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Topic: Using wood with polymer clay  (Read 17003 times)
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« on: February 06, 2012 07:50:41 PM »

I searched for an answer to this, and couldn't find it, which surprised me.

I'm wanting to cover a wooden object with polymer clay and then bake it.  Has anyone done this?  Will the wood survive?  Will the clay be messed up from it? 

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012 11:48:48 PM »

Wood will survive baking, for sure (unless it is very very thin piece of wood, in that case it can start curving). I did few things in the past and the problem you need to solve here is how to make clay stick to wood. I used ordinary white wood glue - I applied very thin layer to wood surface, covered it with sheets of rolled clay and added decorations. I baked it next day and clay stick to wood wonderfully Smiley! You just have to be careful because clay will shrink a tiny little bit while baking (it probably depends on the brand), so make sure it is glued to all the surface.

Hope that helps and hope you succeed if you try making something this way.

Best regards!



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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012 02:03:22 AM »

i havnt done much with polymer clay and wood but ive make a few covered wooden pegs i found if your only partially covering an item with clay dont get it really wet when sanding. the wood will swell and make the clay crack. dip the sandpaper in a bit of water rather than dunking the whole thing under the tap.
you could rough up the wood where you want the clay with very course sand paper or a craft knife too, this will give the glue something to grip onto.
i would keep the layer of clay thicker rather than paper thin. if the wood swells it will stand a better chance of not cracking.

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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012 08:55:01 AM »

As mentioned, wood will be totally fine when used under polymer clay ("covered" with clay), or just used with polymer clay, during baking as long as it's totally dry.  Wood objects/shapes/etc are covered with polymer clay a lot.

However, since wood and other wood products like paper, cardboard, twigs, gourds, etc, are porous**, you'll usually need some way to give the surface tooth so the clay will stick to it while raw.  That can be done with a previous coating of permanent white glue (PVA), acrylic paint, water-based clear finish, liquid polymer clay, etc.  If the clay has a "mechanical hold" on the wood though (surrounds some part of the wood so it can just hold on) and it's able to stick well enough to put in the oven, that wouldn't be necessary but still is usually done. 
Materials like the permanent white glue are good too because they provide a buffer between the clay and surface to reduce sudden temp rises and also are kind of stretchy themselves which reduce cracking in the clay, etc.

Those wood/paper products will not burn until they're exposed to much higher heat than we use, which could include being too close to the hot coils in an oven (much hotter than the air in the oven cavity).  In fact, plain white or brown paper is used quite often as a baking surface for polymer clay (on top of something stiff to transport it into and out of the oven), and will only begin to brown a bit after many bakings.  Wood blocks are sometimes used also to elevate baking trays so the clay can be as far away from coils, walls, and sides as possible. 

There's loads more info on covering wood (and other wood products) on this page at my polymer clay "encyclopedia" site:
...look under the main categories called Wood and Papier Mache, Etc.
and this page has more on paper used in certain ways:
...look under Paper

** Cotton-based fabrics (and rayon?) are also porous, and there are lots of fun things to do with all kinds of fabrics + polymer clay and/or liquid polymer clay (see the Mixing Media page just above, or the Sculpting-Bodies page under Clothing or the Miscellaneous page under Sewing or Purses, if you're interested in any of those things).

Diane B.

P.S.  Love your screen name  Grin ...look for a private message from me about some of the things you mentioned in your profile too

« Last Edit: February 07, 2012 09:02:46 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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