DAS Polymer Clay Review

Many of you have known DAS as a brand of air-dry clay. But did you know that they also have a brand of DAS Polymer Clay? Made by the FILA group, this clay seems to be readily available in Italy, but recently it’s been seen in stores here in the US. Imported by the Dixon Ticonderoga company (yes, the pencil company), DAS Polymer Clay is now being sold in Joann Stores in the US. (Have you seen it elsewhere? Leave a comment!) This DAS clay might be available in other countries, too, but I’m not sure. Anyway, if you’re looking for a DAS Polymer Clay Review, here you go. Here are my thoughts on this interesting clay.

Packaging of DAS polymer clay

I’m not sure if this brand of clay is available in individual packages elsewhere, but here in the US it seems to only be sold in multipacks of twelve 1 oz (28.5g) packages. These are packaged in a clamshell that hangs on store displays. It appears there are several multipacks, in Primary Colors, Pastel, Harmony, and Warm & Cold Collections. The colors in the two packs I received (Primary Color and Warm & Cold) aren’t meant to be artists colors, so I can’t evaluate their primaries or the color range of this brand. You can see what’s in the various packs here.

The clamshell multipack makes it appear that each pack has 12 full-size bars. But be aware, the packages are only half thickness, meaning each bar is the same as the mutipacks in other brands such as Sculpey or Craftsmart. Definitely take that into consideration when costing this clay. The few metallic colors didn’t appear to be very sparkly. The silver color actually appeared to be gray.

Handling DAS Polymer Clay

Because this polymer clay doesn’t have much distribution, it’s difficult to find much information about its quality. Is DAS Polymer Clay any good? Well, as with all brands, it depends on what you want to make with it. DAS is what I call a “fracturing or shattering” clay. This means that you might find that bars are cracked before you open the package. This doesn’t indicate that the clay is too dry. I found DAS Polymer Clay to be fairly soft with a stiff body feel. It’s easy to manipulate and softens considerably after it’s conditioned.

The clay has a slightly tacky surface feel, similar to that of Fimo or HL Advanced, and strong colors do come off on your hands. That’s easily removed with a baby wipe, however.

Sheeting DAS Polymer Clay was interesting! It’s unlike any other brand I’ve tried. A thin sheet of DAS has a lot of body to it and feels a bit like a sheet of vinyl. It doesn’t readily stick to itself. In fact, you can wad up a sheet of this clay, making folds and ripples, and then flatten it back out again! It would be an absolutely phenomenal clay for the fabric effect that Make Small Talk made popular.

Aside from that, it’s pretty much as you’d expect. Roll it, sculpt it, stamp it, and play with it just as you would with any brand of clay. Then bake it at 265F (130C).

Baking DAS Polymer Clay

When your projects come out of the oven, you’ll notice that they’ve got a bit of a sheen to them. Definitely one of the shiniest brands I’ve tried. There’s no waxy coating, though, the way that Pardo can have.

Baked DAS Polymer Clay is less stiff than Kato or Fimo, but not as floppy as Premo or Souffle. It’s strong enough to withstand some bending and it didn’t snap when flexed. But it DID tear when I bent it sharply.

The colors I baked did appear to darken during baking, but they lightened up as they cooled. The red (a color that often darkens during baking) did darken somewhat, but I wouldn’t expect this to be a serious issue with this brand.

What About Bubbles?

Reports online have suggested that bubbles are an issue for this clay. I don’t generally blame a clay for the presence of bubbles. Bubbles are nearly always caused by poor habits or if the clay is too soft. Baking too close to the element can be another cause of bubbles. But I gotta say — this clay had a lot of bubbles. I’m not sure why they’re happening and didn’t take the time to experiment. But if you use DAS Polymer Clay, plan on using some sort of surface texture to disguise the bubbles. If you need a flawlessly smooth finish, this clay will just frustrate you.

Making a Pinch Pot

In Blue Bottle Insiders, our polymer clay learning community, we have a Discovery Challenge unit on making pinch pots. It’s a great way to evaluate the way a specific brand of clay handles. DAS Polymer Clay did surprisingly well! It was one of the easiest brands to use. The clay is soft enough to shape with your hands but has enough body to hold its shape. It also doesn’t crack as you shape it. But after the vase sat for a day, I did notice cracks around the neck. So this clay MAY crack while it sits.

DAS Polymer Clay Recommendation

So, do I recommend this clay? Hmm. It’s a perfectly nice clay (with quirks) and I’m very glad to have it on hand. I think it has some unique qualities. I don’t think it’s going to replace Premo or Fimo as your all-purpose brand of clay. But if you need some clay and find it at a good price, give it a try. It’s certainly not a bad clay. It’s just not Premo.

