How to bake sculpey mixed with fimo?
May 10, 2019 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I bought some sculpey and fimo to make a mothers' day present for grandmas. The problem is that they didn't have any black sculpey. The guy at the art store said it was fine to mix them. But now I see that the baking instructions are quite different. How to I bake sculpey mixed with Fimo?
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ok, I found some links by people who are really into this stuff that make it all even more ocmplicated and confusing. Can someone who knows what they're doing just tell me, if it's about say 85-90% sculpey and 15-10% Fimo, what should the baking temperture and time be. And how can I tell when it's done? The instructions I see just say it won't be hard until it cools, but don't say what it WILL look and feel like when it's done.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:49 PM on May 10

oh, and apparently it's FIMO soft and sculpeyIII and I'm thinking ti will be 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:55 PM on May 10

Everything will be fine.
Underbaked clay has a slightly rubbery texture when it cools. Overbaked clay has a tendency to darken, i.e. it browns around the edges like a cookie, most noticeable on light colors.
From the chart looks like Sculpey bakes a bit hotter than Fimo, Fimo a bit longer for the same thickness (because it's cooler). So the good news is, the brand that's recommending the cooler temperatures is the one that's a dark color, so you wouldn't see even if it did oven-browned.

Split the difference, set to ~5deg below the hotter recommendation (call it 270) and pull it out about halfway between the minimum time and the max. Let it cool naturally. Poke an inconspicuous part with your fingernail and see if you leave a mark. If you do, put it back in the oven for about the minimum time again (long enough to warm back up, and then bake).

re: inconspicuous part: if you're concerned about the black fimo in particular and there's not a good inconspicuous part of that (it's an accent color, eg) then make a test cake, a chunk of the sculpey about the thickness of your piece and a diameter larger than it is thick but doesn't have to be full size of your piece. And stick a piece of approriately sized fimo on top, bake as planned, let it cool, and see if that's enough or if you need to do it differently.
posted by aimedwander at 2:10 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

OK, well that didn't go at all as hoped. First, there's no way a two year old is letting me trace his hand. I thought "No problem, after I roll the clay I'll press his hand into it to make an imprint." That totally didn't work. I mean I made an imprint but cutting it out was a no go. So I had to re-knead the dough back together, which made the colours all muddy. They were all primary colours, but the clay was no a dark burgandy-brown. Though it did have a sort of marbled appearance. Ok, well, some people like that colour. So I wasn't gonig to be able to make the hand, I took the clay and rolled it into a round-ish shape and put it over the bottom of the bowl (on the outside, with the bowl facing down) I was going to use to make the hand. I baked it like that for 7 minutes (yeah I just was not able to roll anything anywhere near 1/4 inch thick). It cooled, I could not press a nail into it. Great.

Took the rest of the dough, marbled it together and went straight for the bowl this time, forget the hand. Even though I thought it was the same, I used less black this time and it really showed (like the instructions said, you need the black to make it look marbly). But still, it's bright and pretty. Baked for 8 minutes, just because. Took it out. Cooled hard but flexible like the other one.

Glazed them. Now just went to add another coat of glaze and one of the bowls had a crack. Now it IS the bowl that the toddler grabbed and threw on the floor (I want to play with special play-do Mummy!). But I'm pretty sure I examined it after that and there were no cracks.

Any idea what's going on? My my clay structurally unsound? Will it fall apart before I can gift it on Mother's day?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:25 PM on May 10

Hmmm... unfortunately I've got no advice. I hope it survived till Sunday. It will be good practice for grandparents getting re-accustomed to the utter ephemera of child art, the equivalent of when the mice ate parts of my macaroni necklace.
posted by aimedwander at 2:59 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

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