Vid #73: How to avoid burnt clay projects by using ceramic tiles to bake polymer clay instead of cookie sheets:
Today’s article is a perfect example of how you can learn from my mistakes. The burned clay shown in the photo happened because I didn’t even follow my own advice!
There was a lot going on that day and I didn’t want to leave the kitchen to bake a couple of polymer clay strips in my studio upstairs. So I put them in my home oven using a couple of cookie sheets instead of my usual ceramic tile sandwich method as described in this article: Baking Polymer Clay Pendants
I figured I’d be fine if I used parchment paper against the metal of the cookie sheets and then sandwiched the clay like I do with my ceramic tiles… Wrong!!
Even though I carefully monitored the temperature with an oven thermometer, the beautiful lavender colored strips fried to a crisp. They ended up looking like dark strips of bubbled chocolate!
Didn’t smell like chocolate though. Man it stunk! In fact it was the tell tale smell of burning polymer clay that first tipped me off since the baking time was no where near being done!
I guess what happened is that the metal in the pans actually conducted and concentrated the heat at the surface of the clay. Unlike the ceramic tiles which even out the heat and protect the clay from scorching.
Burning polymer clay is a bad thing that you definitely do not want to do. The fumes can be harmful and should be avoided. Read this article on polymer clay safety for more on that.
If you do ever make the mistake of burning your clay get it out of the oven and air out the room as quickly as possible.
Don’t throw the burned clay out though. There still may be something you can make with it. A while back I wrote about Fimo Clay Artist Maureen Thomas who accidentally scorched some polymer clay leaf shapes she was making into beads. Serendipitously, they ended up as a beautiful polymer clay necklace that is now part of her ‘Burnt Leaves Jewelry Collection’.
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<
The full version of the “Burnt Clay” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-005 Back Issue Package.
This “Burnt Clay” video tutorial is more about what not to do than what to do. Burning your clay can be avoided if you always follow proper procedures. You will be happier if you do.