Strength Test Sculpey Souffle Polymer Clay

Sculpey Souffle Polymer Clay Strength TestsVideo #546: Comparing four different Souffle Clay sample thicknesses, each baked at 30 minutes and at 60 minutes.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Testing the strength of the new Sculpey Souffle Polymer Clay when baked at 275F for 30 minutes (as recommended on packaging) vs. 275F for 60 minutes.
  • We have done testlabs before on baking Premo polymer clay for 60 minutes instead of the recommended 30 minutes, and Premo does benefit from the longer baking time.
  • Test samples were rolled at 4 thickness’ (8 playing cards, 4 cards, 2 cards and less than 1 card thick… plus some skinny strings).
  • 2 sets of identical samples were baked at 275F (130 C), one batch for 30 minutes and one batch 60 minutes.
  • Each test strip was bent until it broke.
  • 30 minute samples were very flexible but broke easily when bent back.
  • 60 minute samples were harder to break, but still breakable. About twice as strong as the 30 minute samples.
  • In future tests, I will do try higher temperatures and longer times in an effort to indentify optimal baking conditions.

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. Harriet R, 16 July, 2014

    I saw this video, then visited the 10 minutes not long enough video, and now I’m more confused than ever. I did quite a bit of PC work some years ago, and I used to use only Kato, which says to bake at 300 F for 10 minutes. Now I’m trying Pardo and Premo. Both Art and Jewellery Pardo types say to bake at 248 F. max. 30 min. It’s not clear on the package if it means 248 F max temp, or 30 minutes max time, but the word “max.” is closer to the time. Premo says to bake at 275 F for 30 min per 1/4″ thickness. I used to hear that about Kato, too, but never understood it, because that’s only 6mm, and most beads I make are at least 12, and usually much more. That would bring it more towards the 30 min of other clays, but the temp is much higher. I’m very concerned about the fumes from over-baked, or scorched clay, even though I’ve been doing it outside…the smell comes right inside anyway. Just before I stopped doing the jewelry, I bought an Amaco PC oven…but didn’t try it out. First tried it a week or so ago…the timer doesn’t work, and the temp is actually about 25 degrees above what it is set at. Last time I used it I waited the 20 min they say to heat it up, then, by the time I got my bead tray in (a very short time) it had dropped 50 degrees, and took 15 min to get back up., I had to actually raise the temp to get it to go up, then stand there to put it down after it finally rose. I did scorch something last week, doing it longer, closer to the top, because the first batch didn’t seem “done”. Sorry for the rant, but I’m very disappointed in the oven, and it wasn’t cheap. Wish I had tried it right away, but I thought I might warn others, at least.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 26 July, 2014

    Hi Harriet, sorry to take so long to reply. As far as the baking temps and times being confusing… I hear you! The packaging says one thing but those of us who use the products professionally say another. What are you to do?

    Well, that is why I test everything. Over the years I have found that the clay is much stronger and durable if it has been baked for a longer amount of time than what the package says as long as I stay within the suggested temperature. In fact if I baked my pieces for as short as what the packaging says, then my pieces would be unsuitable to sell, since they would be returned for being too breakable.

    The reason for this is because most ovens are inconsistent and often aren’t even the temp they say on the dial. (One reason why I insist on using an oven thermometer.)

    There are many tricks to baking polymer clay that have been addressed many times on this site. If you use the search box at the top of the page, and start going through the information that is available here, the confusion will eventually lift and you will start having success.

    In regards to the clay oven being pure crap, I’m afraid I agree with you there. You are way better off getting a different oven than that one for polymer clay. I think they just found a source for a cheap toaster oven and called it a clay oven, without little more thought into what we really need.

    My new Kitchenaid convection oven has been wonderful! (Look that video up with the search box as well.) But I used a small Black and Decker one for years that did just fine (after I lined it with tiles… which you can also look up.)

    Anyway, there is lots of information here and lots of support from others. Thank you for sharing your insights and I hope that you can finally bake your polymer clay without so many troubles. Good luck!

