What comes to the mind of many people when the clay is mentioned is modelling clay.
You know, the clay that hardens when heated in an oven.
Growing up, I always loved art. I used to ask my parents to buy me modelling clay which I used to model dolls, cars, houses and many more.
As I grew up, I came to love the art of pottery and made myself a clay pot and a few clay cups.
Hardening the clay was a challenge for me at the time.
My several attempts to bake the clay in the oven failed to work.
As a DIY lover, I learned how you harden clay and here’s how
Types of Clay
Before jumping into the how-to procedure, you need to understand the types of clay.
Understanding this will ensure that the process you choose to take works correctly for that specific type of clay.
The four kinds of modelling clay include ceramic clay, watercolour, oil-based clays and polymer-based.
Many people use polymer for crafting.
This type of clay can be hardened by baking it inside an oven.
Freezing polymer clay before heating it makes it more flexible.
How to Harden Clay With an Oven
Step 1. Read the Instructions
Make sure to read and follow the instructions.
There are different types of clay and, each kind requires different baking temperatures.
You can get this information from the manufacturer manual online.
Step 2. Preheat the Oven
The next thing to do is preheat the oven as per the instructions given.
The temperature will probably fall between 220 °F and 300 °F degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3. Place the clay in Parchment paper
Place your clay on parchment paper.
This paper will prevent the clay from sticking to the metal pan, which will ruin your art.
Alternatively, use a glass dish.
Step 4. Place your clay at the centre of the baking tray
The heat will move in and out of the sculpture evenly.
Also, place the baking tray in the middle of the oven.
Step 5. Let the clay cool
Cooling the clay will prevent it from cracking.
You can cover the clay with a small towel. After 20 minutes, you can start to decorate your sculpture.
How to Harden Clay without an Oven
As mentioned above, these are some types of clay that do not harden with heat.
There are different methods.
Method 1: Chemical Reaction
Step 1, Buy a binder like glue. You can also use white vinegar.
Step 2, Mix the binder with the modelling clay. A tablespoon for every half cup should be enough.
Method 2: Getting a dehumidifier
Dehumidifying is the most current and safe method of hardening clay.
Step 1, Put one pack of clay in front of another package to keep the level of humidity at a constant.
You can also use a space heater or humidifier. This equipment will maintain the level of humidity.
Method 3: Use A Heat Gun
Another option is to employ a heat gun.
Heat guns work as an alternative to ovens.
They are also cheap. General tips for hardening clay is to keep your area of work arranged and tidy.
How Do You Make Clay Hard?
These are the 3 main methods of hardening clay…
- Chemical Reaction
- Heat Guns.