Polymer clay is a popular medium used by artists and crafters to create a wide variety of projects, from jewelry and sculptures to home decor items. Baking polymer clay is a crucial step in the crafting process, as it transforms the clay from a malleable material to a durable and hardened piece. But how should polymer clay feel after baking? In this article, we’ll explore the expected texture and characteristics of polymer clay after it has been properly baked.
1. Hardened and Solid
The change in consistency:
After baking, polymer clay should feel noticeably harder and more solid compared to its pre-baked state. The chemical reactions that occur during baking cause the PVC particles in the clay to fuse together, resulting in a solid and durable structure.
2. Resilient and Sturdy
Strength and Resilience:
Testing the sturdiness:
Properly baked polymer clay should exhibit resilience and sturdiness. It should be able to withstand gentle pressure without deforming or breaking easily. When touched or lightly tapped, baked polymer clay should not feel overly fragile or delicate.
3. Slight Flexibility
Flexing Without Breaking:
While polymer clay becomes harder after baking, it may still retain a slight degree of flexibility. You should be able to gently bend or flex the clay without it snapping or breaking. This flexibility is advantageous, especially for projects that require some level of durability while allowing for minor adjustments.
4. Smooth and Refined Surface
Examining the finish:
Properly baked polymer clay should have a smooth and refined surface. The baking process helps to set the clay and eliminate any fingerprints, marks, or imperfections that were present before baking. The surface should be even and free from visible blemishes.
5. Compatibility with Additional Steps
Accommodating post-baking processes:
Baked polymer clay should be compatible with additional crafting techniques such as sanding, buffing, carving, and adding surface treatments like paints, varnishes, or glazes. The properly baked clay should provide a solid foundation for these post-baking processes without crumbling or losing its structural integrity.
Knowing how polymer clay should feel after baking is essential for achieving successful and satisfying crafting results. Properly baked polymer clay should be hardened, resilient, and sturdy, with a slight degree of flexibility and a smooth surface. It should provide a solid foundation for further crafting techniques and allow you to create durable and visually appealing polymer clay projects that showcase your creativity and craftsmanship.