What is YOUR experience with DAS Polymer Clay? Tell me in the comments below!

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Ready to level up?

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Insiders is a supportive polymer clay learning community with live discussions, monthly discovery challenges, and a private community forum. Join us!

Disclaimer: Many thanks to the FILA group and Dixon USA for providing me with this clay so that I could give it a try. As always, providing me with sample product does not influence what I write. My opinions, both good and bad, are all mine!

12 thoughts on “DAS Polymer Clay Review”

  1. Traci Pimentel

    I just tried DAS clay right now. I love the colors, shine, and weird consistency. The thicker beads I made all cracked. The thinner disc shaped beads did not. Is there a trick to oven temp for making thicker items for this clay? I got no bubbling or yellowing. Or is this clay not recommended for bead making? Thoughts? Thank you.

    1. Cracking is one of those mysteries of the universe. So many things cause it that it’s really hard to find the specific cause. The beads I made were fine, but it could be down to so many reasons.

  2. Theresa f zerrenner

    I recently saw this clay being sold in my local Dick Blick Art Supply store. More expensive at $3.49 than Sculpey. I have not tried it yet

  3. Leana Zimmermann

    Hi. I am the owner of Imagine Arts, Beads and Crafts, a Arts and craft shop in a town in South Africa, giving classes in various hobbys etc. I stock Premo and Das Smart clay. I have a small earing range I make myself from polymer clay. I mix Premo and Das all the time with great success. Both bakes at 130C. Your views on Das is spot on. It is a bit hard to condition as it sometimes is crumbly, but once it is conditioned, it works great especially in SA’s warm weather. It is very popular in my shop as it is reasonably priced compared to Premo. Here in SA in comes in single packs of 57g. The colours are beautiful pastels.

  4. Jane Pellicciotto

    Same here. My Dick Blick in Portland, Oregon, had a big display of multi packs and the 2-bar packs. It’s still hard to get Premo in my favorite colors but then this shows up! I was glad to see this review.

  5. Didn’t care for DAS clay. Just not as easy or quick to work with as Premo. Does sell in our Dick Blick store (Columbus, OH) in individual packs as well as the bigger packs you mentioned.

  6. In the UK it mostly seems to be sold by Crafty Arts. They have a good range of colors including glitter and metallic and they are sold singly with a couple of options for larger blocks. It is currently on sale but I haven’t tried it yet. I only use clay for jewelry so plan on giving this a go.

  7. I haven’t tried this clay but have seen it being sold occasionally in the range stores here in the UK. There’s a new brand of polymer clay appeared in the range that’s also sold in small multipacks. So far people seem to be saying its good with a nice range of colours.

  8. Commercial Art Supply (The Art Store) in Syracuse, NY sells the 2 oz. DAS clay single packs. I’ve been working with it in preparation for teaching a class on polymer clay at The Art Store this Saturday. I produced a few Skinner blends, a cane and a Natasha bead using 3-4 colors, and overall, I was very pleased with the results. I had no major issues with the clay and I would recommend it if you can find it, especially in light of occasional supply chain issues for other clay brands. I have not tried mixing it with other clays, but I probably will at some point. Cost-wise, I think it runs about the same as other clays, plus or minus. I have an in-process photo of my DAS clay pieces on my Instagram account dedanannartisan.

  9. I’m from South Africa and my local craft stores have these in abundance, I have seen multiple FIMO such as leather effect and even a doll effect, but I choose to use the DAS as I’ve also just started out with polymer clay. Thus far it’s really great to work it, the ones I get comes in 2 oz (57g), so two of those single sachets. When opening it us, it is crumbly but when it gets conditioned, it’s really soft. The darker color do tint your hands a little but comes off easily. The bubbles do appear from time to time but not often. But something to note, I mixed the glitter white with peach to make a marble effect, but after it was baked, it came out yellow . But really great clay to work with, I’d recommend trying it out for yourself and see how you like it.

    1. The yellowing may be because you didn’t tent your piece in the oven to protect it from heat spikes? Xx

  10. My local Dick Blick store has a display that includes individual packs. They are packaged as 2 thinner pieces in a package. A single pack contains 2 oz. total; they have 12 oz. bars as well as the 2 oz. ones online. I played a bit with the red, and was pleased with the color after baking, neither orange- or maroon-tinted to my eye. I didn’t do enough to form any other opinions, so I appreciate your report on this new clay.

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