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  1. #1
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    Where do you bake your sculpey?

    I've heard that it's dangerous to bake polymer compounds like Super Sculpey, Fimo, etc. in your normal oven due to the toxic released particles.

    Can anyone confirm this problem?
    Last edited by Kinjiru; September 27th, 2007 at 05:55 AM.


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  3. #2
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    Heard the same thing. I have an old toaster oven that i use.

  4. #3
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    Those are really bad news...

  5. #4
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    Bake Super Sculpey at 130°C for 10-15 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) of thickness.
    use good ventilation and you are quite safe ; )

  6. #5
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    I bake mine at 275 Degrees F for 10-15, I've baked it on plastic and wood and I have had no problems. The only time I've ever noticed a strange smell is if i get up close and personal with the sculpture...

    I think you're fine I've been using Sculpey for about 5 years now and never ran into any problem...

  7. #6
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    As long as you're not baking Sculpey at the same time as food, you should have nothing to worry about.

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

  8. #7
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    I bake it at about 275 F in my regular oven, and for small parts, the toaster oven. Sometimes I do get the plastic odor if I let it bake for longer, but it in no way bothers me or affect me. Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic breathing in exhaust fumes is far more dangerous than the fumes from scupley (if you have adequate ventilation or large house)

    Although... I have heard a story about a lady whose pet bird died after she baked some scupley in her home.

  9. #8
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    Thank you guys for your comments. I've also sent e-mails to Sculpey and Fimo and both said it was completely safe. Fimo was more specific about the standards that they have to follow, BUT they only spoken in the right temperature! Both advised to use a special thermometer to insure the correct values.

  10. #9
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    Here's an interesting topic about baking sculpey on the shiflett forum -->

    http://www.shiflettbrothers.com/foru...ic&topicID=980
    X

  11. #10
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    Cat,

    Very, very interesting. Thanks a lot for your contribution

  12. #11
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    As you probably saw if you read the Shifflet brothers forums, the industry claims that the stuff is almost completely harmless if you follow their guidelines. There is at least some credible evidence that suggests there may be some risk, especially with regards to children.

    The level of risk is completely unknown (or, more accurately, there are multiple opinions, none of which have prevailed). PVC and phthalates in the quantity released in baking properly probably do not substantially increase your risk of cancer, but they do add to your overall exposure to known and suspected carcinogens - remember PVC and phthalates are in a lot of different vinyl and plastic products and we are constantly exposed to them. In Europe, they have strict regulations about what products can be made from PVC and phthalates, and toys cannot have any; over here, we are not quite so strict, and underneath that lead point in your toys from China, there's most likely PVC...

    But, don't overbake, have good ventilation, clean your oven after baking, or bake in a dedicated oven, and you're probably okay. I would be more cautious with kids using the stuff, because there is evidence that there may be reproductive and endocrinal impacts and kids are less likely to follow precautions. For adults, though, just follow the guidelines and you'll probably be fine.

    But, we could find out that the industry is pulling a big-tobacco move on us. On the other hand, it could turn out that these things are completely harmless and the warnings are just alarmist bunk. Who knows? Unfortunately, there's not much money or interest in researching the health effects of hobby art materials, and most of what is done is funded by the industry who has a vested interest in these things being found "harmless"...

    Life is risk. If you're really concerned, work in wax or clay; they've got a much longer track record and few health risks associated with them. But you give up a lot of convenience to go that route.

    If you're concerned about using your oven, you can build a box oven, by lining a cardboard box with aluminum foil. Poke a meat thermometer's probe through the cardboard, cut two holes, one in the bottom on one side, one at the top on the other side, and stick the nozzle of a heat gun in the bottom hole. You have a way to harden your clay without getting phthalates in your food-cooking oven (thanks to Dan Perez for that little gem).

  13. #12
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    While we're on the topic of baking sculpey...

    i'm crafting a free standing bust. Each piece is an inch to 1.5" thick. The problem is, a lot of it hasn't been 'bulked out" with aluminum foil and such. I have an armature in for the bottom jaw and some pins in for the head to the neck.

    I know that after 1/2" the sculpey has cracking problems... should I bake at a lower temperature for much longer whilst watching it? Or should I just keep a close eye on it and bake around 210? I don't want this beautiful piece to crack.

    Edit:

    I just had an idea, tell me if it would work. When I worked in ceramics and such, when we would sculpt figures, we'd hollow them out for firing. Should I find small, discreet places to drill holes (just remember I want this to be free standing) and fill the gaps with kneadatite later?
    Last edited by Pezz; September 27th, 2007 at 01:03 PM.

  14. #13
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    Hmmm...usually I leave it in the oven to cool off after baking it. It seems to help reduce cracks. Baking it at lower temperature for longer might be better...since it is thick, it will need to stay in the oven longer. I don't think it is necessary to hollow it out.

    If you do get some cracks, no biggie. You can always fix it.

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