What happens to air dry clay if you bake it?

Baking air dry clay in an oven is not recommended, as air dry clay is designed to dry and harden through moisture evaporation, not through a chemical curing process like polymer clay. Baking air dry clay can lead to several undesirable outcomes.

Consequences of baking air dry clay:

  • Cracking: The sudden exposure to high heat can cause air dry clay to crack or even explode due to trapped moisture trying to escape.
  • Distortion: Baking can cause air dry clay to warp, shrink, or change shape, leading to a loss of details or structural integrity.
  • Color Changes: Air dry clay may darken, change color, or develop uneven patches when exposed to baking temperatures.

If you want to harden air dry clay, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for air drying and allow the clay to naturally dry over time. Once fully dried, air dry clay can be painted and sealed to protect the surface.

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