Product Type: Fimo Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... clay which works really well. Whatever clay type you use what is great about Fimo is that it can be mixed together to make a marbled ef... more
Fimo Modelling Clay
Member Name: Coffeetiere
Fimo Modelling Clay
Advantages: Easy to use and makes great things
I first became aware of Fimo when I was in my teens. A friend and I were really into making things and discovered it, we would go to each other's houses to make Fimo items, very often Fimo jewellery. Then about 6 years ago I bought some Fimo for an art project I was working on and made a large replica of a pollen grain from a scientist friend's microscope image.
Fimo is really fun. It is a bit like plasticine in its uncooked state and you can do everything you can do with plasticine as regards to moulding and building only after, it is possible to cook it as it becomes a permanent shape. Fimo also has a much nicer smell than plasticine, which to me smells disgusting, Fimo has a slight sweet scent.
Fimo comes in square "lumps" of about 4 x 4 x 1 cm. it is available in a vast amount of colours including fluorescent versions. It is possible to make gold and silver Fimo too, although you need to add some gold or silver powder to the ordinary Fimo to do this. Nowadays there is a greater range of metallic powders available. When I made my giant pollen grain I used red, yellow and green, and it is easy to mould the colours into each other so a flat surface is achieved but not so you end up with mixed-up colours.
On opening a new pack of Fimo, or going back to Fimo you haven't worked on in a few hours it is quite hard and I would warm it up in my hands before starting to work with it by moulding it between my fingers to make it soft and more adaptable. When fixing one piece of Fimo to another you need to make sure that they are well moulded together otherwise the different parts will fall off when you bake them.
In the past, when I was a teenager, I made things like beads and would create pretty marble effects from mixing several Fimo colours together. Once I even decorated a plain white clock with leaves and flowers I made entirely from Fimo! Also, Fimo doesnt seem to go off, I have some left over from making my pollen grain and six yesrs or so later and still it seems to be ok.
After making my Fimo objects they would need cooking, which I do in an ordinary cooker for 30 minutes, on a baking tray at around 100 degree Celsius. The Fimo is very hot when it comes out of the oven, but after it had cooled off sometimes I would coat it with a clear varnish which Fimo also make if I wanted a glossy finish to my piece. It is also possible to paint Fimo after baking with enamel paints.
Once baked Fimo can be sanded down and even cut into slices, although one would need to be careful of fingers as it is quite dense once cooked. It is also possible to drill holes in it, which is useful if making beads, I used to get my Father to do this for me though!
Fimo is made by Staedtler, a German brand and is made from polymer clay. It does contain PVC and there is some concern as to how safe it is, although it would only become unsafe if you used it a lot. I haven't given it to my children to use, not only for this reason but also because it's quite expensive and they aren't old enough to make effective use of it. Some colours do tend to come off onto my fingers, I always found the green to be particularly bad, but it washes off quite easily with soap and water.
Fimo costs about £2 per "lump", however it is possible to buy it in sets which work out much cheaper. You can use clay/playdoh/plasticine modelling tools, but I found that old kitchen implements along with my fingers work just as well. I think it's a good craft for teenagers, especially teenage girls to play with, but for anyone who is into mixed media art it can add an interesting dimension to one's works too.
Summary: A good "toy" for big kids!
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