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Bummed out about baking/ovens



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 3rd 06, 03:42 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
nanner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens

I've always baked PC in the big kitch oven (gas oven) and have never burnt
clay or had it darken. I didn't do anything special, just what the label
said. I've done everything from little eyeballs, beads, covered objects and
biggish figures.

Now - because i want to start doing ALOT of clay baking DH and I decided I
need alternate for baking. I found a cheap convection oven (on sale from $70
to $40) and I have burnt 2 batches of test-pieces and the temp doesn't hold
consistently. I even *melted* polyfil!! wtf!!! I had a oven therm ometer in
there and it seems to hold steady for 10 min then increase 10 degrees, etc.

I am going to return it and there is this cheap toaster oven I am going to
try but I am feeling defeated because I like to bake assembled figures so I
need the space, sometimes I just sculpt the whole thing and bake fully in
one go. I read on glassattic about people wrapping in damp towels, tenting,
heat sinks, all kinds of dancing and manipulations to try to get the clay to
bake, not burn or darken and all in a teeny tiny little space

I am going to look for a 2nd hand electric oven to put in the basement. Are
there other options? My family is not comfortable with daily PC baking in
the same oven I prepare food in. I don't have a studio and I am not yet able
to fund my indulgences with PC earnings LOL

What's a gal to do??? I am an artist coming from a production background so
this is really holding me back. I wanna get cooking!!!


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  #2  
Old October 3rd 06, 08:04 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
Barbara Forbes-Lyons
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 408
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens

Some convection ovens are better than others - I've heard that the
Farberware is one of the best. It's no longer made but you can often
find them on eBay, at flea markets or other second-hand sources.

I'd say that if you have the room for an extra range in the basement, go
for that option. Once you get the temp regulated in that, it would give
you the space you need and if you ahve problems with temperature, the
element for an electric range is cheap enough and easy to install
yourself. You can probably pick up a used range at a used appliance
store for about $50.

Barbara

Bead & Polymer Clay Votary

There is a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness. (Dave Barry)

http://www.penguintrax.com and http://www.backseatgrammarian.com
NEW! http://www.polymerclayworkshops.com




nanner wrote:

I've always baked PC in the big kitch oven (gas oven) and have never burnt
clay or had it darken. I didn't do anything special, just what the label
said. I've done everything from little eyeballs, beads, covered objects and
biggish figures.

Now - because i want to start doing ALOT of clay baking DH and I decided I
need alternate for baking. I found a cheap convection oven (on sale from $70
to $40) and I have burnt 2 batches of test-pieces and the temp doesn't hold
consistently. I even *melted* polyfil!! wtf!!! I had a oven therm ometer in
there and it seems to hold steady for 10 min then increase 10 degrees, etc.

I am going to return it and there is this cheap toaster oven I am going to
try but I am feeling defeated because I like to bake assembled figures so I
need the space, sometimes I just sculpt the whole thing and bake fully in
one go. I read on glassattic about people wrapping in damp towels, tenting,
heat sinks, all kinds of dancing and manipulations to try to get the clay to
bake, not burn or darken and all in a teeny tiny little space

I am going to look for a 2nd hand electric oven to put in the basement. Are
there other options? My family is not comfortable with daily PC baking in
the same oven I prepare food in. I don't have a studio and I am not yet able
to fund my indulgences with PC earnings LOL

What's a gal to do??? I am an artist coming from a production background so
this is really holding me back. I wanna get cooking!!!




  #3  
Old October 3rd 06, 08:13 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens


nanner wrote:
I found a cheap convection oven (on sale from $70
to $40) and I have burnt 2 batches of test-pieces and the temp doesn't hold
consistently. I even *melted* polyfil!! wtf!!! I had a oven therm ometer in
there and it seems to hold steady for 10 min then increase 10 degrees, etc.

I am going to return it and there is this cheap toaster oven I am going to
try


A second option (to buying a used range) is to smooth out the
temperature lows and highs with a layer or two of ceramic tile. That
will help if the convection oven's thermostat is basically good, but
lightweight oven construction and relative lack of insulation is
causing the oven's heat source to cycle on and off too much.

You will have to let the clay tiles soak in the heat for a while before
putting in the poly clay.

Soft tiles (e.g, Mexican red, low-cost tiles) work best because
high-fired tile doesn't like to go up and down in temperature (like
non-Pryex glass).

All bets are off if the thermostat is lousy.

Dave

  #4  
Old October 3rd 06, 08:38 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
nanner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens


"Barbara Forbes-Lyons" wrote in message
...
Some convection ovens are better than others - I've heard that the
Farberware is one of the best. It's no longer made but you can often find
them on eBay, at flea markets or other second-hand sources.


the convection oven definitely seems flimsy, i don't think the door had a
good seal even. It is so much roomier though

I picked up this toasteroven on sale, extra large capacity. So far, testing
it on "toast" has worked better than "bake" and it seemed to hold it's temp
for 30 min consistanly after the heating element shut off. Of course it was
a good 40 degrees higher than the setting showed LOL hopefully my
thermometor is accurate. I haveing tried baking clay yet.

