Clay

Working with Oven Baked Clay

  • After removing clay from packaging, you must "condition" it. Warm the clay in your hands, or place in an airtight plastic bag and submerge in hot water for a few minutes. Knead the clay until smooth in texture and easy to handle.
  • It's important to have a good flat work surface when working with polymer clay.
  • A non-porous surface, such as plastic laminate, a large ceramic tile, or marble pastry board, works best. Covering a wooden board with wax paper works well because the paper can be changed as needed. Be sure to tape the wax paper in place to secure.
  • Keep your work surface, hands, and tools clean. Pre-moistened towelettes are convenient, but soap and water work fine, too. Be sure to clean hands and tools between each color change.
  • Keep your work surface, hands, and tools clean. Pre-moistened towelettes are convenient, but soap and water work fine, too. Be sure to clean hands and tools between each color change.
  • Clay colors can be mixed, if desired. Always start with the lightest clay and add dark clay to it. Adding color clay to white clay will make a color more pastel. Adding color clay to a translucent clay will retain the color but make it less intense.

Basic Tools

  • Rolling pin or acrylic brayer
  • Clay-dedicated pasta machine
  • Sharp knife or razor blade for precise cutting
  • Ruler to maintain uniform thickness
  • Piercing tool such as knitting needle or bamboo skewer
  • Cookie cutters of various shapes
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Oven
  • Clear, acrylic sealer

Tips

  • Remember, polymer clay won't harden until it is baked. Lining a baking sheet with parchment paper will prevent sticking and shiny spots on the clay.
  • Follow manufacturer's baking instructions for best results. Cool clay pieces for approximately 30 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Clay becomes harder and more durable as it cools.
  • Most importantly, bake clay in a well-ventilated area. Hazardous fumes can occur if clay is baked at a higher temperature or for a longer time than recommended.
  • Turn exhaust fan on for added safety.