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Topic: First project: The Doubtful Guest  (Read 1331 times)
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beaderreader
« on: July 31, 2007 08:25:56 AM »

This is my first attempt at clay.  Since I'm always inspired by Edward Gorey, I tried the Doubtful Guest.  He's about 6 inches tall.
His scarf and shoes burned a bit, but I like the effect.  Any tips on how to protect white clay, or thin layers when they're baking with thicker?



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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2007 08:27:47 AM »

Oh I just love him! I love Edward Gorey,too. I think he looks great. The more clay things I see, the more I want to do it myself.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2007 08:34:41 AM »

This is so awesome, good job!   Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2007 09:16:57 AM »

Very good job!... you've really captured his look.

Quote
Any tips on how to protect white clay, or thin layers when they're baking with thicker?

You have a number of options for keeping clays from darkening during curing:

First, some clays are more susceptible to darkening than others:
.....Sculpey, SuperSculpey, Sculpey III (esp. the light colors)
.....translucent clay (most brands), or any color with a lot of translucent in it (which is often not obvious)
.....(Kato Polyclay is the least susceptible to darkening, even at higher temps)

Make sure the temp. in your oven never goes over the target temp (use a thermomter)
...keep the clay away reasonably far away from hot surfaces in the oven (walls, top and bottom coils, baking surfaces that absorb heat --ceramic tile, metal, etc... can elevate surface and/or buffer with sheets of paper, wadded tissue, etc.)
...protect the clay by "partially enclosing" (including draping with damp paper towel, tenting with alum. foil, etc.) or "completely enclosing" the clay item while baking (in a pile of powder, under a box, inside a baking bag, etc.)
(...or use a convection oven --which swirls the air around to moderate the temp everywhere equally inside the oven cavity)

(..in the case of Sculpey, don't bake any longer than necessary at the temp they suggest** ...  in fact, I've recently found out that it's the total time allowed for polymerization that matters, so it's possible you could bake even Sculpey at a lower temperature for a longer time ... if you're into equations, the ratio is:
"for every 10 degree C (18 F) loss in temperature, a reaction will proceed half as fast --or in reverse, for every 10 C or 18 increase, the polymerization rate will double" .

**they used to suggest a lower temp on the Sculpeys, but the lower temp won't cure the clay completely quite as quickly, so they upped it   Roll Eyes

There's loads more info on all those things and more re curing polymer clay on this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm
(...look especially under Darkening, Scorching, Burning...)


HTH,

Diane B.


« Last Edit: August 03, 2007 08:52:08 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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xfoxglove
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007 12:05:21 PM »

he's so cute, cute, cute.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2007 01:17:02 PM »

I love Gorey also! It would be cool to do the Gashlycrumb Tinies!
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beaderreader
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2007 01:30:30 PM »

Thanks for the feedback guys!
And yes, I want to do Gashlycrumb Tinies... I tried a couple but they were a little complex for me, so I went with Doubtful Guest instead.

I used a toaster oven and Premo clay.

Diane:
I did use an oven thermometer and noticed my toaster oven took quite a while to reach 275 degrees, so I upped the ante to 300 degrees for the first ten minutes.  Probably a bad idea, eh?

Thanks for the tip about paper towel or foil.  I have looked around at glassattic but will investigate more.  So what causes the scorching exactly?  Is it a chemical reaction to the oven?
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007 08:41:24 AM »

Quote
Diane: I did use an oven thermometer and noticed my toaster oven took quite a while to reach 275 degrees, so I upped the ante to 300 degrees for the first ten minutes.  Probably a bad idea, eh?

As long as you upped the temp only to pre-heat it, shouldn't be a problem.  Don't put your clay in to bake till it's back to 275 or a little higher though (opening the door will cool the temp a little).

Quote
Thanks for the tip about paper towel or foil.  I have looked around at glassattic but will investigate more.
 
Yeah, definitely check the Baking page I linked to below... it should help a lot.

Quote
So what causes the scorching exactly?  Is it a chemical reaction to the oven?

Check out the long thing I just wrote today about baking clay in the Discussions & Questions thread, since it addresses many of those same questions. 
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=187386.0

The thing that causes scorching though (or darkening or burning) is just heat.  And too high a heat will burn most materials --the temp at which a particular material burns or scorches though varies a lot, and some clays are more susceptible to even their recommended level of heat than others. 
 
There are things that clayers sometimes do or use though when baking clay which allow more heat to reach the clay than is optimal (most of those things can be avoided or changed). 

(The chemical reaction I was talking about is the "polymerization" of the oily plasticizers inside the clay to harden it, which is made to happen by heat.)


HTH,

Diane B. 




« Last Edit: August 03, 2007 09:06:29 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
beaderreader
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007 05:01:54 PM »

Thanks, Diane, you're awesome!

Quote
A movie is being made so no other rights are being granted.

But I can make them just for fun, right?  Doesn't licensing come into effect if I try to sell them?
I wish there was a little leeway for homemade goodies.   Embarrassed
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