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|TOOLS||A few bead baking tools|
"How do you bake your beads?" Not THE burning question of the day, is it? ;-) That's mainly because baking polymer clay beads is not a fussy process. Really, it isn't, at least when compared to many other materials.
However, when the discussion comes up, I never had a quick and easy way to show folks what I use. Tis time to change that! I have three tools/ways to bake beads, depending mostly on their shape, size and the number of beads.
And then a recent visitor to my site mentioned I that I didn't mention the most important tool of baking - the oven I use! Good point. This remedies that.
folded index cards
a soft fluffy
I gently stir the earth with a pencil or stick, then place the tissue on top. If no diatomaceous earth handy for you, try baking soda or some other powder.
I carefully place the beads on the tissue. Place carefully because the powder can poof up and stick to the raw clay beads.
|The earth and tissue conform to the bead curves and supports it nicely during baking.|
wooden bead rack
What surprised me is this modest staple-joined rack has lasted about 10 years now, through several cross country moves!
Those spots you see on the wood are caused by the oils in the wood seeping to the surface during bakings. The notches help keep those wires settled in one spot.
beautiful, wonderful oven!
I absolutely love these kinds of ovens, because:
not a cost-effective suggestion, especially for those who are looking
for a second polymer clay dedicated baking appliance. But if you find a
good used one at a nice price... count your lucky stars.
What about the fumes and smell? Some folks worry about the fumes generated by baking and want to dedicate a separate oven just for polymer clay, placing it in a whole different part of the house or even outside. To use your kitchen oven or not - it's actually a controversial topic! However, I don't worry baking polymer clay in my home because:
What about toaster ovens? Sorry folks, I feel a toaster oven is the worst baking device for polymer clay. Admittedly, it's possible to find a decent one, but it's easier to find lousy ones. They may be adequate for toasting appetizers and bread, but polymer clay needs a stable temperate environment to cure properly. Reasons I have concerns about using toaster ovens for baking polymer clay:
Still, I can't afford some fancy schmancy oven. What can I do? There are a couple/few things you can do to counteract the toaster and regular oven deficiencies. I'd recommend getting a separate oven thermometer. Most ovens are pretty inaccurate anyway. Place your clay items on an index card or whatever, place that on the baking tray and cover with a baking dish. This will create a more stable temperature environment. Then, disregard any timing recommendations on the clay package - bake for an hour at the recommended temp as indicated by your oven thermometer (not your oven dial).
nothing better than having a great tool when you need it.
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|Last update to this page: 18 Mar 09. Send comments, questions or suggestions to Desiree McCrorey.|