Saturday, 14 June 2014

My experience with baking polymer clay

Hi everybody who is visiting my blog and reading this post. 
Today I want to share my experience with backing the polymer clay.

As it usually happens to me, I got suddenly interested in PC (Polymer clay) and feverishly started searching where I can buy it along with all the necessary instruments here in India . After many days of browsing in the Internet I was so surprised to find that there is a shop just in the same area where I live.
First of all I wanted to try with something easy. So I made spiral twisted candies and small flower buttons using FIMO soft PC. I was so naive thinking that everything will be fine just in one go.
The instruction says the baking temperature is 110 C, but not more than 130 C, and time is 30 min. The thickness of the items was around 2-3 mm.
I have LG microwave with convection mode which I was going to use. I preheated the oven up to 110 C, and after it bipped ready, I put the items to bake for 30 min. I don't have a special oven thermometer to check the correctness of the temperature inside, so I totally relied on my oven.
After everything was ready and cooled down I started checking the items, and unfortunately, they were as fragile as biscuits.  It means that the temperature of baking was low.
I was completely upset entire day, but decided not to give up and dedicated the following day to experimenting with different temperatures and times for baking the clay.

Before starting my experiments I made orange canes with beads and buttons. The thickness varied from 5-10 mm. However, this time I used different types of PC: FIMO soft (baking temperature 110 C, but not more than 130 C) and PREMO (baking temperature 130 C).

And for baking tray I took absolutely useless tray for pies. God knows what kind of metal it is made of and what it is coated with, but not Teflon that's for sure, and it has removable bottom. This tray was absolutely useless for baking any pies, because the lower part of pies were always raw and severely stack to the bottom. I put a sheet of paper and covered the tray with foil. 

So I was experimenting with  flower buttons made only from FIMO soft with thickness 2 mm and a roll - mixture of FIMO soft and PREMO - thickness around 5 mm.
Here are the results of my experiments:
  1. Temperature 120 C, 30 min - FIMO soft was fragile;
  2. Temperature 130 C, 30 min - FIMO soft was still breaking with slight difficulties, mixture of FIMO soft+Premo broke with huge difficulties;
  3. Temperature 130 C, 60 min - the result was the same as in the previous experiment;
  4. Temperature 140 C, 30 min - this time I decided to take some risk and extent the temperature limits. Luckily there was no burning or smoke. I tied to break the button and the roll, though without applying huge force, but nothing broke!
So whatever I prepared before starting the experiments (orange canes) was finally baked at 140 C for 30 min.
Here is the result.

To resume, my microwave oven seems sustain the temperature less than the set one, or it may loose the heat during the baking and over some time trying to pick up the temperature. Somehow it is not maintaining the set temperature during the backing process. 

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