As every cook has his favorite means of making scrambled eggs each polymer clay artist has a favorite manner of baking their clay projects. I will clarify my strategy and show how I bake my jewelry and bead projects. This is not the only right way to do so, but I’ve had very great results. I will speak about my process and then I will go into more detail about different philosophies, approaches, and hints.
I use my own home oven since it provides me more uniform and more dependable results than once I have tried with a toaster oven previously. Within the pan, I put a ceramic tile than a bit of scrap paper, and in addition to this, my project.
I really do use an oven thermometer to confirm my oven is baking at the appropriate temperature.
I preheat my oven, making certain it’s completely heated to the appropriate temperature. I then put my foil pans from the oven, close the door, and then start the timer. I used to depend on the oven’s timer however I would forget and move outside where I could not hear it so that I now use a mobile timer which I simply clip into my top or take with me. (Your smartphone probably has a timer program that will do the job also.) I kind of guess just how long to bake my own bits…I do not measure with a ruler or something like this, but I really do always bake more than that which I believe that I”should”. For many items this implies about 45 minutes to get a 1/4″ compact bit.
The Majority of the time I am happy. I typically am too impatient to let things cool on their own, therefore that I frequently will pick up the copy paper and place it on the countertop to cool (since the ceramic tile retains heat a very long time).
Here is the most usual way I bake, for the majority of the work I do. However there are plenty of times once I change from this. I will examine this and much more below. Continue reading!
Learn about the ideal temperature, instances, ovens, and baking setups to guarantee optimal outcomes.
It is no surprise people are confused about this one. Here is what many bundles of plastic clay inform you about baking length:
Most plastic clay artists may agree that these would be the minimum times you ought to utilize, and also the recommended 10 minutes for Kato is just plain incorrect. Polymer clay gets much more powerful when it’s baked longer than those minimum times. You can’t burn or harm polymer clay by baking it for a lengthy timehours. Unlike food, that will burn if left too long in the oven (since the moisture is pushed out), polymer clay won’t burn if baked in the right temperature. The limiting factor, however, is that mild colours of eucalyptus oil will darken and brownish with more times from the oven. It doesn’t hurt thembut it is going to easily mess up your effect, particularly if you’re working with mild or translucent polymer clay.
I always urge baking least 45 minutes a 1/4″ of depth and more for thicker bits.
Not sure you have baked your bit? Read about ways to tell whether your polymer clay is baked sufficient in Component 4 — How Long to Bake Polymer Clay.
Position from the Oven
When you set your polymer clay from the oven, try to center it up to from any heating as you can. You need great airflow around your own items, so the heat can disperse evenly within the oven. Place it to the middle rack, equidistant from the components, and also keep it from your oven’s walls. That is obviously more challenging at a toaster oven since the baking room is really tiny. However, if portions of your project are too near the heating element, it is going to burnoff.
Protecting your work in the warmth
As anybody who’s ever held their hands over a stove’s heating component could attest, it becomes horribly toasty! Even when the general temperature in the oven remains where you place it, each time heat element bicycles , it glows red hot and may singe your polymer clay bits if they are too close. Some ovens do not govern this quite well and the component will scorch items, rather badly sometimes. The very best way to protect your amazing artwork from baking disasters would be always to protect it and protect it from the heat by keeping it covered up.
I utilize a aluminum foil cake pan, most frequently the 8″ x 8″ size as my 6″ ceramic tiles match perfectly at the bottom. (Those of you outside the united states will have to discover the sizes that function for the substances that you have where you’re. For bigger projects I use bigger pans and tiles. Or an upside-down pan. Covering your job protects it in the heating element and in addition, it will help to keep the warmth contained at a continuous level within the pan, resulting in a more comprehensive and reliable remedy.
Another wonderful bonus of utilizing a cover is the chemical aromas that come from baking polymer clay will be significantly included. The couple of times that I’ve baked uncovered, my husband came to me, stressed, since he can smell the clay and believed it had been burning! (It was not.)
1 other pleasant bonus that comes out of utilizing the foil pans is I have a cover for my unbaked bits in the studio. Occasionally I will have the pan sitting there for days before I have made enough bits to bake.
Should you use a toaster oven and also possess a very small space, you can use the very small aluminum foil pie pans exactly the identical manner I use the bigger pans. Any pan with a lid ththat isven protected can be employed to protect your clay whilst baking. Keep your eye open for a tiny unpainted metallic box, or possibly a tin. Run it throughout the oven itself to ensure it will take care of the heat, however, simply to be sure.
Keeping a Constant Temperature
Convection ovens are a lot better at maintaining a consistent temperature, but toaster and conventional ovens utilize a hot component, biking off and on, to maintain the space warmed. The component can burn off your clay, as I’ve already said, but there is also the problem that curing your things could be relieved if the temperature does not remain high the entire time. If your oven is one of these who gets rather cold before the component kicks back , it may be valuable to put ceramic tiles on the rack at the center of the oven. This may act as what is known as a”heat sink” to assist hold and evenly distribute heat. You might also use a classic pizza stone in case your oven is big enough.
That is the reason why I use a ceramic tile at the base of my foil pan baking system. It will help to keep the temperature constant. In addition, I use my ceramic tiles as work surfaces, even if this really is a fresh thought for you, you may want to read about how ceramic tiles are among my most crucial tools.
When you put raw clay onto a shiny ceramic tile and bake it, the areas at which the clay touched on the tile is going to be glistening. To keep this from happening, simply place your thing on a sheet of scrap copy newspaper, an index card, or a sheet of card stock. Do not worry, the newspaper won’t burnoff. However, ensure it does not have any printing or writing onto it since the inks can transfer to a clay.
