One of my newsletter members asked me what is the best polymer clay for beginners. There is no simple answer for this question. Really it boils down to two factors: Cost and Workability.
There are several kinds of polymer clay available at your local craft store. Sculpey III, Premo, and Fimo are the big three. Each of these is a good bet for color selection. They are all similarly priced at $2.39-$2.79. There are some newer, less expensive clays appearing. The Craftsmart is the cheapest at $1.25 per brick. Sculpey's newer Bake Shop brand comes in near me at $1.79
The Craftsmart clay was for me brittle and cloudy after baking. The Bake shop was better, but still got a whitish film on in after curing. If you can afford it it is probably best to stick with the big three clays.
My ultimate favorite for durability is Kato Polyclay. It is much harder and less brittle than the others. Problem is it is not widely available. I have to order mine by searching ebay for it. It is super firm and holds detail like tiny noses and leaves like a dream. Main problem is it reeks! Your craft area will be rocking that new shower curtain smell for sure!
Back when I was a beginner it was more of a Goldilocks and the Three Clays dilemma. I was sculpting a lot of detail. So one block of clay might be too hard. Another was way too soft to hold any detail. But I learned some skills to make my clay just right! Any of the big three brands will be great for a beginner and each packet varies in its firmness. For clay that was old and crumbly the clay softener above was just the thing. a couple drops, some kneading, and it was as if the clay had come back from the dead. But not in a zombie sort of way. For clay that had too much plasticizer, hence too soft. I learned to use a clay roller or pasta machine to roll it out in 1/4-1/8 inch sheets and place it between a couple sheets of plain white copy paper. Pop a couple of books on it and in a couple hours some of the softener leaches into the paper and firms up the clay. The video has more information and more detailed instructions. Be sure to subscribe for upcoming video projects and other tips and tricks!
is kept in a dark basement and fed a diet of mostly green peppers.