Does polymer clay crack over time?

Polymer clay is a popular and versatile crafting material that allows artists and enthusiasts to create intricate and detailed pieces. One common question that arises among those who work with polymer clay is whether it cracks over time. In this article, we’ll delve into the factors that can contribute to cracking in polymer clay and discuss how to enhance its long-term durability.

Understanding Polymer Clay Composition

Polymer clay is made from a combination of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) polymer, plasticizers, pigments, and fillers. When the clay is baked at the recommended temperature, the PVC molecules bond together, resulting in a solid and durable material. However, there are certain factors that can affect the overall strength and durability of polymer clay over time.

Possible Causes of Cracking

While polymer clay is designed to be durable, there are instances where cracking may occur:

  • Insufficient Baking: If polymer clay is not baked at the correct temperature or for the recommended duration, it may not fully cure. Incompletely cured clay can be more prone to cracking over time.
  • Thin or Delicate Pieces: Thin or delicate parts of a polymer clay creation may be more susceptible to cracking, especially if they are subject to stress or pressure.
  • Improper Handling: Rough handling, bending, or dropping polymer clay items can lead to micro-cracks that may become more pronounced over time.
  • Exposure to Heat: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or heat sources can cause polymer clay to become brittle and potentially crack over time.
  • Environmental Factors: Fluctuations in humidity and temperature can impact the stability of polymer clay, potentially leading to cracks or changes in texture.

Enhancing Long-Term Durability

There are several steps you can take to enhance the long-term durability of polymer clay creations:

  • Proper Baking: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for baking time and temperature to ensure thorough curing of the polymer clay.
  • Reinforce Thin Areas: If working on thin or delicate pieces, consider reinforcing them with additional layers of clay or an armature to provide extra support.
  • Handle with Care: Treat polymer clay creations gently and avoid applying excessive pressure or stress to prevent micro-cracks.
  • Store Correctly: Store polymer clay items in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, to minimize the risk of heat-induced cracks.
  • Use Sealants: Applying a clear sealant or varnish to finished polymer clay items can add a protective layer and reduce the likelihood of cracking.


While polymer clay is generally a durable and long-lasting material, there are factors that can contribute to cracking over time. By understanding the composition of polymer clay, following proper baking techniques, handling creations with care, and taking steps to protect them from environmental factors, you can enhance the longevity of your polymer clay pieces and enjoy their beauty for years to come.

Rate article
Add a comment