwards.
- Petroleum-based release agents-- Vaseline or mineral oil are sometimes used when making vessels over a form (like an upside-down pot or bowl). Don't use these products with latex molds, however, because they will react with the mold and destroy it.