Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baking Tips Part One

The following is a compilation of information from various members of the Polymer Clay Smooshers.

It is very important to cure polymer clay properly using the manufacturers directions. Time and temperature may vary depending on what brand you use. The single most important tool to have in your arsenal before anything else is an oven thermometer. I am fortunate enough to be married to someone who knows how to and keeps my oven calibrated. I still use an oven thermometer. One of our members uses a candy thermometer in her oven.

No matter what type of oven you use we cannot stress enough the importance of keeping an eye on that temp. If it swings too much during the curing process you could end up with either scorched clay or clay that is not completely cured. Polymer clay that is not cured properly can crumble months and even years down the road. Properly cured clay does not.

With most clays you can bake longer than the recommended time. Some think that this cures the piece harder. Many of us do this. I don't think any of us Smooshers use any Sculpey's but if you do be aware that it can darken that brand if you cook longer even at a lower temperature.

Stay tuned for part two of our post, baking surfaces.

5 Smooshing Thoughts:

Susan Averello said...

Items can be baked over and over without any damage to the clay. That comes in handy at times.

2 Good Claymates said...

I agree -- You cannot over bake (as in bake too many times or for too long but you can under bake (not long enough).

ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

Here's my baking tip: Try baking in a 13x9 pan and using another one on top as a lid. NO fumes at all!
That's what I'm talkin about :)

Creative Critters said...

ClayitAgain, great minds think alike- I do the same thing. Great article, Star. I just posted a link on Facebook, so maybe some of my friends will come check us out.

Teresa Kintner Gunderson said...

I do many, many bakes (I tend to use Premo and some Fimo) on most things. The only issue I've had is that whites & trans need to be covered (I bury mine in cornstarch in a dish with a lid).

I have also discovered that Fimo Gel needs to be baked for short periods and then cooled. Rebaking is no problem, but baking too long at one time can cause a brown burn to appear and spread.