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Topic: M&P Soaps made with polymer clay mold?  (Read 707 times)
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misswendiki
« on: May 15, 2007 04:34:08 PM »

Have you ever made a mold from polymer clay and used it to shape Melt and Pour Soap? My thought is that the heat of the melted soap shouldn't be a problem for the clay if it's baked, but I wondered if anyone else has tried it.
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Fun4Bambi
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007 04:40:10 PM »

I haven't tried this, but it would be cool if it worked - I can imagine all kinds of molds I'd like to make.
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auroravioletta
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007 05:28:57 PM »

I would be hesitant to try it--- Polymer clays are made of somewhat toxic materials. I don't know what or how toxic, exactly, but I know when it's baking you're supposed to avoid the fumes, and you're never supposed to eat off of any dishes/bowls/items that you make with it... It probably wouldn't get onto the soap too much, and the soap should be washing off your skin anyway, but all the same, I would be wary.
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007 10:29:41 PM »

There are latex (I think it's latex...) kits where you paint on the stuff and then peel it off and use it as a mold. I have some of the stuff somewhere, I'll have to dig it out and see what it is.
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penguino
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007 10:42:46 PM »

polymer clay is made of PVC material that is cured at temperature.  I bake them in my oven all the time. 

I wonder how do you get the soap off the clay mold since the mold is pretty hard.  Do you just bang on it until it comes out?
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auroravioletta
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2007 07:52:11 PM »

Okay-- I did a quick googling to confirm my suspicions. Yes, Polymer clays are madewith PVC. PVC happens to be just about the most toxic and environmentally problematic plastic that humans use. The clay also contains Pthalates, which are also dangerous. Neither of those will cause immediate problems, but they might have long term health effects. (In other words, using them will not make you immediately sick, but if you're exposed to them enough, you may be at greater risk of cancer, and your future children may be more likely to have birth defects. Among other issues.) For a couple of quick articles on the subject, look here:
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art33912.asp
http://www.seventhgeneration.com/making_difference/newsletter_article.php?article=382&issue=41

Now, if you're really into playing with clay for jewelry/sculpture/etc or for molds for just your own use, I'd say that you should read up on it and make your own decision. There is a bit of controversy over it, because the long term health effects haven't really been studied. BUT if you were making molds for soaps that you may be giving away or using on children, I'd think about looking into other options.
 
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007 09:31:31 AM »

Please be careful when stating absolutes about polymer clay.  In fact, it is not "highly toxic" or anything even close to that... we breathe, eat, and touch all kinds of substances every day which are much more problematic in a total-life-load way.  Polymer clay has also been tested and given the Non-Toxic seal by the agency that regulates art and craft materials.

If anyone is seriously concerned about using polymer clay, or especially if they're considering not even using it because of things like this they've heard around, please check out at least this thread which addresses many of these issues:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=16740145.0
and perhaps this one, which slightly overlaps it:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=164377.msg1668722#msg1668722

And/or do more rigorous inquiry about it because it's important to make up one's own mind about things like this from very-reliable sources of info.


Diane B.

P.S.  For example:
The baking "smells" from polymer clay are perfectly normal and harmless... it's the "fumes and billowing black smoke" created by burning polymer clay at 385 degrees or above (as opposed to its normal curing temp of 275) that's not especially healthy --and the same as if you'd burned an ordinary plastic plate, etc. 
The phthalate scare goes around every few years, and was started basically by one group (Vermont "Public Interest Research" group) --the author was an "environmental health advocate" (not a scientist), plus it has been declared untrue by subsequent scientific studies (reported in JAMA, etc.). 
Not eating off of baked polymer clay is an uber-precautionary measure that most clayers take just in case there should ever be any speck of plasticizer from the raw clay that isn't made into inert plastic by proper baking ...dogs eat gobs of the raw stuff all the time though and live to ripe old ages.
Etc.
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auroravioletta
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007 04:20:03 AM »

In my opinion, the jury is still out. I really think that reducing our contact with anything that's going to be adding to our toxic load is pretty important, and as a personal choice, I try to do this wherever I reasonably can. For me, just knowing that's it's laregly made of PVC is enough to give it the boot. I'm sure most people feel differently.

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, really is an uncool plastic in my book, whose safety for human use is "debatable", and whose manufacture and disposal produces dioxins. (Dioxin, for those who haven't heard about it, is a bioaccumulative carcinogen-- bioaccumulative means it collects in your fatty tissues and accumulates over your lifetime--and an endocrine disruptor-- it mimics hormones in your body and messes with your system.)

I would suggest that anyone studying the health and environmental safety of polymer clay, or any other craft material, look up not just the material itself, but also safety concerns related to its individual components before making their decision on whether or not to consider it safe.
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