Today I'm in a pretty grumpy mood. I purchased 20 lbs of black premo and it's an awful batch. It's too hard and requires a ton of conditioning. Even after spending time that I can't spare on extra conditioning, when I run out a thin sheet it's too brittle to work with. I have tried the clay packaged on the July 7, 2008 and July 21, 2008. Two pounds of hell-clay.
My understanding is that Polyform has changed ingredients in its formula. Getting the right consistency has been problematic and and the difficulties have been passed down to artisans using the clay. Over the past year we have endured months of rock hard clay. My supplier included complimentary bottles of Sculpey dilutent but it's messy to use when you work with large batches as I do and the time wasted conditioning the clay is unrecoverable. After the hard clay era we had batches of very soft clay (that i loved) that frustrated caners. The worst of all of this is that you never know what to expect when you place an order. I just emailed my poor supplier who has no control over what Polyform is doing in the factory and explained the situation. I have a show coming up and constant orders- I need to be at work to keep up. Taking extra time for conditioning and dealing with constant cracking affects my business. An art-based business is hard enough without this issue.
If polyform blended the current clay (packaged on July 7, 2008) with one of the soggier batches from earlier in the year they might have a consistency that would please most clayers.
I'm waiting to hear what my supplier suggests- perhaps a swap for 18 lbs of Studio?
PS- my wonderful supplier has requested that Polyform replace the clay by express courier.... my fingers are crossed this will work out....
POST SCRIPT- the hard clay has been replaced with a beautifully malleable batch of PERFECT PREMO!