What are the cons of polymer clay?

Polymer clay is a versatile and popular medium that offers a wide range of creative possibilities for artists and crafters. However, like any artistic material, polymer clay also has its drawbacks and limitations. In this article, we’ll explore some of the cons of polymer clay to help you make informed decisions about its use in your projects.

1. Brittle and Breakable

One of the main drawbacks of polymer clay is its tendency to be brittle and breakable, especially in thin or delicate areas. After baking, polymer clay becomes rigid, which can make it prone to snapping or cracking under pressure. This can be a concern when creating intricate and delicate designs that require durability.

2. Limited Flexibility

While polymer clay is malleable and can be shaped before baking, it doesn’t have the same flexibility as some other types of clay. This limitation can affect the overall feel and movement of certain projects, such as figurines or sculptures that require a more natural range of motion.

3. Fading and Discoloration

Some brands and colors of polymer clay may be prone to fading or discoloration over time, especially when exposed to sunlight or UV rays. This can impact the vibrancy and longevity of your creations. To mitigate this issue, it’s important to use colorfast clay and consider sealing your finished pieces with a protective varnish.

4. Difficulty in Achieving Realistic Textures

While polymer clay can be textured and molded to achieve various effects, it may not always replicate realistic textures as convincingly as other sculpting materials. Achieving highly detailed and lifelike textures can be challenging, particularly for artists seeking hyper-realistic results.

5. Limited Heat Resistance

Polymer clay can withstand normal household temperatures and wear, but it is not highly heat-resistant. Excessive heat, such as leaving polymer clay items in a hot car or placing them near a heat source, can lead to warping, melting, or distortion of the clay’s shape.

6. Potential for Air Bubbles and Imperfections

When working with polymer clay, there is a risk of trapping air bubbles or creating imperfections on the surface. Bubbles can form during the mixing or conditioning process and become visible after baking. Achieving a perfectly smooth and flawless finish may require additional techniques and skills.

7. Translucent Colors Can Be Tricky

Working with translucent polymer clay colors can be challenging, as they can be prone to cloudiness or uneven curing. Achieving a clear and consistent translucent effect may require practice and experimentation.

8. Environmental Impact

Some polymer clays contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which raises environmental concerns due to the production and disposal of plastic-based materials. If environmental sustainability is a priority for you, you may want to explore alternative art mediums that have a lower environmental impact.


While polymer clay offers a wealth of creative opportunities, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and potential drawbacks. Brittle nature, limited flexibility, fading, difficulty in achieving certain textures, heat sensitivity, imperfections, and environmental considerations are some of the cons associated with polymer clay. As with any artistic material, understanding its strengths and weaknesses allows you to make informed decisions and develop techniques to work around its limitations.

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