Oven bake clay, also known as polymer clay, requires baking to undergo the necessary chemical reactions for curing and hardening. Simply leaving oven bake clay exposed to air will not result in proper drying or curing.
Oven bake clay contains plasticizers and other components that keep it soft and pliable until exposed to heat:
- When oven bake clay is baked at the recommended temperature, the heat causes the plasticizers to evaporate.
- The polymer particles within the clay form cross-links, creating a solid and rigid structure.
- This curing process results in the clay’s hardness and durability.
Unlike air dry clay, which cures over time through exposure to air, oven bake clay does not harden or cure without the application of heat.
To ensure your oven bake clay creations achieve the desired hardness and strength:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended baking temperature and time.
- Use a dedicated oven or polymer clay toaster oven to prevent contamination of food or other items.
- Avoid overbaking, as excessive heat can lead to discoloration or other issues.
Proper baking is essential for achieving the desired results with oven bake clay, ensuring that your creations are fully cured, durable, and suitable for a wide range of artistic projects.