No, polymer clay should not remain soft after baking. Properly baked polymer clay should undergo a chemical transformation during the curing process, changing from a pliable state to a solid and durable one.
When polymer clay is baked:
- It Hardens: Baking polymer clay causes the plastic particles and plasticizers within the clay to bond and create a rigid structure.
- It Becomes Solid: The clay’s molecular structure changes, resulting in a solid material that holds its shape and details.
- It Retains Flexibility: While baked polymer clay is firm, it still retains a degree of flexibility, allowing it to bend slightly without breaking.
If your polymer clay remains soft after baking:
- The baking temperature may have been too low or the baking time too short.
- It may not have been properly conditioned before use, leading to uneven curing.
- Some brands of polymer clay are softer than others, but they should all harden after baking.
If you experience issues with softness after baking, carefully review your baking process and ensure you are following the manufacturer’s instructions. Over-baking can cause excessive darkening or brittleness, so it’s essential to find the right balance.
In summary, properly baked polymer clay should be solid, rigid, and retain a slight flexibility, allowing it to be used for various artistic and crafting projects.