  3. Harriet R, 27 July, 2014

    Thanks, Cindy, that clears up some confusion right away, because you had said, don’t go by what you hear out there on the web, but I didn’t hear you say that you can’t even go by what it says on the packages…I thought that was the ultimate source for the correct times and temps.

    I did see the convection oven, and that looks good, but instead of spending money I don’t have at the moment, I’ll probably just go back to my kitchen oven and turkey roasting bags. In any case, the one difference, I think. between the PC oven and toaster ovens, besides the upper temp. limit, is that the elements seem to go on and off much more frequently, which should even out the spikes…still, it was a big disappointment. I shoulda known betta!


  4. Patt W, 20 July, 2014

    I’m going to try mixing Premo and Souflle , to see if it is stronger. Too bad Souflle seems weaker.

    Polyform should listen to the users of their products. We use them and know a lot about them. But as most businesses, they cater to the lowest denomination and look to the bottom line. Sad. huh!

    But – WE SHALL OVERCOME ! And make a stronger clay………..won’t we………………………….

  5. alisa lehman, 26 January, 2015

    I would love to hear the results of your premo/souffle experiment. I am thinking of mixing them as well – I’d love something with he best properties of both.

    did you end up experimenting and if so what results did you get?

  6. Cindy Lietz, 30 January, 2015

    I haven’t mixed the two together, but I have used both the Souffle and the Premo in the same project and they play very nicely with each other. They both bake at the same temp so the baking is simple. I still have to do some testing with the two brands blended. Just so many things to try!

  7. Chelsea H, 21 September, 2014

    Hey Dynamic Lietz Duo,

    I have a question for you – Likely more for Cindy. Today while searching around for some info on some polymer clay techniques I happened upon a video on youtube. It has also been linked around Pinterest about a dozen times. It is a video about ‘quenching your polymer clay pieces’ directly from the oven to ‘increase strength.’

    I came here to look for further info on this (as I was like, “really?! That could be really useful for what I am working on,”) but I didn’t really find anything on this subject matter. Have you guys had any experience with using ice water directly from the oven on your polymer clay pieces having any real effect on the strength of your pieces? (Not to be confused with translucent properties which is a whole other ball of wax.) The only “quenching with water” that I have ever heard of doing is usually done when tempering steel, silver, copper, brass, etc.

    I would love to know if you guys have had any experience with this or if this technique is something that is more for just charms and beads etc. Not really great for making the base for a cuff bracelet (which is what I was thinking it would be very useful for.)

    Thank you so much for taking anytime that you do to answer my question.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 22 September, 2014

    Hi Chelsea, I used to think that quenching in ice water made the piece stronger and more translucent (because that was what I was told) but now I am not so sure. I have been meaning to do some test labs on the subject, to prove the theory yea or nay. Just haven’t got to it yet. Have quenched in ice for years and don’t have any problems but you never know… it might work or it could just be a polymer myth. :)

  9. Karenlee B, 22 October, 2014

    Hello Cindy,
    I hope you don’t mind me asking this, but I have no one else I can ask for help with my Polymer Clay here in Australia. My dilemma is I have a problem with my eggs cracking after they have been covered and baked. I start by blowing the contents out of the egg, clean it then bake it for 15 min to dry it out, then I cover the egg with a sheet of properly conditioned clay using my pasta machine, I smooth it then I bake it according to the clays baking instructions, once it is cool I will give it a bit of a sand to get a smoother and even egg shape, then I will cover it with cane slices, then I will roll it with my small roller till it is smooth, even and egg shaped. Then I bake my finished egg for 30 min on 110 degrees (375). When it is all cooled I take it out of the oven and start to sand it with wet & dry and this is when I have problems, after the first sanding with 400 grit wet & dry sandpaper I came back the next day and just when I was about to do some more sanding I noticed that there was a crack in my egg. This has happened to the last 2 eggs and I can’t understand why. I have surfed the net and read what others do but I have not found anyone who has posted how to prevent this from happening at the same stage mine is cracking. I thought I was taking the egg out of the oven too soon while it is still hot and the sudden drop in temp was the problem,so I left it in the oven till it was cold. Then I thought it was because of moisture in the egg so that’s when I started to put them in the oven for 15 min to dry out but still they are cracking. I am so upset because I put in so many hours trying to get them looking nice and when they have a crack running around them it can be very disheartening. I have been using Sculpey 111 and my oven is a great one that keeps constant temp with no spiking so I am at a loss as to what I am doing wrong. Thankyou for your time, Kindest Regards Karenlee

