What materials could be safely used with polymer clay (fimo) in the oven?
For example, we want to make a small to medium sculpture with Fimo (polymer clay) but don't want it to be solid clay (as the stuff is a little expensive). I'm thinking maybe wire would super heat and burn the clay causing toxic fumes but paper or plastic would burn/melt, it does need to be something that can be easily used and sourced to a UK household. Any ideas? Thanks!
- Diane B.Lv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
Basically, there are only a few materials that *can't* be used with polymer clay at the fairly low temperatures required to cure it.
The main one that can't be used --or rather only certain types of it can be used-- is plastic.
The critical temps at which plastics generally begin to change (shrink, melt, burn, harden, etc) is usually in the 200-300 F degree range (or higher for actually burning), so a lot depends on just which plastic it is you want to use. Some plastics that are kind of on the borderline can also be used if the heat reaching them is buffered or the clay protected a bit to make sure that the temp doesn't get any higher at any point. (Remember that polymer clay itself is also a plastic.)
Metals btw are fine (and won't "overheat" from the heated air of baking)...they can be used inside, or outside the clay (touching the clay). Metals require very high heats to melt or even soften.
Most all other things made from *natural* materials are also fine since they require higher heat levels to change their state than we use with polymer clay.. For example, paper burns at the famous temp of 451 F--though it might start yellowing or browning at bit close to that temp (and don't forget that paper is wood; other kinds of wood/bark/twigs are also fine) ...natural fabrics like cotton, silk, and rayon I think, also won't burn till higher temps... even leather is fine... rock/stone, terracotta, etc., would all require very high heat.
Remember also that the temp heating those items is coming from *heated air* usually (inside an oven interior usually), not from contact or near-contact with flame or a heated coil which would be much hotter.
For more info on curing polymer clay (and ways to protect it in iffy situations, or just keep it from darkening naturally as much as possible), and for pages that discuss various materials being used inside or on top of polymer clay, check out at least the folllowing pages at my polymer clay "encyclopedia" site. It's easiest to just to go the Table of Contents page:
...scroll all the way down that page first if you want to browse all the topics covered
...or just click on the name of the page you want from inside the alphabetical navigation bar on the left:
And these pages have to do with the "sculpting" aspects of polymer clay (rather than other things it can do):
(also the Armatures-Permanent page listed above)
And perhaps also these pages:
(and some others)
P.S. Just now reread your question and see that you do want to make the clay sculpts hollow or use an armature, so you might want to add these pages/etc. to the list:
BEADS > HOLLOW, etc.
VESSELS > Boxes, etc.
And for more on doing polymer clay as cheaply as possible, see this message I wrote once at Crafster too:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=155... (wait till "Reply 3" comes up)
And this one too:
- RobinLv 44 years ago
I think you've already got the best answers from these two ladies. Especially the bit about Polymer Clay Central... that's an awesome site. Best of luck to you.
- Anonymous10 years ago
Your gonna burn the house down.