You may have heard by now that Polyform is discontinuing its Studio by Sculpey line of clay and products, effective December 31, 2010. While many of the tools are being incorporated into the Sculpey line — just changing names — some of them will no longer be available. Here's an overview of the changes:
- The Clay: Studio by Sculpey clay will no longer be available. I suspect the polymer clay community's backlash over the Donna Dewberry thing got the brand off on the wrong foot. But it was probably the tightening restrictions on phthalates (which Studio by Sculpey still included) that dealt the final blow.
I personally liked the clay well enough for certain things. If I wanted to do a quick project, the fact that the colors looked great straight from the package was nice. I also liked the suede-like finish of the clay (though mixing UltraLight and Premo can give similar results). And I discovered as I was writing my book that Studio by Sculpey worked better than any other clay currently on the market for the tearaway image transfer technique. But I never felt like the clay had quite the right softness for me — it was either too soft or too crumbly, depending on its age. So while I'm not heart-broken about the clay, I did stock up when my local Hobby Lobby put it on clearance.The good news is, Polyform says they'll make color recipes available for the Studio by Sculpey colors in mid-November.
Texture Makers: The Studio by Sculpey Texture Makers sheets are also being discontinued, at least most of them. Three textures — lace, alligator and swirls — are now available in a smaller size sheet under the Sculpey brand name. The texture wheel will also be available under the Sculpey name.
I was a little sad about this one. I liked that these texture sheets were see-through and flexible. I liked the size and the range of patterns. And I really liked the two grid texture sheets, and have had a hard time finding anybody else making anything similar.
- Glaze: Talk about things that make me sad! I couldn't tell from the website whether the Studio by Sculpey glazes were being re-branded or discontinued. However, in the class I took with Christi Friesen last weekend, she said she had ordered some of the Sculpey Satin Glaze to check... and it's still the old goopy stuff. So it doesn't look like they're re-branding the Studio by Sculpey glazes. [Update: I confirmed this with Polyform. The glazes are definitely discontinued.] I dislike the Sculpey glazes so much, but I didn't realize how universal that dislike was until I started telling people about the Studio by Sculpey glaze. I wish Polyform had made a different decision.
- Other Tools and Accessories: The following tools and accessories have been re-branded under the Sculpey line:
- 5-in-1 Clay Tool (read more about the 5-in-1 Tool here)
- Clay Tool Variety Set (now called Clay Tool Starter Set)
- Etch ‘n Pearl
- Style & Detail Tools
- Super Slicer with Comfort Handles (now called Super Slicer)
- Bake & Bond Bakeable Adhesive
- 8” Acrylic Roller
8” Acrylic Roller[Update: The acrylic roller is being re-branded. It wasn't on their website because they're waiting for a new photo.]
- Clay Knife
- Antiquing Medium [Update: I verified this with Polyform — turns out these were discontinued over a year ago!]
FYI, I haven't seen any official lists on what's being discontinued and what's being rebranded, so the above is compiled from Facebook announcements, emails with Polyform, and my own comparison of the product listings on the Polyform website. (As a side note, I discovered after recently joining Facebook that their page is just about the best place to find Polyform announcements. It's certainly a better source than their website or their long-neglected email newsletter.) So if you think I've overlooked something, please let me know in the comments.
New Premo Colors
In other news, Polyform announced that in 2011 they will be releasing new Premo colors for the first time since they started the Premo line in the late 1990s. The announcement didn't specify how many colors or what they would be — it just said to "look forward to luscious, new colors." One wonders whether they're adding a few of those nice Studio by Sculpey colors...? They also said they're releasing 11 new Sculpey III colors.