Modeling Clay Rollers & Brayers

Working With Modeling Clay Rollers & Brayers

If you want to take your modeling clay projects to the next level, a good clay roller can help you roll out large amounts of clay with ease. The right tools can also help blend clay and give you extra thin layers, so rollers are useful for all sorts of projects.

Is there any difference between types of brayer materials?

Just about any smooth, round item can be used as a brayer to press paper to modeling clay during paper transfer techniques. Soft brayers, like ones of rubber or sponge, can help to get into lots of tiny cracks in a textured surface. However, firmer brayers, like glass or wood rolling pins, can get a smooth finish without requiring a lot of pressure from your hands.

Are clay rolling machines identical to standard pasta machines?

One thing you may notice when shopping for clay presses is that many of them look just like the type of machine used for rolling out pasta. These machines are the same basic tool, so you can use a standard pasta machine to roll your clay. However, just keep in mind that tiny bits of clay residue may cling to the machine, so you don't want to use your clay rolling machine for food prep! Another difference is that some styles of clay rollers may have additional features, like extra wide settings, that make them more useful for clay instead of actual pasta.

How do you choose between hand-cranked or electric-powered rollers?

Hand-cranked clay rollers tend to be more compact and more affordable. Thanks to the arrangement of gears and rollers inside, you do not have to use a lot of pressure to roll out your clay. However, if you are rolling pounds and pounds of clay each day, you may want to invest in an electric clay press. It produces the same results as a manual clay roller, but it requires even less physical effort.

Should you get a used clay roller?

If you want something that will last as long as possible, you may want a new in box roller. Clay rollers that are still in their box tend to come with all the instructions and additional accessories needed to get the most out of the machine. However, if you want to save money, you can find plenty of high quality used rollers. An open box roller may still have all the parts and work well for years, but it is often significantly cheaper.