Pardo Polymer Clay is manufactured in Germany by Viva Decor. 2wards Polymer Clay have always carried the very popular translucent colours from the Pardo Art Clay range.  But all of the ranges in Pardo Polymer Clay now have a permanent place on the shelves in the 2wards Polymer Clay warehouse.  Why? The global inconsistent availability of polymer clay (due to Covid-19) prompted us to offer more choices to Australian clayers! We were pleasantly surprised when we trialled the newly branded Pardo Polymer Clay.  We realised makers, artists and hobbyists could benefit from a little education. Not only about the “new” Pardo branding but also how to get the best results from this luscious clay.

Image of Necklet made from Pardo Polymer Clay. Artist: Suzanne Ward
Necklet made from Pardo Polymer Clay – Artist: Suzanne Ward

The “new” / “not new” lines:

  • Pardo Professional Art Clay – Is not new. It is a firmer clay to work with and dimensionally stable, which is why it is recommended for fine details and making canes. It is the clay to use for delicate polymer clay elements (eg tiny flowers, leaves, swirls etc). One change here to note – the very popular “not new” Transparent Pardo Polymer Clay is to be found in this range.  One would expect it to be in the Translucent range (where it always was) but here it is! Our take on this – Pardo Translucent Clay is translucent! No surprise there!  Meaning “allowing light, but not detailed shapes, to show or pass through i.e., semi-transparent”. Transparent does not fit in the translucent range as it can be baked or cured (at higher than recommended temperatures) to very clear, i.e., transparent. Having said that, we have also listed in the Pardo Translucent Clay category on the website to make it easy to find.
  • Pardo Professional Mica Clay – Same great qualities as Art Clay but with the addition of Mica. Especially well suited to the mica shift technique.
  • Pardo Translucent Clay – Not new but now in its own range. This same product line used to be included in the Professional Art Clay range.  Smooth to handle, holds a cut edge very well. Easy to move from one surface to another without distortion. Lovely pastel colours that turn almost jewel-like in colour after curing (see image below). Agate is a gorgeous white translucent which could be mixed with the colours for a more pastel effect.
  • Pardo Jewellery Clay – Not new. A softer to handle clay. Holds it shape well and also cuts well, with minimal clean up of edges required. We suggest this may be the Pardo line for those who prefer to roll and model clay in the hands?
  • Pardo Metallic Jewellery Clay – Not new, but has its own range now. Was in the Jewellery Clay range previously. A softer clay with lovely glimmering metallic effects.

Read this before starting to work with Pardo!

Experienced polymer clay makers or artists have no problem adapting to different types of clay. With experience, it becomes instinctive to know what the clay needs, so using different brands just requires a minor changes to how you handle it. However, if you have only used 1 or 2 types of clay, then please do read the instructions for how to condition Pardo.  Why? Because unlike other brands, Pardo Polymer Clay is manufactured from beeswax.

What difference does beeswax in polymer clay make?  It makes the clay soft and malleable, but the clay needs to be warmed by getting it moving before it will perform well for you. Especially when working in a cold room.  If this is not done, you may well end up with a pile of crumbs.  Think about raw beeswax!  When cold it’s a solid, when warm, it’s a liquid. If you keep this in mind, you’ll enjoy how easy it is to work with Pardo Polymer Clay.

How to Condition Pardo Polymer Clay

Image of Pardo Translucent Polymer Clay, showing raw cane and slices and baked slices side by side to show colour shift after baking translucent..
Pardo Translucent Polymer Clay, showing raw cane and slices and baked slices side by side to show colour shift after baking translucent..

Condition Pardo by taking a 3-6mm thick slice and rolling gently with an acrylic roller until it is almost thin enough to go through the pasta machine. This gets the clay moving and begins to warm it up.  If working in cold conditions – you can warm the slice of clay in your hands first. PLEASE DON’T BREAK A CHUNK OFF AND EXPECT TO ROLL IT IN YOUR HANDS! Hold the cut slices for a few moments, then lay them down and begin to roll with the acrylic roller as described above.

Thick to Thin & Thin to Thick Method = (TTT & TTT)

  1. Roll on the thickest setting on the pasta machine first. Set the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting and roll again.  Do this with each slice (going down through the thickness) until you get to about number 5 or 6 setting on an Atlas.  No folding yet!
  2. Stack 2 or 3 slices together. Roll on the thickest setting and go down through the settings again. Still no folding! Repeat until you have amalgamated all the clay you wish to condition into a single thin (no. 5 or 6) sheet.
  3. Now you can begin to fold! You’re going to make it thicker. Fold in half and roll on the next thickest setting. Place the folded edge to one side if you can. If it’s too wide then folded edge goes into the machine first.
  4. Continue folding and rolling on the next thickest setting until you are back up to the thickest setting on the pasta machine. This is usually approximately 2mm to 3mm thick
  5. By this time, the clay will probably be ready to use.  If it is cracking along the fold, go back down again to thinner settings.  Pardo is much easier to condition on a thinner setting than a thick one.
  6. Once there is no cracking on the fold, the clay is ready to use. There may still be cracked outer edges.  This happens to almost all clay and does not mean the clay is not conditioned.

If you don’t have a pasta machine, the principle is the same as above but you will be using an acrylic roller.  Remember: Don’t try to fold the clay until it is quite thin. Then fold and roll. It is conditioned and ready to use if no cracks form when the clay sheet is folded in the middle.  

Curing or Baking Pardo Polymer Clay

Cure (bake) Pardo Polymer Clay covered in a pre-heated oven at 120oC (248oF) for 30 minutes for every 6mm. To get a very clear transparency, raise the temperature slightly (cover during baking).  This will melt the beeswax out of the clay.  Higher temperatures melt the beeswax out of the clay, leaving a liquid while hot and waxy when cold residue on the outside of your piece.  Simply place a sheet of copy paper to absorb the liquid (while still warm) or rub the waxy residue off when cool.  

Tips: We recommend baking on a piece of copy paper placed on a tile or tray with a protective covering. If white clay darkens or discolours, the oven is too hot.

Go shopping for Pardo……….

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