Can you really bake polymer clay without an oven? I say no at first…but then, I wanted to take it one step further. After all, I know you didn’t come here looking for a one word answer! Right??
At first, it was hard for me to believe it could be done, but it is possible….several instances could come to mind. College students. If you’ve lived in a dorm you’re barred from having a few particular kitchen items – “hot plates” is the thing I always heard, when I was a student, you could have (and most students and dorm dwellers did have ) a small cubic refrigerator, and a microwave.
I think I may have had an electric teakettle (and neither of those are options for clay. The microwave is unsafe – don’t do it, with one teeny tiny exception, there is one brand of Fimo that it is acceptable, but you have to immerse it in water…you can read about that here) And you darn sure can’t “boil” it either (you could try, but the results would be unsatisfactory.)
I have no idea if I could have had a toaster oven or not, but that would have been nice.
Another group….RVers. You’d have to be mindful of energy, wattage and all that.
However, a little deep digging and I uncovered some stories of people who did manage successfully to cure their projects without an oven. How, you may ask?
Well, they’re making use of things like campfires (yes, believe it or not, imagine doing something like that at summer camp, though,…what fun!) gas stoves, and electric skillets.
I saw one video on YT of one gal who did just that with a gas stove. Notice how she covers her item and preps everything beforehand. I was skeptical at first, but a lot of the resulting comments have been overwhelmingly positive, and backed her up.
So there you have it, an innovative way to bake clay…I’m not certain, but I think the right length of time for this was stated at 30 minutes.
But did you know there are more ways than this?
For example, it’s possible to use a crockpot….Who knew? Just about all of us own one of these. One person talked about using one of these and if you remove the ceramic dish inside, it will work she didn’t say for certain what to replace it with, however.) I’m a big fan of slow cooker meals so if there’s something I could designate to replace that inner compartment, I’ll have to look into this….
An electric skillet….being sure to cover it, this could work. Or an electric roaster…anyone own one of these?
But by far the most unconventional of all….involves the use of a solar oven. It sounds like something that came out of the Y2K era… I say this because her site is fairly old – looks to go back to the late 90s.. (anyone remember all that Y2k drama?) A well-known clay artist, Garie Sim, has created a box oven out of a cardboard box that actually bakes the clay just like our good old conventional one!
The long story short is that the box is lined on the inside with aluminum foil and there is an open window in the top made of polycarbonate, you’d set up your project-in-the-making on a ceramic tile in the center of the box, and strategically arrange a heat gun in a certain location so that it’s power is contained within the volume of the box, to create the right temperature and conditions.
I myself would be scared to try this, but if there are any homesteaders reading this? It could be right up your alley!
So now I have demystified baking polymer clay without an oven….something you, too, at first, might have thought was impossible. Are you as surprised as I was? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please drop a comment below if you’ve tried another way or want to give your two cents.