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How To Bake Polymer Clay

Baking Polymer Clay: Perfecting Your Craft

Wondering How to bake Polymer Clay? You've come to the right place! I have spent months now trying to find the best and easiest process to get a consistent result when baking my polymer clay. I have read tons of different artists notes on this subject and tried out many of their techniques, some worked, some didn’t. I will walk you step by step through some of the techniques I have tried and the positives and negatives that I've experienced throughout each process. 

 

               Strategy used                                    Temperature baked         Time Baked                        Result

·      Lined cookie sheet with wax paper

·      Placed earrings on wax paper

275 Fahrenheit

30 minutes

Non-durable clay

Lots of bubbles

·      Used cardboard Pizza box

·      Placed earrings in the pizza box and closed the box

·      Cut holes in the box for ventilation

265 Fahrenheit

40 minutes

Very durable clay

Lots of bubbles

·      Bought 4 high gloss ceramic tiles

·      Layed ceramic tiles face up on cookie sheet (2 side by side for me based on the size of my ceramic tiles)

·      Cut and placed a piece of printer paper on each tile to fit the dimension of tile

·      Placed earrings on top of the paper

·      Placed another piece of printer paper on top of earrings followed by the other 2 ceramic tiles gloss side facing down 

 

265 Fahrenheit

35 minutes

Very Durable

No bubbles

 

For months I wondered how to get less bubbles in my clay. I made sure to condition the clay like crazy (ran it through my clay press 15-20 times) and the clay would look perfect when going into the pizza box but it would still come out with bubbles. I would mess with the temperature and time settings for baking the clay, varying the time by up to 15 minutes at times and checking up on it every few minutes to make sure no bubbles had formed. Figuring out the best process on how to bake polymer clay can be very frustrating. Try not get frustrated though because when trying out new baking methods, you learn little by little what works and what doesn't.

I finally tried baking my polymer clay on high gloss ceramic tiles and it worked like a charm. I picked up the tiles at Habitat for Humanity and it cost around $4 for 6 small tiles. All you need for this method is the ceramic tiles, printer paper and a cookie sheet. Follow the step by step directions listed in the chart above.

Baking the polymer clay works best at 265 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes (some ovens may differ slightly but this what I found works best for my oven). This isn't the only way to bake polymer clay and it may not be the best way either. This process has worked best for me though, so I will keep doing it this way. It took months of trial and error before I decided to try the ceramic tiles.

The pizza box method was great to improve the clay's durability, but I found that it left lots of bubbles in the clay.  I wanted to find a way to keep the clay contained in the oven and with the ceramic pieces ‘smushing’ the clay in a sense, the bubbles had no room to form. Once you find the best way to bake polymer clay, it makes all of the experimenting worth it. You get a very consistent and durable product with no bubbles every time.