  10. Cindy Lietz, 24 October, 2014

    Hi Karenlee, thank you for your kind comments and sorry to hear you are having issues. Well I’m afraid your cracking issue is mostly due to the fact that you are using SculpeyIII. It is notorious for breaking. Switching to Premo Clay will make all the difference in the world. Also unless I missed it, did you put an air hole for the hot air inside the egg to escape from? A small hole on your first layer will help. It should be necessary on your second layer since the clay under will have hardened.

  11. Karenlee B, 26 October, 2014

    Hi Cindy,
    Thank you so much for your help and advice, here in Australia we only have about two retailers that sell polymer clay,it is no were near as popular here as it is in America and just knowing you are only a keyboard away is very reassuring,I am now a Premo girl so my next project should be smooth sailing….Thanks Again

  12. Cheryl H, 29 October, 2014

    Hi Cindy,

    I’m in the middle of doing the Aurora Borealis Technique; I’ve been wanting to do it for a long while and thought it would make a nice necklace for the holiday season. Will post pics when done. The sanding is giving me trouble though, my arms just don’t have the strength anymore and even though the doctor recommended aquafit, I still have weakness in my toes and hands all day , stomach pain from the nerves and numbness in the shoulder area. Would the finishing grits (the pyramid and porcelain balls) help in reducing the sanding? I know the Jool Tool would be the best but it is just not in my budget at all.


  13. Cindy Lietz, 04 November, 2014

    Hi Cheryl, I’m not sure if the pyramid grits really will help you that much, not to get the initial black layer off, anyway. Try using a 110 grit drywall sand paper. That will remove larger amounts of clay without puttying too deep of gouges in the clay that need to be removed later. Maybe you could enlist a friend to do the finishing work for you? I am sorry to hear that you are still in pain, but encouraged to hear that you have improved from where you were. If you keep using your hands and don’t over do it, they will get stronger every day. Take care.

  14. Carri M, 23 May, 2015

    I have a question about my clay. I use primo and cook at 275 like the package directs
    In a convection oven. I used a thermometer to check the degrees, it’s stays at correct temp
    I made a set of earrings, wing inspired
    Problem is no matter what I do the tips brake like they are brittle
    I tried 30 mins then saw your tutorial on bake times
    So I baked another set for 60 min and still broke.
    The wing tips are about 1/16 of in inch
    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, can you help

  15. Cindy Lietz, 25 May, 2015

    Hi Carri, it sounds like you are doing everything right… I wonder if perhaps your oven isn’t as hot as your thermometer says it is? Is it sitting too close to the burner or the walls maybe? If you try and turn your oven up just a hair and test it again, you may get some better results. Even a very thin piece baked for one hour at 275F should be fairly hard to break. Try some little sample pieces and keep testing the temp until you hit the sweet spot. It could be your oven thermometer is not working very well anymore, too. I have had trouble with thermometers in the past and when I got a new one, everything was fine again. Don’t worry, once you get the right temp, it will be pretty easy from then on.

  16. Carri M, 25 May, 2015

    Hello Cindy,
    Thanks you, my thermometer is brand new. But it is on the top rack and in the back of the oven.
    So I’ll have to move it and check it.
    I was going to do some testing tonight on thicknesses and times.
    I’ll let you know if moving the thermometer helps

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