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Topic: I burnt my clay-and I like it. Anyone else do that?  (Read 1334 times)
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bookstorebabe
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« on: July 30, 2010 08:40:05 PM »

I have a small package of brown scuply someone gave me-no idea how old it is! It was still pnice and soft, though.
 Well, I got it out and made random pieces. I put it on a disposable pie tin, at 275-and still soft. Hmm, those are pretty thick pieces, I says-so 15 minutes more. Then 30, then an hour, then move it to the  lowest rack and turn the oven to 300 and stalk off for a while.
Sure enough, it turned black! I didn't intend that. But with the rusty metal and watch bits I pressed in, it looks cool! I did a tiny snake, and pressed in a couple of gears for eyes, did a pendant, did a few odd shapes...all came out pretty nifty.
I'm doing that on purpose next time. Has anyone here ever done that? The pieces aren't brittle at all, just black. 
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nougatgee
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010 09:06:52 PM »

hi!  could you post pix???  i have burnt clay and managed to disguise it and like the results Smiley

however you must remember that burnt clay gives out toxic fumes....  i think it would be best to stick to the manufacturers instructions and try and achieve the same results with paint etc.
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nougatgee
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010 09:08:07 PM »

oh - and baked polyclay is soft when it is still hot from the oven - it hardens as it cools!
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010 10:33:05 PM »

Oh, thank you! That makes sense about the fumes. And I didn't know it would harden up after baking, I just thought it wasn't done. That helps!
I can't post pics right now, sorry. Would if I could.I need a new camera.. I had to give the tiny snake to my daughter already. Smiley
Painting clay-can you paint it before you bake? See, I like having the black clay base to add stuff to, and painting it black afterwards around tiny things would be hard. I suppose I could buy black clay...but surely there's a way to color it first.
Maybe I'll burn it outside, I have a teeny craft oven I bought during a going out of business sale that  I've never used. Supposed to be good for shrinky dinks and clay.
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Blitherypoop
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010 12:40:05 AM »

You could rub or brush a powdered pigment or ground chalk onto the surface before baking.  It gives a better finish than painting, especially if you leave it unbaked for a day or so.  The chalk "sinks in" a little.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2010 03:34:41 PM »

Quote
Has anyone here ever done that?

Oh definitely!  In fact, there's a whole sub-category at my site that has suggestions for dealing with 'burnt" clay on the Baking page  Grin:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm > Remedies for Burned Items

You do want to be careful about the unhealthful smoke and fumes that happen when plastic burns though (for polymer clay in general, that happens at about 385 F and eventually the clay will get bubbly too).

Quote
I have a small package of brown scuply . . .those are pretty thick pieces, I says-so...then move it to the  lowest rack and turn the oven to 300 and stalk off for a while. . . The pieces aren't brittle at all, just black.

Even if your oven was at the temp you thought it was (often not the case), and the clay was not placed in a hot spot or too close to walls or coils or on certain types of baking surfaces, the 3 main "Sculpey" clays** are worse for darkening problems than all the others--and they do it even at lower temps than recommended by the manufacturers.  So 300 is way too hot for any brand or line of polymer clay except Kato Polyclay (though the temp can be upped briefly do clear up liquid clay and do a few other things--but still not on those Sculpeys).

As for the brittleness, the more any polymer clay polymerizes as it cures (which is what makes it harden), the stronger it will be.  
So going all the way to burned will have polymerized it a lot presumably, and even the "weaker" lines of polymer clay like those Sculpeys will be stronger if they're baked longer; in fact, those sculptors who just like to completely paint over polymer clay will often bake SuperSculpey for a few hrs just to make it stronger, and the color won't matter in that case since they'll be painting over it.
Those Sculpeys are also more brittle in any thin or projecting areas than the other brands/lines of polymer clay, though their surface will "feel" a little harder.  Thick and rounded shapes though are naturally strong.

**Sculpey III, SuperSculpey, and even worse original (white or terracotta, boxed) Sculpey

Quote
Painting clay-can you paint it before you bake? See, I like having the black clay base to add stuff to, and painting it black afterwards around tiny things would be hard. I suppose I could buy black clay...but surely there's a way to color it first.. . .Maybe I'll burn it outside

You can color polymer clay in various ways.  
Generally, "painting" is done after baking but in some cases can be done before when using various colorants (not usually the regular paint for clay which is acrylic paint).
Instead of burning the clay intentionally though to get the black color, you'd be better off to just start with purchased black clay which comes in any of the brands/lines of polymer clay.  
There are also some "black" powdered pigments that you could use on or in the other colors of polymer clay but starting with black clay would be much easier.
You could also add another colorant like artists' oil paint but you'd need too much acrylic paint to make a nice black and too much of anything that contains water isn't good to mix into raw polymer clay.

If you'd like to use a lot of black clay, you might want to just order larger "bricks" of it, which will often be cheaper and/or buy it online.
If you want to check out some of the online suppliers to see what their prices are, check out this page of my site under Mail Order:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/supplysources.htm

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2010 04:00:48 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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bookstorebabe
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010 03:59:09 PM »

Thank you! That's very helpful.
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