If you are baking round beads, then placing them on a level surface is a recipe in frustration! To prevent them from rolling over the area, simply accordion fold a bit of blank copy paper and then place your beads at the folds. They will remain in 1 location and they will not have shiny spots.
Another procedure is to utilize a bit of lace blouse. It will not burn from the oven, and it keeps your bits from receiving a shiny place. Batting is a superb tool, also, if you operate with sculpture and will need to encourage pieces of your piece through baking. Just use a lot of polyester fiberfill to prop up it.
1 thing to notice about using newspaper, however. Do not leave your artwork piece on the newspaper for long until you bake it. You may notice an oily place on the newspaper…that is the liquid plasticizer that is leached from your clay. A small amount will not damage your clay (be certain that you discard the paper then, however ). However, if excess quantities of plasticizer are leached out, it may weaken your own piece.
Translucent and mild colors of polymer clay are extremely vulnerable to turning brown during baking. This isn’t a sign of burning and isn’t dangerous, but it’s irritating. It is only one of thosthose things need to work around and there are a number of things you can do in order to stop, or minimize the problem. Before we get to all those, however, be certain you are baking at the ideal temperature and therefore are covering your bits during baking to stop the heating component from damaging your own work. Listed below are a couple different things you may try.
Another approach to protect your polymer clay in the warmth of the oven would be always to bury them in baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) through baking. Other men and women use cornstarch or sodium. To try it, simply pour an oven-safe bowl with your favourite powder, then dig a pit, and set your beads indoors. After baking, you’ll have to wash off the powder beads. Many folks report that cornstarch is much more difficult to wash away and leaves a white residue, which means you may like to use baking soda in case that is the situation. Regardless, do not abandon the beads sitting around unbaked from the powder for long, however, for exactly the exact same reason as with all the newspaper above. The plasticizer can possibly leacLeach of those beads, which makes them fragile.
Higher temperatures and more bake times result in more browning. Thus reducing the temperature or the whole period of baking can take care of the problem of browning. However, as I have discussed previously, that may also result in diminished and underbaked projects. I propose carefully experimenting with decreasing the baking temperature and time while at exactly the exact same time tracking the project’s potency. Try out another approaches initially, and in the event that you still have unacceptable browning, then try experimenting with all the temperature and time of baking.
Plaques are whitish regions that show up in the midst of a sheet of plastic clay after healing. They seem as though they’re air bubbles however appear to occur when there wasn’t any clear air trapped inside the raw clay before baking. It has been suggested they are brought on by water vapor or air gathering in the clay through healing and they are due to or affected by sharp contrasts in temperatures through baking or coolingsystem.
Occasionally cracks appear at a clay bit immediately after baking, seemingly brought on by expansion of the clay mass through baking.
A commonly proposed solution for the two plaques and fractures would be to heal the clay without causing thermal shock. To do so put your covered clay into a cool oven, turn it on to the right temperature, then begin timing after the proper temperature was reached. After baking, switch off the oven and leave your items within the oven until they’ve chilled thoroughly.
Would you bake polymer clay over once?
A frequent issue for those new to polymer clay is”Would you bake polymer clay over once?” The solution is YES! There’s not any reason you can not bake a part of clay as many times as you want to. In reality, for complicated pieces it is common to bake pieces of the piece individually and then build and combine them later baking. Additionally, it is perfectly fine to attach raw clay into baked clay and then bake this. At times it’s the only way that you are able to get certain consequences.
If your home is in a high elevation, then you know that the laws of physics may do some strange things for your baking times and temperatures. You may very well should make alterations to a polymer clay baking occasions too. I really don’t have personal experience with this, but I have read that hill dwellers have achievement by increasing the baking temperature around 25°F (or possibly 10°C) and baking for 15 minutes more. Your experience may be different depending upon your altitude. But if you are doing everything right and getting underbaked clay, then this really is something to know about.
Alternate Techniques of Curing
Don’t use a microwave to heal polymer clay. It is the incorrect sort of heating process. It is not likely to cause sparks or something like this, but it is going to lead to smoke when it burns! Read about if you’re able to bake eucalyptus oil at the microwave within my post about it .
For some reason there’s a controversy concerning using coconut water to heal polymer clay. Many folks say that it functions, but that isn’t realistic. You would think that adding more heat would increase the warmth of their water, but the truth is it does not. Blame physics. Some folks will say that boiling for quite a long time does provide a whole cure for polymer clay. I’m very, very skeptical about the.
But, I could conceive of why you may want to boil a polymer clay sculpture, for example, to permit the water to encourage the product long enough to partially fix. This may be useful with complicated thin projections orbits that would normally be too floppy to bake with no aid of their water. You’d then completely bake the thing in a proper temperature in the oven. But that is not something most people are likely to be coping with.
You are able to place cure polymer clay using a heating but you need to be very, very careful to keep the gun moving constantly and never get too near the clay. I’ve done this. However, so long as you are super cautious to prevent burning, it is possible to kind of”soft remedy” clay to get it to solidify. You may use this technique when using liquid oil to build a sculpture, as an example. Nonetheless, it is not a complete cure and you’d still have to fully fix your project from the oven.
Cynthia Tinapple does utilize a heating to heal her polymer set up from the wooden bowls she produces with her husband Blair Davis. But she also utilizes an electronic thermometer to ensure that the clay is really reaching temperatures. For the majority of us, this is not a generally reliable method of treating polymer clay.
Well that is all I can consider. Now go make something amazing!
Part 1 was around Selecting the Correct Oven and Section 2 was roughly Working with the Ideal Temperature. I trust you found this show to be helpful. I have got tons more great posts intended. Thanks!