Dream machine or Lucy Elephant / Squirrel
Ok, so this is where it gets slightly ridiculous.
USA based Artway designed these things because pasta machines are… well.. designed for pasta. It sounds obvious, but they’ve become so ubiquitous in polymer clay that it is easy to forget that they’re not really suited to the stiffer nature of polymer.
The Dream Machine is their attempt to create something specifically for the needs of polymer users and in many ways they’ve succeeded. It’s a big heavy beast – much sturdier than your standard pasta machine – and it’s a lot wider. It has “easy clean” blades underneath so that when you inevitably have to clean all the accumulated crud off the blades, it doesn’t require a degree in engineering to get the damn thing back together. It also has sheeting guides that adjust along the blades so you should – in theory – be able to keep your sheet to the size you want.
Sounds good? Yes. It is good. But – and here’s the thing - I’ve had mine for about 6 months and although it’s good, I just don’t love it. It’s quite hard to crank – it feels industrial. Its thinnest setting isn’t as thin as even a 7 or 8 on my Atlas and I quite often end up with ripples. The removable blades are easier to get at than a pasta machine but they’re not THAT easy, and they seem to accumulate crud faster than a pasta machine. Which all sounds like niggling, but wait for this… it cost me £240! I had to pay an upfront deposit of £100 and then wait for months – and then some more months – before it got manufactured. They only produce them once they’ve got enough orders, which means some people have had to wait two years!
And then, after all that, there was a problem with some of the machines that meant the end users had to take them apart to insert a washer in order to align the rollers. Not great.
All in all, it’s OK. I use it every day, but it’s just not as good as it should be for that amount of money. Would I recommend it? I don’t know – perhaps the next batch will be better. Perhaps I should have paid the £450 extra for the motor that fits it (NB ain’t ever going to happen). I liked the company and I applaud the attempt, and I understand their situation and the rationale behind the wait etc but I don’t think the product is amazing enough for all that.