Baking Curves Into Your Polymer Clay Pieces

Baking Curves - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #773: Those old burnt-out filament light bulbs you’ve been hoarding will come in very handy for this technique.

In today’s video I’m going to show you how to bake curves right into your thin pieces of polymer clay.

If you form the flexible clay into a curve while it is still ray, and then bake, the shape will stay in place after you remove the item from the oven.

It is very easy to do and there are many options for baking forms that you can utilize.

Basically, any curved item that can handle the low temperatures which polymer clay bakes at (up to 300F), can be used as a form. There are many metal, glass, ceramic, cardboard, paper, and wood items that will work. Those old-school incandescent light bulbs that you have not been able to throw away because you knew they would come in handy someday, will work beautifully.

In today’s video, I show several polymer clay jewelry creations that were baked with curves, as well as several different forms that you can probably find in your home or kitchen.

Take a look around your house and see if you can find some interesting (heat safe) form items that you may be able to use in your polymer clay studio. Have fun!

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Susan Reed, 10 April, 2017

    I found that stainless steel soaps (used to remove kitchen odors from the hands) provide gentle multidirectional curved surfaces to bake on. They come in a variety of shapes: round, ovals of different proportions, teardrops and rectangular.

    I had been using an 8-inch diameter hemispheric cake mold to get the gentle curve I wanted, but it took up a lot of space in the oven. I saw the stainless steel soaps being used on a video tutorial and bought an oval and a round one and they’re have the perfect curve without taking up a lot of space in the oven.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 10 April, 2017

    Cool! Thanks for the tips Susan!

  3. Jocelyn C, 10 April, 2017

    Great tip Cindy!!!

    If you save the old round fluorescent bulbs that fit in your oven, I’ve been able to get the most lovely spirals, and found they make excellent hanging groups, and when you disperse them with wind chimes and bells and use translucent clay….whoa.

    One of my more popular gift items.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 10 April, 2017

    That sounds wonderful Jocelyn! So the florescent tubes were OK in the oven? I was wondering about whether they would be safe or not, so I have never tested them.

  5. Jocelyn C, 16 April, 2017

    Cindy, I’ve been using the same two old school straight fluorescent bulbs for years. Never had a problem. No odor or discharge.

    Use the method you taught, start in cold oven up to temp for an hour, then allow them to cool in oven.

    Googled the issue a bit and found the newer spiral shapes bulbs are a problem, as is the release of mercury if the old school bulbs break.

    I am very careful with handling them.

    Thanks so much for the heads up on this, my name in my home is “Miss Breakie Breakie,” Gone through more pyrex than a recycling plant, lol.

    I will now be extra careful. And frankly, it’s easy enough to find a substitute that does the same thing. I see a trip to the junkyard in my future.

  6. Dixie Ann, 10 April, 2017

    i was just using a glass flower vase last week to bake some pieces and at the time wondered how it would work using the new CFL lightbulbs by wrapping strips of clay around them and baking them. Has anyone tried this? Cindy, maybe you could experiment.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 10 April, 2017

    I’m not sure if that would be safe or not. I know the incandescent bulbs are fine because there’s nothing much to them but metal, glass and a filament, but some of the fluorescent bulbs have Mercury in them… I think. Further research should be done before experimenting on them.

  8. Jocelyn C, 11 April, 2017

    Whew, thanks for the info, I will investigate more. Been using them for years and never thought to check on safety.

  9. Jocelyn C, 17 April, 2017

    Dixie

    Sure hope your bad back is coming along. I feel for you.

    Found this article when researching the lights.

    Same issue, if you break it, there is the presence of mercury that will escape. After Cindy warned me, I am immediately switching to metal tubing of the same diameter that will sub for the light.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 17 April, 2017

    Good to know Jocelyn! Thanks so much for popping in here with the safety info!

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