Air bubbles will show as lumps on your beads.. So be careful not to trap them in your clay:
Nothing is more frustrating to a bead maker than putting perfectly nice beads in the oven, only to take them out all covered in bumps and bubbles!
Those bubbles are caused by trapped air in your polymer clay. Most likely put there, by the way you conditioned your clay.
The biggest culprit for trapping air is folds. When you fold over your strip of clay and insert it in your pasta machine fold last, a little pocket of air gets trapped in the fold. If you keep doing this over and over, more and more air gets forced into the layers of clay.
Some of these air pockets you will see. You can pop those with your knife or a pin. But some bubbles, won’t surface until it is baking and those are the ones that can be a real pain!
So to minimize the air getting trapped in your clay while conditioning, you can do some of these things:
- Tear the clay instead of folding. This avoids air being forced into the clay.
- If you do fold the clay, put the fold into the rollers first. This allows the air to escape better.
- Pop or cut any bubbles that do form, as soon as you see them, they may hide on you later.
- Pull or stretch your sheet of clay to help release air.
So, do your best to avoid trapping air in the first place and you will have a lot less problems with lumpy, bumpy beads showing up in your oven!