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Author Topic: I'm new - be gentle with me!  (Read 8718 times)

lottie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 09:17:20 PM »
Hello Carrie

Thanks for you welcome and all the tips.

I tried out the halogen oven over the weekend and baked a batch of polymer clay bits and pieces - I am a total beginner and am experimenting.   I baked them for half an hour on 120 degrees, let the oven cool down and too them out and they were all rock hard - so I was very pleased.   Then I got Sue Heauser's book from the library and read it from cover to cover (I have done a silver clay one day course with her and saw her book there, but couldn't afford it on the day as I bought the silver clay book and lots of basic supplies)  opps sorry I digress.

I the book it says that if you can snap the polymer clay in half then you have cooked it on too low a temperature, and if you have baked it correctly it should bend in half. 

Whilst I was very pleased with the results - I made little moulded tiles and some key moulds (I made the moulds) I thought I had better try the theory out.  So I bent the key and it snapped, I bent a heart and it snapped, I bent a tile and it snapped - so I got a bit disheartened to say the least so didn't bend any more.  I wondered if I was using the items to stick onto a wooden box, would it have mattered that they didn't bend?  Some of them were 1 inch at most and it surely would have been difficult for them to bend in half?   Once the polymer clay is cooked and if it were a tile to painted and glued onto something does the clay deteriorate in some way.   I couldn't get a thermometer when I was today, so I guess I'll have to source one on the internet.

Should I always put an extra piece of polymer clay in to bend (or snap) at each cooking ::) or does it all come with experience.   Can you put the clay back in to bake it some more?  I would hate to make beads and then have to throw them out - so I'll keep to practising at the moment until I can get some proper lessons.   I love the little cooker though.

Bev

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2012, 10:06:06 PM »
Hi Lottie

Remember all clays are different in terms of strength & flexibility. I've only used Fimo ,Soft & Classic, & Premo. So some clays could be cooked to perfection but not able to survive that test!

Fimo packaging states 110c (1/2 hour per 1/4 cm thickness I think), & Premo 130c with the same timings. A lot of people seem to be happy to cook it for an hour no matter the thickness. Make sure you get a thermometer to check the temps - if that is ok & your clay is conditioned well - I wouldn't worry too much  ;)

I think it can be ok to recook items, although I've just had some beads crack slightly after doing so  >:(

If thin tiles are going to be stuck to something else it shouldn't be a problem. Again, round beads shouldn't be a problem because the shape gives them an inherent strength, unless of course you are going to use them for bowling  ;)

 I'm sure Emma or some of the other experienced artists on here will be able to give you a much more comprehensive answer.

lottie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012, 10:57:45 PM »
 :D :DIt's my husband that's the bowler!  I really laughed at that!

Thanks for the tips. I am not to bothered about these practise things - and I read the instructions.  I used Premo sculpey.   I'll just keep trying - and cook them for longer - off to order an oven thermometer

ejralph

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2012, 10:59:37 PM »
I think Bev covered it all there really!

I would just ask - what clay were you using? And, as Bev says, you do ideally need to use an oven thermometer to check the temp was reaching a true 120 degrees?

The oven thermometers are much more accurate than the ones built in to ovens and will let you know if you need to adjust your oven up or down to get the right baking temp.

It seems to me you probably need to up the temperature a little and/or cook a little longer. 120 degrees is a little cool for any of the brands apart from Fimo, and really for most projects Fimo will tolerate baking at the traditional clay curing temp of 130 degrees anyway and be stronger for it.

I find with Fimo, if I am making solid items like beads, I will bake at the recommended 110 degrees for around an hour.
If I am making flat items like pendants, tiles, charms etc, I will bake at the hotter 130 degrees, probably for around half an hour.

The reason I don't bake the solid Fimo beads that hot is I have found I get hairline cracks in larger blobs of Fimo if I go hotter than 110. But most other clays I know don't seem to have this issue and bake everything at 130

Bear in mind some clays are naturally stronger than others anyway.

I find that Premo, Fimo Soft and Sculpey 3 are not so strong as Fimo Classic or Cernit. Kato is also reputedly quite strong, but its been years since I tried it so cannot comment on that.

