MICROWAVE TEST ON POLYMER CLAY

I have been using polymer clays for over twenty years in my creative works and teaching kids for play clay classes. After completion of your creative project, the standard is to bake in an oven, the best is to bake in a convection oven. Temperature setting varies from 130ºC to 150ºC baking it between 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size or thickness of the finish work. The manufacturer will advice you, DO NOT MICROWAVE the clay. Well, there is a method of microwaving your clay work, I had tested it, you can try following my method cooking the clay beads and other clay creations in the microwave oven. Microwaving method will never over baked your project. To begin with cooking the polymer clay in the microwave oven you need a Tupperware container or any mivrowave safe container. The container is important for good result, do not use ceramic container. Ceramic bowl produce heat and any impurity in the container will have reaction while microwaving the clay work. Depending on the size and thickness, always fill the container with water above your clay work. For any size 15mm diameter you can set for about 10 minutes, do not fill the beads in a oversize container, you must proportion the container with your clay work. For bigger size clay work use a bigger container and set timing to 10min or more. Always check your oven if you are cooking for more than 15min and ensure that there are water in the container. Microwaving process will boil and evaporate the water in the container. You can also microwave the project many times if you feel that it is not well cook, just make sure there is WATER in the container. Otherwise, it will burned the polymer clay within 2 min. in the oven, it will create lots of fume.



Testing begin with six various types of polymer clay with a diameter of 15mm.

 



Typical container I had used to contain the polymer clay

Filled the container with water in the sink.

 

Put the container with the test samples in the microwave for 5 minutes.

 

Pour away the hot water in the sink.

 

Cooked polymer clay.

 

Result

The cooked samples are very hard if you pressed them onto the table top. I had also throw them against the wall and floor down at a level of 1.5 meters. There are no damages to all the polymer clay test samples. Splitting them reveal consistent of the clay structure inside out and there are no uncured clay right in the center by scratching it with a metal tool.

 

Conclusion

The test conducted show the success of cooking the polymer clay in the microwave oven. But, there are limitation in cooking the polymer clay, you have to put your clay work in a proper microwave container, filled with water. Microwave container will limit cooking the size of your clay work, as compare to the convection oven, you can bake bigger project. Overall results is very encouraging, for those who do not own a convectional oven, microwave oven can be used in hardening the polymer clay.

Update

The good news for Microwaving the polymer clay, the Fimo Clay recomended baking temperature is 110º C (230º F), this temperature is even more suitable to microwave the Fimo Polymer Clay and fully cured the clay.

 

Microwaving plastic clay

February 6, 2013 AM 10:07:23 GMT+08:00

I microwaved the clay and it worked great, but I have a question.  Can toxins form in the microwave this way?  I know we are not supposed to use our regular food oven for baking this kind of clay.  So I wondered if that might be true of the microwave, too.

Thanks for your help!

Marian Camden, Psy.D., LLC
Licensed Psychologist
Counseling & evaluation for adults,children,& adolescents
mariancamden.com
7500 E. Arapahoe Road, Suite 375  
Centennial, CO 80112
Phone:  720-493-4827

To see Dr. Camden's books for children, go to: earthchildbooks.com

07-Feb-2013, at 8:21 AM, Sim Garie wrote:

Thanks Marian, I will share with you any of my experiments and tests.
I am glad my method works!
Wishing a Happy Chinese Snake Year,
http://gariesim.blogspot.sg/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=1
Best Regards,
Garie

February 7, 2013 PM 06:40:32 GMT+08:00

Sorry Marian, I didn't answer your question about "toxins in microwave", if you microwave the clay in the water filled container, any impurity or toxin will be contained in the water.
The new polymer clay whether Fimo or Sculpey does not contain toxic material, I have created Fimo clay figurines in the 80's and my dog ate them, and was not poison by the clay, he live for 17 years die of old age.
It is perfectly ok to bake clay and used the same oven to bake cake, just have to clean the oven to removed tiny clay particles in case there are some.
In the convection oven, I have heat up foil wraped bread and bake my clay, just don't adjust the temperature to above 150º C.
Regards,
Garie

February 8, 2013 AM 01:01:07 GMT+08:00

Hi Garie,

Thanks very much for your answer.  I didn't know the new clay is non-toxic, so that is good news.  Congratulations on your dog who lived such a long life!  I hope my dog lives that long, too!

Marian Camden, Psy.D., LLC
Licensed Psychologist
Counseling & evaluation for adults,children,& adolescents
mariancamden.com
7500 E. Arapahoe Road, Suite 375  
Centennial, CO 80112
Phone:  720-493-4827
To see Dr. Camden's books for children, go to: earthchildbooks.com

 

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