Member Benefits 050-4: Tips Baking

Polymer Clay Membership SiteCindy – I wanted to thank you for the tip on curing for an hour instead of the normal recommended time and also for putting it in card stock. I usually would have had problems with white burning or getting darker but that idea worked perfectly and the clay is really strong. I am making miniature snowmen yard art for a swap on a group I belong to. I didn’t want to fool around with trying to cut out 10-15 snowmen out of wood. So I cut them from white clay and just got done painting the first one. It came out quite cute. I really appreciate all the sharing you do. Look forward to each Friday. Have a great day!!! ~Kathy-H >> This comment was originally posted at the following Beads And Beading link: Snowman Beads for Christmas

Anthea B: It’s great you were able to find lots of info using the Search feature. I love using it, too. I’m relatively new to using polymer for jewelry, so I always find I have a “heavy hand” with small items like beads, especially when I use Premo. I have had much better results when I pierce AFTER BAKING. Sometimes I put in tiny pilot holes before baking. Maybe, with time and experience, I will develop a lighter touch and be better at piercing the unbaked clay. As a bonus, I am not limited as to how to string my beads as I would be by piercing before baking. Keep experimenting! I was resistant to “wasting” clay at first, but now I am trying to enjoy the process as much as the result. (I thank Cindy’s wonderful, playful attitude for that!) ~Monique-U >> This comment was originally posted at the following link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

Thanks, Cindy! Another well-done video from you and your talented hubby. Some smart tips here, on how to attach a veneer or other cane to a baked piece. This addresses how important the “grain” is in wood-grain. As Cindy mentions in the tute, beginners may want to start with a solid heart/shape… or take her advice to “heart” (LOL) – by taking your time, and being patient with it! I’m inspired. Thanks again! Hope everyone has fun with this… I’ll be watching for other member’s projects at the Face book Gallery page. ~Phaedrakat >> This comment was originally posted at the following link: Faux Wood Veneer Video

I know exactly where you’re coming from. I’m a polymer clay sculptor so I’ve dealt with this issue. The whole “bake for X amount of time per Y amount of thickness” thing gets pretty confusing when you’re working with irregularly shaped pieces. I would definitely recommend she move over to Premo. I use Sculpey products exclusively. It actually doesn’t matter how long you bake as long as it’s not too short. You can’t over bake Sculpey. I mean you can bake it too hot and it will burn but if the temperature is right you could bake forever if you wanted to. I often make pieces that need to be baked in sections. I’ll bake the basic figure. Then I’ll add other pieces and bake again. No problems so far. If you calculate the time for the thinnest parts then the thin sections will be done but the bulky parts won’t. So it’s temperature and not time that burns. There are some tricks I’ve discovered. I always bake on some baking paper on a ceramic tile. To keep the top of the piece from burning I tent a piece of paper over it. The paper won’t burn and it provides protection. You can also find a way to have another tile above the piece as well. But then you have to find something high enough that won’t burn to serve as separators. But the paper is usually enough. My final trick has come from research and years of experimenting. Ramp baking. Since I’ve used this technique I’ve had consistent results every time. It takes longer but you have evenly baked pieces that are strong. Though I really wouldn’t bother using it if it were something like a bead. It’s kind of overkill. Ramp baking works best with sculptures. Pre-heat the oven to 100c/212f bake for 30 minutes then remove. Ramp the temperature up to 110c/230f for 20 minutes and remove. Ramp up to 120c/248f and bake for 20 minute then remove. And finally ramp up to 130c/266f for 30 minutes and you’re done. Always wait until the oven is at the next temperature before the next bake. I have done this without removing between steps and it doesn’t really make a difference. But I like to take it out between steps to check on the piece. I also have a basin of cold water ready and dunk the piece between pieces. It seems to add strength and if you’re using liquid clay it changes the way it looks. Hope this helps. ~Shawn-G >> This comment was originally posted at the following Beads And Beading link: When Baking Beads, It’s OK to Sometimes Break The Rules

I’m in the same boat as TK. I knew about putting it on card stock but I never thought about the sandwich. I haven’t really had a chance to encounter the problem either as most of my pendants are thick enough not to get the problem described. ~Kim-C >> This comment originally posted here: Baking Flat Pieces of Polymer Clay

I’ve read several people post, describing their vigilant thermometer watch. I use a Sunbeam digital cooking thermometer. It has a programmable alert! So I can set it to sound an alarm if the temperature gets too high. I did a quick Google search and it appears that some of the newer models also have a timer function. I couldn’t find any posts on here mentioning this really convenient tool, so I’m just adding this comment as a helpful note. ~Ella-S >> This comment was originally posted at the following link: How To Bake Polymer Clay Properly

As always a great lesson. I do have a part of my project that the wood grain will work well with, but it would have to be pretty long… wondering how I would bake that? Would have to use my regular oven instead of the clay oven due to the size required if I chose to do it in clay instead of real wood. Another great tutorial. ~Karonkay-C >> This comment was originally posted at the following link: Faux Wood Cane Video

Loved this tutorial. I just got back from a precious metal clay class that took all day. It was fun and the end result is beautiful, but overall it is very expensive and the PMC is not as forgiving as the polymer clay. I am thinking that Cindy’s distressing tutorial will be great to help cover those little flaws you miss until after you bake your project. The possibilities are endless with polymer clay! So many projects, so little time! ~Laura-R >> This comment was originally posted at the following link: Distressed Paint Finishes On Polymer Clay

I love the idea of baking and then slicing. I’m also very excited about next week’s tutorial video. Can hardly wait! ~Maria-C >> This comment was originally posted at the following link: Backgroundless Tulip Cane

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