I think its a good idea to put a test tile in with your bakes to play the snap game after baking. I often do that if Im testing things out. But also, I would relax a little - its your first goes and the clay will be fine, it just won't be as strong as it could be.

So, if you are only making for yourself or you are making little do-dahs that will be glued on to other things, I am sure you can still have fun with them. Or just try rebaking them a little hotter.

We do have the Fimo brand oven thermometers in the online store, which are great. You can also get oven thermometers from various kitchenware shops. But you need one that measures the ambient temp of the oven, not one of the ones for poking in meat or cakes or whatever.

Emma
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ejralph

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2012, 11:01:05 PM »
Ah we posted at the same time Lottie

I think the problem is the temp - you need to bake Premo at around 130 degrees. You'll be sound as a pound as soon as you get the right temp sorted out.

Emma
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lottie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 10:07:38 AM »
I'll pop in and buy an oven thermometer from your shop - silly me - I didn't see them when I was browsing - I could have saved myself a lot of time looking in shops and on the internet.  Doh!

Thanks for your help.  i should be quietly getting on with it now - so you can all get a bit of peace and quiet to continue with your projects.

xx

ejralph

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 11:23:13 AM »
It's a forum - the last thing we want is peach and quiet!  :D We want noise, chatter, photos, questions, answers, ideas, experiments, fun, challenges - but definitely not quiet!

Emma  8)
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Di

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 11:54:01 AM »
Hello and welcome to the forum :)

Di

lottie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2012, 01:07:59 PM »
OK thank you - just don't like being a pest!

Just got back from my 1.5 hour walk around the village.  That blew away a few cobwebs,

Just ordered the oven thermometer and things

Thankyou  for your support.

Jinx

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2012, 02:25:55 PM »
Hi Lotti,

I've only been here for a short wile and I LOVE this forum, as Emma, states belove...

In here there seems to be only very nice and humourus people, there is notting of this "nag nag" as on other forums were I've been on.. where they are very nasty to eachother. And I've aksed so many questions and every time getting friendly and useful answers, some jokes though - But who want to spend their life on beeing dead serius on every thing.. NOT me I'm a party person.. I need fun in my every day life, as the world is a quit teribble place - all the wars, the starvation of people, natures disasaters and so on and on and on....

It's a forum - the last thing we want is peach and quiet!  :D We want noise, chatter, photos, questions, answers, ideas, experiments, fun, challenges - but definitely not quiet!

Emma

Thanks Emma for setting up this forum and taking your time to maintaine... This is clay heaven, for newbies..

Jinnie
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jembox

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2012, 04:55:06 PM »
I bake my premo at 285 F   unless it has white or  translucent then i do 270 f -275 F for about 30-40 minutes

MelMcG

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2012, 05:02:09 PM »
Lottie, I'm sure you've realised, but just in case, the temperatures that Jan is referring to are in Fahrenheit and not Celsius.

 :) Mel

lottie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2012, 06:45:54 PM »
Thank you all for your input - and I did guess that the really high numbers are F - my cooker is in C's

Just waiting for my Fimo thermometer to arrive from Emma before I cook anything else!

Carrie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2012, 08:17:57 PM »
 :)   My infra-red oven has heat settings in % of full heat, just to be difficult!  In the instructions there's a chart showing what temp each setting is.....my thermometer and their chart do not entirely agree!!

So I thoroughly recommend a separate one.

When I test a piece I've baked I would never try to bend it in half...I would expect a slight flexing, which is definitely preferable to it being rigid and potentially snappable....except Kato, which is very hard, hard to find...and smells...yuk :-X  But good to work with!

You don't say how thick your pieces were, btw.

I was wondering whether to go to one of Sue's silver clay workshops...I have been to polyclay ones.

lottie

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Re: I'm new - be gentle with me!
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2012, 11:12:17 PM »
It's is in Sue's polymer clay book to about the snapping and bending - she has photos of a tube of cooked clay bent in half with the description that it is how it should be.

Apparently the ones I snapped were because I didn't heat them up hot enough - despite my following the instructions - but as I am a beginner and the pieces were from moulds I had made it wasn't really important at all and just the cost of a packet of clay.  It's best to make all one's mistakes at the beginning :D

I have answered your pm - think I messed up at bit and sent yours back to you!   I have not used a forum like this so am on a learning curve  ::) ::) ::)