Member Benefits 037-2: Tips Baking

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Baking for an hour at 265 degrees is perfection. I haven’t burned anything yet! I did however, sandpaper my finger in my enthusiasm in my first project (a faux rock :). I’m feeling a little more confidence as I go along and am having fun instead of worrying about perfection. Thank you Cindy for your wonderful tutorials and easy style. ~Trudy-M >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Inclusions

Joyce, hang in there girl! Sure sounds a lot like one of my early days at this, lol. The best thing about polymer clay is that it waits for you, so you can take your time and refine each step.  Suggest you get the type of oven thermometer that registers temperature in a marked tube filled with red liquid. They hang from the top shelf of most ovens, and are reasonably priced. You can watch how quickly your temps spike and fall, which helps you to bake it longer for more strength and durability. I burned plenty. Learned to like the look of it too, it can be a lot like raku if there’s some sparkle or mica in it already. ~Jocelyn-C >> This comment was originally posted here: How To Make Polymer Clay Beads

Using ceramic tiles to help avoid problems with baking flat pieces of polymer clay is something I have not yet encountered (told you I was new to this!!). And know I can fix it before it happens!! YAY!!! ~Kam-K >> This comment was originally posted here: Baking Polymer Clay

Grace: As long as you monitor the temperature of your oven with a separate oven thermometer (step 4 above,) you shouldn’t have problems with burning your beads. If you are watching them carefully, you will notice if your beads start to burn. Polymer clay has a distinctively bad smell when it burns, so you can tell quickly, and then turn the oven off and remove the beads. You do not have to be afraid of it. It just smells bad (probably the most it would do is irritate your throat if you breathed a LOT of the smoke from burned clay.) You would have to breathe the fumes for a very long time or burn beads on a regular basis to have a toxicity problem. Just follow the baking directions here at the website, watch your beads while baking, monitor the temperature with a thermometer, and you’ll be fine! There’s lots of baking information here at the website, just type “baking tips” or “how to bake” into the search box at the top of the page and you’ll get a list of great articles on the topic. Be sure to read the comments under the articles, as there’s often even more info, tips and tricks than in the original post itself. If you fall in love with polymer clay like I have, you might want to get the Polymer Clay Basics Course. It has 39 short-and-to-the-point videos that teach you how to work with polymer clay. Cindy’s videos are wonderful, she has a fantastic teaching style and the videos themselves make it easy to see the details of what she’s doing. They’re really well-done. I hope you can join us here, you’ll love it! ~Phaedrakat >> This comment was originally posted here: How to Bake Polymer Clay

Hi Cindy, Well about two weeks ago I baked some yellow and pink what I called lentils (slightly flattened bicone beads) and 3 pendants in a toaster oven that I got on free cycle… tented it with aluminum foil (that was my first mistake) and then let bake for too long (walked away). Well, you can imagine what I had when I came back. Pendants looked like burned marshmallows and my beads were now brown and darker yellow. I almost threw everything in the garbage but decided to read your article about burnt beads. Guess what… I made a beautiful bracelet… the beads look like wood.. (my 4 year old granddaughter helped me shine then with future shine). Everyone who sees it just loves it. My daughter said she would even wear it. But I  know for the future what to do. Keep my eyes on my work and tent with parchment! Thinking of burning more to get the wood effect but the smell is not worth it. ~Natalie-H >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Tutorials

Thanks to those who posted their experiences about the NuWave oven on earlier threads here. I saved and purchased it, and am extremely happy I listened to their advice. ~Jocelyn-C >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Library

I reiterate what so many people have said – use a thermometer when baking. It is astonishing how many ovens ‘spike’ – and I check every 15 minutes because the temperature changes. I read somewhere that to use one of the thermometers that has a liquid gauge rather than a dial – the better your thermometer is the more reliable will be the bake. Oh, and I learned on a Donna Kato workshop that she always puts anything she bakes into a bed of baking powder – we are talking about an inch thick bed! ~Penny-V >> This comment was originally posted here: How to Bake Polymer Clay Properly

This is a very good forum you have going here. It’s always good to see the exchange of information in polymer. I love reading these articles and the comments. Someone will always have an idea I never thought of and that I can incorporate. I found the ramp baking technique purely by chance. I think that sculpting gives a slightly different perspective than with beading. ~Shawn-G >> This comment was originally posted here: Baking Beads

Cindy your advice on baking is A-1. No problems at all and I followed the instructions to the letter. And I must say, Amaco makes a great polymer clay oven. Not one spike throughout the hour. ~Trudy-M >> This comment was originally posted here: Polymer Clay Jewelry Making

Laurel, thanks so much for the suggestion. Think the seed beads must be part of the centers for these beach roses to really make them pop. Being a former beader, I have tons of different sizes, finishes, and colors to choose from, and thanks to Cindy’s videos, I now can figure out how to keep them in place after baking. ~Jocelyn-C >> This comment was originally posted here: Sculpted Flower Beads

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