Artist's E-Books to Support and Inspire Creativity

*All images and words copyright of Diane Dobson-Barton dba as Barton Studio 2002-2007

Home / Shop / Free Articles

Microwave Polymer Clay





Someone asked me a few weeks ago if I had ever tried to microwave polymer clay. I hadn't but I had heard others had had some success with the process. So immediatly I knew I had to test it!

Remember from your Science and Home Economics Classes that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit? So it makes sense that polymer clay could be cured at that temperature.

What you do NOT want to do is put your clay into the microwave and hit Start!





Make sure that you cover your clay with plenty of water in a microwave safe container.





Make sure you put PLENTY of water. Once it is boiling you are bound to loose some of the contained liquid to steam and you want there to remain enough to cover your clay. Uncovered clay, is sure to be scorched clay.




I started mine out with 20 minutes at full power. But I watched it closely for any possible problem that could turn up, such as odd odors.






An interesting event was that at a certain point, around 15 minutes I think, the clay items began to float and spin in the boiling water. Perhaps I was baking them too long?

If twenty minutes was too long the buttons do not show any negative results that I can see. Once the timer went off I let them cool a bit and rinsed them in cold tap water, to ensure my fingers would not get burned.

The finished beads have a dull surface compared to what I began with, but I assume that will be easily removed when buffing or varnishing.

All items were hard and ready for traditional use of any other cured polymer clay item.

In hind site it would probably be a good idea to cover the container with plastic wrap and poke out escape holes for the steam to prevent too much pressure to build, but still minimize the amount of steam to escape into the oven.