Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tool Drool - Pasta Machine

A pasta machine dedicated to only polymer clay is one tool that is in many clay artists arsenal.

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Do you have to have one to work with polymer clay? Often that answer depends on what you would like to make.
I did not have one for the first two years I worked with clay and I got along just fine without it. Then after I did get one i wondered how I ever lived without it.
I sometimes use it to condition clay. Mostly I use mine to achieve mica shift and Mokume Gane. It is wonderful for rolling out sheets of clay for various projects.

Do you use a pasta machine with polymer clay? Could you live without it? Click "smooshing thoughts" and let us know.


10 Smooshing Thoughts:

2 Good Claymates said...

I can't believe you went so long without a pasta machine! The first time I was introduced to polymer clay was in a bead making class at a bead show. We had to condition our clay by hand (Fimo Soft) and by the end of the 3 hours the palms of my hands were so sore I left the show and went straight over to Michael's and bought a pasta machine (used a coupon of course)! Now I work mainly with Kato clay so I couldn't imagine conditioning that by hand! lol

coltpixy said...

Now I look back and wonder how I ever did it. Especially when conditioning clay. Now I am older, wiser and love my pasta machine.

UBK said...

I prefer to condition with the machine (I'm on my 2nd one), and they make skinner blends so much easier. I have managed a skinner blend with an acrylic roller, but it didn't look as nice as one that had been done with the machine.

I'm going to try a new technique today, one where you paint the uncured clay and let it dry, then run it through the machine for a "crackle" effect. In the tutorial, it says that using a pasta machine gives you much better results than without

The machine I have now is an AMACO craft pasta machine, and I picked it up at Hobby Lobby for $24.99. I wish I would have had a 40% off coupon though!

Dori said...

Wow, I couldn't do without my pasta machine. I use it for lots of things and especially for conditioning and mixing clay. I am on my second machine now that I got from JoAnn's for $9.99 on sale. I couldn't believe that price and bought it before I knew I needed it. Love those machines!

Creative Critters said...

I went my first few years with out one, but when i finally made the investment I loved it. I use mine to condition the clay, roll thin sheets for a variety of uses, and to blend colors. I find it so much easier to properly condition the clay when I use the machine. It's a lot easier on my hands too. I actually have 2 pasta machines now. My aunt gave me a really nice one that she got at a yard sale, so I put my original in storage for a "backup". Pasta machines are incredibly useful for dedicated clayers!

ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

Oh I tried to convince myself that I could do without a pasta machine. It almost worked until one of the first big projects I chose to take on was a huge gingerbread house. In order to make uniform walls for my house, I needed a pasta machine. I bought a used one from a gal who tried to make pasta one time and gave up. Got all the attachments-noodle and ravioli maker with it too

courtne450 said...

After reading this Tool Drool I knew that I had to go out and get one... I had been wanting one for a while, but this sealed the deal. Picked it up at Hobby Lobby and I am so glad I did! I absolutely love it! It is going to make things so much easier for me!!!

Teresa Kintner Gunderson said...

As I sit in my tiny half a room studio, I can see three pasta machines. Two are clamped to a chair near me, one for white and one for colors. One on the floor will probably replace the white only one, it's a little rickety. I believe there's one in the basement, there might be two.

Yes, I love my pasta machines! My Dad got me my first one in the late 1990's, and I'll never be without one again. One thing I've never had is a motor. If this tendonitis doesn't improve I might get one.

Charline & Tyra said...

I got a pasta machine as soon as I decided to go into claying. I'd have probably quit in the first month if I hadn't because my hands ached just from getting the clay soft enough to condition it with the machine. (Take my word for it, getting old sucks!!)

My birthday wish list contains 4 items (a motor and three more pasta machines -- one for white, one for darks, and one for pastels). I'll pass the one I'm using now on to my daughter so she'll have two. She's still young enough that she's not screaming for a motor, but she has incipient carpel tunnel disease, so it's probably going to be on her Christmas wish list.

Marlene Cupo said...

I am on my third one already. The first two were the "less expensive" ones from a Big Box store, and I managed to wear them out pretty quickly. I now have a Mankins, which has the ability to have a motor attached, which I intended to get, but still not sure due to reading about how noisey they can get. REGARDLESS, I could not live without my pasta maker.