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So you try to be conscious and it ends up you didn’t do much better than you originally thought you would.

I looked, and searched for home-made clay recipes all over the internet. I was looking for a clay that would be malleable yet durable enough to make beautiful things, cheap enough to produce and make over and over again, and a recipe that didn’t use nasty or toxic ingredients.

homemade polymer clay

And I found one! It was perfect….or so I thought.

The ingredients?

-1 cup of Non-Toxic Elmer’s glue

-3/4 to 1 cup of Corn Starch

-2 tbsp of mineral oil  Olive Oil

-1 tbsp of lemon juice

homemade polymer clay

Not so toxic, right?…. Well, I looked into what mineral oil really is, and essentially it is the “by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude-oil”. That same oil in the clear bottle and the pink cap that you put on a baby’s bum bum, that stuff (plus some fragrance), comes from an incredible unsustainable source. On top of that fun fact, the World Health Organization  “classifies untreated or mildly treated mineral oils as Group 1 carcinogens to humans.” (Source) Group 1 carcinogens = DEFINITELY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS. What?!?!

So since I am being all aware and into this, I decided to replace mineral oil with OLIVE OIL!

homemade polymer clay

Cool… That’s great. So I am happy I’ve done my research and I feel better about myself.
I go about following this recipe, which at first I was hating, because it did not come out like it said. After reading the comments from other people though, I cooked the dough longer and realized that the most crucial thing is to KNEAD the clay when it’s REALLY HOT. Then all the parts will blend.

ps. I also added turmeric to the recipe to give it some natural color.

homemade polymer clay

But then something else happened…another question that should’ve been obvious to ask, but I did not. Where the heck does Elmer’s glue come from???

Oh here we go again….. Elmer’s glue is made of polyvinyl acetate which, you guessed it, comes from petrochemical sources. Come on world!!! Really? Which really makes me think about all the “non-toxic” things we buy, that are actually quite toxic to our environment, our bodies, and our world! Of course elmer’s glue is toxic if it’s source and main ingredient when extracted from the ground  pollutes and kills everything around it!

Agrrr… I’m not so happy about this at all. I want to be able to make my own clay/dough at home, with decent ingredients that won’t harm you and me.

homemade polymer clay

I haven’t experimented again, but I will once I find the perfect ingredients.

In the mean time, I will try to use up all my “non-toxic” glue, and try some more natural glue recipes. And lesson learned. Check ALL ingredients and where they come from regardless of now “natural” and non-toxic they are.

-Mensa

 

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