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First timer using Polymer Clay

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  • First timer using Polymer Clay

    Evening,

    I played with Fimo polymer clay for the first time today and am a little concerned. When I was softening it, a strong smell appeared and the same smell when I baked it in our domestic oven, is that normal ?

    Gem

  • #2
    I noticed a slight smell when baking it but not really when softening or messing about with it. Am relatively new too though.
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    • #3
      Odd- I've never had any strong smells from Fimo, even when baking. I know Kato clay has been reported as having a odd odour, but not the other brands.

      Burnt polymer clay releases fumes, so check you're baking at the right temperature, maybe by using an oven thermometor. If you're worried about the polymer clay creating any residue in your oven, you can tent foil around your pieces clay in the oven, and release the fumes outside after curing.

      Also, an odd thing to say maybe, but make sure you don't keep any birds near where you bake polymer clay, just in case
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      • #4
        I know the smell you mean, and its perfevtly normal. It tends to dissipate after the item has been baked and has had time to cool-as Hazer says make sure you sre cooking at the correct temperature as burnt clay smells even worse!
        I personally LOVE the smell, but I like the smell of bonfires and feet (WHY?!?) although obviously not together...

        PS Also animals can be attracted to the smell-my old cat actually ate some of my Fimo as it smelled appealing. Couldnt say it smelt or looked as nice when he promptly threw it up on the kitchen floor. So keep furries and babies away from your clay

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        • #5
          There is a natural "aroma" to polymer clay when baking which is quite normal. The fumes that come if you burn the clay are very strong and very obvious - you will know if you burn it!

          I have to admit, I have not noticed a smell from Fimo just when using it. Kato clay has a very strong PVC odour, but I haven't noticed anything with Fimo. But we are all different and our sensitivities to certain smells. chemicals etc vary.

          Have you more than one pack of Fimo? is the smell the same with each colour?

          If you are at all concerned, you should talk to the company you bought it from and maybe return the clay to them just so they can check that it is entirely normal and not some rogue batch of clay that has any unusual characteristics. Although that is probably unlikely as the quality control at Fimo is pretty good.

          Because obviously when you are starting out yourself, you don't yet have enough experience with the clays to know if it is normal or not. We all know the smell of clay baking, but that doesn't mean that is the same thing you are smelling with the clay you have there. I think to have a strong smell just when using the product is quite unusual for Fimo. So it might be worth checking out for your own peace of mind that the clay you have got is entirely typical - in which case, you are probably just very good at detecting the smell of the chemicals in the clay before baking and nothing else to worry about.

          Assuming the clay is normal and not a rogue batch (which I am sure is the case) - if you have concerns about baking in your kitchen oven, you can cover the items with a tent of foil, bake them in a closed pyrex dish etc or even use a separate table-top oven to bake your clay.

          The important thing is to use an oven thermometer when baking as it is essential to know you are baking the clay to the right temperature and no higher.

          Overheating the clay in itself can make the baking smell more pungent and as mentioned before, if the clay actually overheats too much it can release different, toxic fumes. So knowing what the temperature actually is in your oven is a big part of baking polymer clay sucessfully and indeed, safely.
          Emma
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          • #6
            Thank you for all the replies. I baked it for exactly half hour and I did have a thermometer in the oven and it was reading right. The only thing I can think of, is that I was using fimo ( thin rectangle shape packet ) that I have had for a few years from one of the sets they sell. Does fimo go off ?

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