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Topic: Baking Times/Temperatures For Mixing Brands  (Read 3443 times)
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bigeyes
« on: July 03, 2007 11:17:01 PM »

I mixed 2 kinds of clay and they have different baking times.  should I split the difference?  Or do I just toss the whole thing and start over.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007 08:24:49 PM by something_wierd - Reason: Please use a descriptive sudject in posts. Thanks! :) » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2007 12:17:54 AM »

well sometimes i use fimo and skulpty( or how ever you spell it)  and i think their different time things so i just go with 250 for 20 min... but thats just what i do..
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Diane B.
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2007 10:30:58 AM »

In general, you can decide on the temp by the proportion of clay brands you've used.  In the past, the temps of brands were close together (though Kato can be baked up to 325), but now that Fimo has changed the formulations for it's two lines to so they can bake at 230 instead of 265, the temps between brands have widened. 

So for example, if you bake 50% new Fimo (230 F) + 50% Premo (275 F), you could bake at about 250, I guess.   But if you're using 80% new Fimo + 20% Premo, then you might want to bake at 240 F.  You can always just bake longer at the lower temp to compensate for the lower temp for Premo though (the polymerization rate will just be slower)... Sculpey is the line that's more problematic baked for longer times since it darkens so easily; the other brands will be fine as long as the temp stays true.

Definitely don't toss the mixed clay... it's totaly fine to use. 
The main problem with "mixing" clays or clay brands in one project is that when making canes for example, using a soft clay for one part and a stiff clay for another part will cause the softer part to squish faster than the stiffer one when the cane is being reduced (certain things can help with that though) and therefore get smaller than the areas of stiffer clay. 

Every brand can have colors or specific bars which are softer or stiffer than their brothers and sisters though, so it's always best to go with the way the clay feels, regardless of brand.... just make sure all the clays you'll use for certain types of things like canes, are the same re their amount of pliablility, whether that's stiff, med. soft, or soft. You can add softeners if the clay is too stiff, or "leach" clays that are too soft to make them more equal in pliability.

Diane B.
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bigeyes
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2007 12:01:20 PM »

both were 275 degrees but one was for 15 mins for 1/4" thick and the other was 30 minutes for 1/4" thick.   I looked again and it looks like I only used the 15 minute one, and I only baked them for 15 minutes, so I think I'm ok.

My toaster oven is WAY OFF.  I had to set it to a hair over 300 to get 275 on it.  I have 2 boxes of various colors of premo clay that bake for 30 minutes and I'm going to have to keep them separate so I don't mix them up.

Diane, I was looking at your site, and I noticed the temps and bake times were different than the ones on the clay wrappers.  Is there a way to tell by touch if the clay is properly baked?
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2007 01:13:23 PM »

Quote
Diane, I was looking at your site, and I noticed the temps and bake times were different than the ones on the clay wrappers.  Is there a way to tell by touch if the clay is properly baked?


The baking temps should be the same as on the wrappers, with the exception of very old clay (some of the Sculpeys used to suggest only 225, e.g.,) and the new version of the two Fimos, which now have a suggested temp of 230 instead of 265 (and I've just found out about those changes, so haven't put the new info at GlassAttic yet---EDIT... have changed the basic info now, though there will still be many places where the temp for the older bars of Fimo are listed as 265.)
Were there others where you found a discrepancy in temps?

As for baking time, that's a little more variable. 
There are minimum times and temps to "cure the clay," but the rate of polymerization will just be slower if the temp is a bit lower, and faster if it's higher, so the time can vary for various levels of "cured."

For most brands of clay (Premo, Fimo's, Cernit, and certainly Kato), as long as the temp never goes over the recommended temp (which is hard to do without a convection oven, though not impossible), it can be baked for hours and hours, and would only get stronger ...can't do that with Sculpey though, though perhaps with "enclosed baking").

Sometimes the manufacturers may have changed the time recommended because most crafters are baking under variable situations if they're not really into polymer clay, and they don't want those people to be unhappy because the clay has darkened or "scorched," etc. ... so they may recommend shorter baking times than they used to, thinking that's "good enough" for most people.  It's also true that thinner or smaller-diameter clay will bake more quickly than they had originally put because the heat is able to penetrate from all sides more quickly.

There really isn't a way to tell exactly if a clay has been baked long enough, except that for the stronger clays I mentioned, you can try bending or breaking them after baking to test.
If they're thin, you should be able to bend them totally backwards when cool without problems, or twist them, etc.  Sculpey, however,  would break if you did that. 
So the best bet is just to use an oven thermometer, and then bake at least for the minimum time suggested.


Does that help?

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007 04:09:31 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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bigeyes
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2007 10:06:32 PM »

well.....my sculpey III just totally fried on the right temperature and the minimum time, so next time I'll be doing an enclosed bake with a foil pan and a foil cover.  Other than that they've all turned out pretty much OK.  The ones with the mixed 15 minute and 30 minute clays I have not baked yet, so we'll see.  I may even try the boiling method.

From now on I'm going to only buy one type of clay, and for taller objects I'll use the enclosed method and use my regular oven.  I think my picture frame was just too close to the heating element in my toaster oven and that's why it burned.  It was such a beautiful color, too. Sad

But considering I had no clue what I was doing, I've been quite lucky.

Cool
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2007 06:13:26 PM »

Quote
my sculpey III just totally fried on the right temperature and the minimum time


What kind of surface are you baking on??  Certain surfaces can heat up higher than the ambient air temp in the oven (metal trays and ceramic tiles, for example), and/or the height of your items away from the lower coils could be too low (so try raising the baking tray higher on some aluminum foil logs or strips of wood).  Using thinner clay or using Sculpey would make those things happen more easily.

Quote
, so next time I'll be doing an enclosed bake with a foil pan and a foil cover.

One easier way to do a completley enclosed bake is to bury the items in a pile of baking soda or cornstarch... then rinse them off afterward.  Both can be used over and over again.


Good luck,

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007 06:15:16 PM 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)
bigeyes
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2007 06:21:36 PM »

it was a toaster oven and there was only one position for the rack, but the heating unit was on the top instead of the bottom.  all my others have had top for broiling and bottom for toasting.

I think I'll try the soda thing.  I've been baking in a glass pyrex pan.
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2007 12:40:56 AM »

Wow What Are You Makeing
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bigeyes
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2007 12:59:58 AM »

picture frames with fish, seaweed, seahorses, starfish and mermaids on them.  I made some palm trees and banana trees, but they're too small to go with the other things, so I'll be using them on another project.

My frame that is ruined was pearl blue, it looked like water Sad

now it kinda looks like water and lava, so I may be able to do something with it later and make it look like it was intentional.


I have a ton of cheap wooden frames from oriental trading company, so  I have a lot to work with.  I'm trying to figure out how to make a hula girl, too.
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