When it comes to curing polymer clay, using the appropriate methods is essential to achieve the desired results. Polymer clay is designed to be baked in an oven at specific temperatures to harden and set properly. While some alternative techniques may work for certain materials, boiling water is not a recommended method for curing polymer clay. In this article, we’ll explore why boiling water is not suitable for baking polymer clay and discuss the proper ways to cure it.
Why Boiling Water is Not Recommended
Boiling water is not a suitable method for curing polymer clay for several reasons:
- Inconsistent Heat: Boiling water can create uneven and unpredictable heat distribution, causing some areas of the clay to overheat and others to remain undercooked.
- Lack of Control: It’s challenging to control the temperature accurately when using boiling water, which can lead to unsatisfactory results, such as undercured or melted clay.
- Structural Integrity: Polymer clay requires controlled and gradual heat to develop its structural integrity. Rapid and uneven heating from boiling water can result in cracking, warping, or other deformities.
Proper Ways to Cure Polymer Clay
The recommended and effective method for curing polymer clay is baking it in an oven:
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your household oven to the temperature specified on the packaging of the polymer clay brand you are using.
- Use an Oven Thermometer: Use an oven thermometer to ensure that the temperature inside the oven is accurate and consistent.
- Baking Surface: Place your polymer clay creations on a baking sheet or tile to prevent direct contact with the oven rack.
- Baking Time: Follow the recommended baking time for your specific clay brand and project size. Avoid overbaking, as it can result in discoloration or brittleness.
- Monitor the Oven: Keep an eye on your creations while they are baking to ensure they are curing properly.
While it might be tempting to explore alternative methods, baking polymer clay in boiling water is not a reliable or recommended approach. Polymer clay is designed to be cured in an oven at specific temperatures to achieve the best results in terms of hardness, durability, and appearance. Properly following the manufacturer’s instructions for baking and using the oven method will help you create polymer clay creations that are properly cured, structurally sound, and visually appealing.