Friday, March 8, 2013

Series Bake? Partial Bake? Spot Bake? Cure?

Confused? These are terms you will see used by doll makers to describe baking their polymer clay doll as they are sculpting it. Each technique has a purpose depending on what the person is trying to accomplish. Here are our attempts at some 'not-very-technical' descriptions of these  terms:
partial baking = baking raw clay at a lower temperature then the manufacturer's directions for a short amount of time to firm-up raw clay but not cure it, so the clay is 'firmer' but remains very fragile.
Use = to begin a series baking sequence or to ready raw clay for using a craft knife to shave off clay; such as for finishing fingers, etc.
series baking =  is partial baking done more then once. Use = firming a part and then adding new raw clay parts, such as firming a torso and then adding limbs or hands, and re baking.
spot baking = is using a heat gun on a small 'spot' to partial bake only the top layer of raw clay (super heating is a special spot baking technique but using a much higher temperature). Use = make a place on a raw clay doll stable so doesn't deform when sculpting another place.
cure = is baking at the full recommended temperature for the full amount of time (per depth of clay) to harden and strengthen polymer clay. The time and temperature is written on the clay packaging and is different for different brands or type of clay. Some doll makers cure each part rather then partial bake as they use the series baking technique. Use = the final bake before the last smoothing of a cured polymer clay doll by scraping, sanding and finishing with acetone.

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