I wonder if there is a preference among toaster bakers for
top-heating-element or the lower. My experiements using the lower element
(in the convection oven) resulted in disaster

I'd say that if you have the room for an extra range in the basement, go
for that option. Once you get the temp regulated in that, it would give
you the space you need and if you ahve problems with temperature, the
element for an electric range is cheap enough and easy to install
yourself. You can probably pick up a used range at a used appliance store
for about $50.


I have my eye on 2 ovens on craigslist right now, one is free but i don't
know if I'll here back from the poster. Hit or miss. The other is $60 and a
bit farther than I'd like to drive. I don't know of any used appliance
stores in my area, is that something you find in the phone book?


Barbara

Bead & Polymer Clay Votary

There is a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness. (Dave Barry)

http://www.penguintrax.com and http://www.backseatgrammarian.com
NEW! http://www.polymerclayworkshops.com




nanner wrote:

I've always baked PC in the big kitch oven (gas oven) and have never
burnt clay or had it darken. I didn't do anything special, just what the
label said. I've done everything from little eyeballs, beads, covered
objects and biggish figures.

Now - because i want to start doing ALOT of clay baking DH and I decided I
need alternate for baking. I found a cheap convection oven (on sale from
$70 to $40) and I have burnt 2 batches of test-pieces and the temp doesn't
hold consistently. I even *melted* polyfil!! wtf!!! I had a oven therm
ometer in there and it seems to hold steady for 10 min then increase 10
degrees, etc.

I am going to return it and there is this cheap toaster oven I am going to
try but I am feeling defeated because I like to bake assembled figures so
I need the space, sometimes I just sculpt the whole thing and bake fully
in one go. I read on glassattic about people wrapping in damp towels,
tenting, heat sinks, all kinds of dancing and manipulations to try to get
the clay to bake, not burn or darken and all in a teeny tiny little space


I am going to look for a 2nd hand electric oven to put in the basement.
Are there other options? My family is not comfortable with daily PC baking
in the same oven I prepare food in. I don't have a studio and I am not yet
able to fund my indulgences with PC earnings LOL

What's a gal to do??? I am an artist coming from a production background
so this is really holding me back. I wanna get cooking!!!




  #5  
Old October 3rd 06, 08:42 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
nanner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens


wrote in message
oups.com...

nanner wrote:
I found a cheap convection oven (on sale from $70
to $40) and I have burnt 2 batches of test-pieces and the temp doesn't
hold
consistently. I even *melted* polyfil!! wtf!!! I had a oven therm ometer
in
there and it seems to hold steady for 10 min then increase 10 degrees,
etc.

I am going to return it and there is this cheap toaster oven I am going
to
try


A second option (to buying a used range) is to smooth out the
temperature lows and highs with a layer or two of ceramic tile. That
will help if the convection oven's thermostat is basically good, but
lightweight oven construction and relative lack of insulation is
causing the oven's heat source to cycle on and off too much.


It was a flimsy cheapo model (just my price range) I read about using tiles
and you do get more specific which is good BUT what do I do with them? Put
them in the bottom of the oven between the 2 heater rods?

This toaster oven is obviously better quality than the convection oven but I
lose some height with it. I suppose I'll make do. I really don't have room
for a big wonky used oven in the basement but I have such a supportive
husband he doesn't mind at all!


You will have to let the clay tiles soak in the heat for a while before
putting in the poly clay.

Soft tiles (e.g, Mexican red, low-cost tiles) work best because
high-fired tile doesn't like to go up and down in temperature (like
non-Pryex glass).


How long do you think they need to heat up first?


All bets are off if the thermostat is lousy.

Dave



  #6  
Old October 3rd 06, 09:08 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
Barbara Forbes-Lyons
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 408
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens

yeah - just check the phone book for appliances-used. many will deliver
for a small fee.

Barbara

Bead & Polymer Clay Votary

There is a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness. (Dave Barry)

http://www.penguintrax.com and http://www.backseatgrammarian.com
NEW! http://www.polymerclayworkshops.com





  #7  
Old October 3rd 06, 09:15 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Bummed out about baking/ovens


nanner wrote:

It was a flimsy cheapo model (just my price range) I read about using tiles
and you do get more specific which is good BUT what do I do with them? Put
them in the bottom of the oven between the 2 heater rods?

Best bet is just above the heater elements. Leave room around the edges
for convection. Maybe the first shelf, if it can be placed very low?
Sad to say, this might take too much space if the oven is very short.

