Polymer clay is a versatile art material, but it requires proper baking to be workable. This guide on how to bake polymer clay in a toaster oven will help you achieve perfect results. The key is to control heat spikes to avoid burning the clay and ensure it’s in optimal condition for reshaping. The process may seem daunting, but we’ll guide you through it in detail.
Guide to Baking Polymer Clay in a Toaster Oven
Polymer clay is often baked in a toaster oven for its convenience. Maintaining the heat is crucial. The suggested temperature is 265-275F, with 30 minutes baking time for every 1/4 inch thickness. Here is the detailed procedure to follow, along with the necessary tools and materials.
Before you begin baking polymer clay in a toaster oven, make sure you have the following tools and materials:
- Toaster oven
- Baking paper or aluminum foil
- Oven thermometer
- Ceramic tiles
- Marker pen
- White paper sheets
The first step is to choose the type of polymer clay you want to use, which is important because a toaster oven cannot provide constant heat. The basic procedure of a toaster oven is that it heats up, cools down a bit, and then heats up again, and this cycle continues.
Therefore, the correct use of the toaster oven is crucial in baking polymer clay. If the temperature fluctuations are not controlled, the clay will be ruined.
As mentioned earlier, the suggested temperature range for baking polymer clay is between 265F-275F. However, toaster ovens do not have a temperature display of their own. Therefore, to monitor the temperature accurately, an oven thermostat is necessary. These thermostats are inexpensive and widely available. If you do not have one, you can purchase one by clicking here.
During baking, the oven thermostat is placed inside the toaster oven, which provides an accurate temperature reading.
Now that we know the temperature and heat in a toaster oven can fluctuate due to its small size and heating cycle, we have a solution to avoid such fluctuations. Ceramic tiles are excellent at retaining heat, so placing one under the baking tray and another on top of the tray can help stabilize the temperature.
Additionally, placing two ceramic tiles on the upper surface of the toaster oven can further reduce temperature fluctuations. With the heat contained by the tiles, there will be no need to heat the oven again, saving both time and energy consumption.
After you have prepared the toaster oven as mentioned earlier, it is crucial to prepare the baking tray properly. Preparing the baking surface is critical because if the temperature control goes awry, the clay may burn, discolor, and become unusable.
White clay is particularly susceptible to discoloration, and other colors may also be affected. To prevent this, follow these steps:
- Place a piece of white paper on the ceramic tile placed above the baking tray.
- Put the clay on the white paper.
- Cover the clay with a tent made of baking paper or aluminum foil.
(The white paper will prevent direct contact of heat with the clay, and the aluminum foil will protect it from the heat coming from above.)
After completing all of the above steps, it’s time to use a marker pen, which is actually an important hack for baking polymer clay.
When you start the toaster oven to bake, it’s impossible to know the correct heat setting to place on the knob of the oven to achieve the perfect temperature for baking.
To overcome this, you need to adjust the heat settings knob and keep an eye on the oven thermostat you placed inside. When you reach the suggested temperature range, mark the dial of the knob.
This will be very helpful because you won’t have to waste time finding the perfect setting on your toaster oven to bake in the 266F-275F temperature range.
By following the above-mentioned steps, you can successfully bake polymer clay in a toaster oven.
Preheating the toaster oven helps to stabilize the temperature inside, making it less likely to fluctuate during the baking process. It’s recommended to preheat the oven for at least 10-15 minutes before placing the baking tray inside. This will ensure that the oven has reached the desired temperature and is ready to bake the polymer clay.
After reading this article, it is hoped that you have gained an understanding of how to bake polymer clay in a toaster oven. Baking polymer clay is crucial because without perfectly baked clay, the enjoyment of creating any craft item will be diminished.
Even if you struggle with mastering the art of baking polymer clay in a toaster oven, do not lose hope. Re-read this article several times to comprehend the steps and with a few attempts, you will be able to successfully bake polymer clay.