Polymer Clay Failure

I like polymer clay. I haven’t gotten anywhere near good at sculpting, but it’s fun. I’ve made a few decent things so far. Recently I made some cakes to practice the texturing, a couple cookies and a couple cats. The cats ended up being my father’s day present to my dad, since he seemed to like them.

Now, I recently got an old toaster oven. My grandfather didn’t want it, so I got it. I decided to try doing another cane. I tried making an orange cane the first time, but instead of looking like orange slices, they looked like carrot slices. This time, I went with limes.

The first issue with canes is that I start them out too thick. I was following this tutorial and I simply am not talented enough to use the same proportions that this person does. The cane got all sunken in at the middle, since the outer edges get squished out first. It also got twisted from a lack of care when I was rolling it out. I think I know what to try next time to see if I do any better.

That’s not the main issue, though. I cooled and cut the cane, (which was also a mistake. Bake first, then cut!) put it onto the tinfoil-covered sheet, popped it into the oven and set my phone for the proper amount of time based on their size.

Now, before I go on, I want to add that the past few times I’ve baked clay it’s “smelled” more than I remember it smelling before. I think it might have to do with my nose being less clogged than usual and the fact that I was using oven bags, so the scent stayed in one location instead of leaking out of the tin foil.

My aunt walks in and says “smells like something is burning.”

This should have been my second hint, but I just pointed to the oven and said I was baking clay. “It always smells!” said nieve me.

“If my rug is burnt I’ll be upset.”

“It won’t be.”

My timer went off at about 8 minutes, which in retrospect was also at least 2 minutes too long based on the thickness and if the oven had been the right temperature anyway. I turn it off, and open the door and the only person surprised that my canes were burnt is the me that saw them that exact second.

Next time, I’ll keep an eye on them.