One option is to make stands or pegs from conventional clay
(remembering that they'll shink about 10-20% in drying). You want the
tiles just above the heating elements, but not touching (it's ok
electrically to have them touch, but the elements expand and contract,
and the clay tiles expand and contract, so you'll literally wear out
the elements eventually).

Low fire clays will get solid enough if you "fire" them at your next
barbecue, or place them below the andirons in your next fire and be
sure glowing coals surround them. Be sure they're dry (if they're not,
you're going to get hot clay flying around when the steam forces them
apart) and use your needle tool to poke holes in them -- or use a raku
clay body mix, which is designed for rapid firing.

If you don't have a ceramic supply house locally, you might be able to
beg some clay from your local high school or community college.

How long do you think they need to heat up first?


Depends on thickness - a good 1/2 inch-thick Mexican tile probably
would take 25 minutes or so.

  #8  
Old October 3rd 06, 10:46 PM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
nanner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Progress Report Bummed out about baking/ovens

My first baking test with the toaster oven as been a success, i think! I
baked on the bottem rack on the provided metal tray with a layer of
poly-fil. i cooked some small (teeny) eyeballs and a 1" head and made a
quick hair-rooting tool (a clipped sewing needle in about 1.5" x .25" pc
handle) baked all for a bit extra (about 30 min) becsue the temp seemed to
hover a bit low ( around 255/260 degrees) All came out fine. The little
eyeballs were white canes with blue and black centers, no darkening.

so - other than the limited space I guess I will try to use this for awhile.
I don't want something as annoying as this to slow down what I really want
to do!!!


  #9  
Old October 4th 06, 12:58 AM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
Barbara Forbes-Lyons
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 408
Default Progress Report Bummed out about baking/ovens

I like baking on a bed of cornstarch - it really cushions beads nicely
and you don't have to worry about denting from the polyfill. Learned
that trick from Jana Roberts Benzon, but other artists do it as well.

Barbara

Bead & Polymer Clay Votary

There is a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness. (Dave Barry)

http://www.penguintrax.com and http://www.backseatgrammarian.com
NEW! http://www.polymerclayworkshops.com




nanner wrote:

My first baking test with the toaster oven as been a success, i think! I
baked on the bottem rack on the provided metal tray with a layer of
poly-fil. i cooked some small (teeny) eyeballs and a 1" head and made a
quick hair-rooting tool (a clipped sewing needle in about 1.5" x .25" pc
handle) baked all for a bit extra (about 30 min) becsue the temp seemed to
hover a bit low ( around 255/260 degrees) All came out fine. The little
eyeballs were white canes with blue and black centers, no darkening.

so - other than the limited space I guess I will try to use this for awhile.
I don't want something as annoying as this to slow down what I really want
to do!!!




  #10  
Old October 4th 06, 01:09 AM posted to rec.crafts.polymer-clay
nanner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Progress Report Bummed out about baking/ovens

That sounds like a good plan. i won't be baking any beads, except the little
eyeballs but if they get dented on the back it doesn't matter. i could keep
a pan set aside of cornstarch for cooking itty bitty little parts and pieces
I bet, maybe small hands/feet, resting a head. i *do* hate picking off
polyfil fibers.

Do you think the cornstarch would support heavy/larger pieces? Do you make
large beads or very small pieces to bake that way?

Right now I am finishing a project I started last year (to prove to myself
that YES it can be finished LOL) and it is going to be gigantic (still under
a foot tall i think) compared to the scale I plan to work my other figures.
I am trying to scale down more and more. Years ago I did huge plaster over
wire & wood sculptures that were as large at 10' tall (seated!) so working
down to about 6" is absolutely wild for me!!

thanks for the tip! I am so glad there are some folks here to help!

"Barbara Forbes-Lyons" wrote in message
...
I like baking on a bed of cornstarch - it really cushions beads nicely and
you don't have to worry about denting from the polyfill. Learned that trick
from Jana Roberts Benzon, but other artists do it as well.

Barbara

Bead & Polymer Clay Votary

There is a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness. (Dave Barry)

http://www.penguintrax.com and http://www.backseatgrammarian.com
NEW! http://www.polymerclayworkshops.com




nanner wrote:

My first baking test with the toaster oven as been a success, i think! I
baked on the bottem rack on the provided metal tray with a layer of
poly-fil. i cooked some small (teeny) eyeballs and a 1" head and made a
quick hair-rooting tool (a clipped sewing needle in about 1.5" x .25" pc
handle) baked all for a bit extra (about 30 min) becsue the temp seemed to
hover a bit low ( around 255/260 degrees) All came out fine. The little
eyeballs were white canes with blue and black centers, no darkening.

so - other than the limited space I guess I will try to use this for
awhile. I don't want something as annoying as this to slow down what I
really want to do!!!




 




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