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In the jewellery workshop: Cutting your clay

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Polymer and metal clay fan Emily Jones takes a look at the options for getting cleaner cuts and more unusual shapes with your clay.

If you like me love to create jewellery from polymer clay or metal clay, you probably have a collection of cookie cutters in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you are also like me and aren’t such a massive fan of sanding multiple little hearts, stars, circles etc when you are making things like buttons or charms, then you might also find the tiny jagged section caused by the join in some cutters annoying to have to remove each time. So I’ve been looking at the best ways to get clean cuts without this problem

Metal cutters

 

metal clay cutting

These cutters from Metal Clay Ltd are soldered so that the inside edges are smooth on the cutting edge

The obvious choice of course is to buy really great quality metal cutters which have been joined in a way that leaves the ‘cutting’ edge completely smooth. But there are other options to think about (and some may not involve much outlay).

Plastic cutters

Another option is to use plastic cutters: these are great for large shapes, perhaps decorations made from polymer clay. But given the cost of silver metal clay you are unlikely to be making pieces that large (Copper or bronze clay is considerably cheaper than silver clay, but both types require a kiln).

Plastic cutters don’t always give you such a clean cut as you do with a metal cutter, but they are more readily available, cheaper and come in a wide variety of shapes. Baking or cookery shops are a great source of both plastic and metal cutters.

Plastic cutters come in a range of shapes both traditional and more unusual.

 

DIY cutters

Another option that could appeal to your creative side is to make your own cutters to get the exact shapes you want. A browse on Pinterest came up with the following three ideas to get you started.

 

clay cutters

2) Use drink cans: You could modify/refine the joining edge here to make it as minimal as possible.

 

clay cutters

3) Use food tins: This tutorial is in Spanish, but the illustration is very clear for anyone to understand – plus I really like the shape!

 

Alternatively, if you can use found things, for example:

  • Bottle tops/lids
  • Yoghurt pots
  • Cardboard (works best if it is quite robust, but not too thick)

Or go freestyle, using a craft knife to cut out the exact shape you want.

If you have any other DIY cookie cutter making methods, we would love to hear from you and see pictures of both the cutters and items they’ve created. Please send anything you would like to share with us to: info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk