October 2002
Volume 3, Issue 10 
Letters to the Editor

Adobe Acrobat version

 


Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | Questions and Answers | Belle Armoire | Chicago Retreat | Faux Porcelain | Haunted Toilet Snow Globe | Face Canes: Lip Canes | Email Us! | Home

 Advertisers' Page


 Hello,

After baking a rather spectacular work of art last night...(it really was awesome!) I placed it in the garage to cool (still in the glass pan I baked it in) and when I tried to remove it, IT WAS STUCK SOLID! It won't budge from the pan!
 I worked for hours last night on this piece, a 4 inch head of a ??? "Green Man"? Mountain Man?  He is by far the best piece I have done so far. I'm new to this and having a ball but suddenly I'm faced with doom for my Mountain man.
 If you could tell me how to remove it without breaking it..that would be wonderful and also if you have any tips on the proper way to bake it so I don't have these problems in the future.
 
Can water be used with your clay when modeling it like in thrown pottery?
 
What happens if you "Over bake" it?
 
What happens if you "Under bake" it?
 
It stinks when I'm baking it, is this a toxic fume smell or just stinky?

I read not to work on wood surfaces..why?

Gee, I think this about covers it.

Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you Very Soon.

Thank You,
Sherrie O'Brien 
 

  Hi Sherrie,

   Take a deep breath and turn your oven on to the temperature recommended by the clay manufacturer. Place the whole shebang back into the oven and allow to heat for about 15 minutes.
  Carefully, using heatproof oven mitts, try to remove your Green Man. This may take several attempts. Return to the oven each time when the piece becomes cool.   If you can safely do this while the piece is on the oven rack, it won't lose as much heat.
  In the future, try baking on a piece of fiberfil in your baking dish.
  No, you can't "throw" polymer clay or add water to it. It is not water soluble,
  I personally know of no hazard to baking the clay for longer than the manufacturer recommends. However, if you under bake it, the clay will be weak and will probably disintegrate in time.
  Polymer clay does have an odor to it when baked, but if it's strong, you may need to check your oven temperature with a good oven thermometer to be sure the temperature isn't too high. I have never found the odor during curing to be offensive. If it's bad, you are probably burning the clay and that would be toxic. It is a form of vinyl, or plastic. This is very important. Please do get a good oven thermometer.
  Wood surfaces may be dry and leach out chemicals in the clay. It may also leave splinters. If the surface isn't dry, it may have a finish on it that will be absorbed by the clay. In any case, there are many surfaces that will work well. Even a manila file folder. 
  Please let me know if you are able to save your masterpiece.

  IR

Dear Polyzine

I am a beginner but, I want to make life-sized hollow elephant tusks am I biting off more than I can chew? Even if I am I am going to try, can you give me tips to make this as easy as possible but still have a finished product that looks good.

Thanks
Bruce Miner
 

 Hi Bruce,

That is a huge project, but I admire your ambition. 
The amount of clay that it would take to make a life-sized hollow elephant tusk would be enormous and I'm afraid the cost would be, too. But the biggest question of all is; do you have an oven big enough to bake this monster?
If you do and I haven't discouraged you yet, let me suggest that you find a good recipe for faux ivory first and practice shaping a tusk that would fit in your hand. There are several good recipes online.

IR
 


Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | Questions and Answers | Belle Armoire | Chicago Retreat | Faux Porcelain | Haunted Toilet Snow Globe | Face Canes: Lip Canes | Email Us! | Home

 Advertisers' Page