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Newbie Questions

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  • Newbie Questions

    Hi everyone. I just signed up here; I've just started clay sculpting (with something of a background in digital sculpting) and with all the questions I have I realized I needed to join a forum.

    I bought some tools, even a mini oven for baking, oven thermometer, isopropyl 100% etc, and unfortunately I also bought sculpey original which is just plain horrible, it's too soft and can't hold it's form, so if I try and make a figurine it just smooshes itself into something else before I'm 5% of the way along... but I've ordered some puppen fimo for miniature figurine making.

    So these are the questions I have if someone could be so kind as to help me out.

    1) My oven has several settings for baking - top element only (grill), bottom element only (bake) and both elements (toast) - I assume I use bake, but if not, what setting do I use? Do I want both elements or only the bottom?
    2) What should I look for when buying a glaze so I don't waste money? Please give me more information than just brands as there's a very high probability they wont exist in New Zealand
    3) How long do I need to leave isopropyl 100% after using it to smooth a sculpt before I can put that sculpt in the oven? I know isopropyl is highly flammable...
    4) I haven't seen wet wipes in my country (also: haven't really looked yet) because they're probably called something else; what should I be looking for? I assume I can just get the baby wipes that they sell in supermarkets? Or can I just use a damp tea towel or paper towels instead?
    5) And finally, how long should I bake these sculptures for? One on the left is for testing the bake time so I don't ruin the other three... They're my first sculpts and haven't been smoothed yet so go easy It says bake at 130 degrees celcius for 15 minutes per 1/4 in / 6mm of thickness, but I think I should just bake for 15 minutes all up. Also can I bake all these together or separate is better?


    Thanks so much for any help And nice to meet you all.
    Last edited by Vii; 19-12-2012, 07:11 PM.

  • #2
    Hi Vii

    Welcome to the forum, I'm afraid I can't answer all your questions but I'll try to guess some of it!
    I would say it's best to go for the bake setting on your oven- my oven is just a plain old gas oven, which heats from the bottom, and it works fine. If you put your oven thermometer and make sure it is at the right temperature first, you should be fine.
    Your best bet with a glaze is to go with one that is the same brand as your clay, it's hard to know which are compatible and non-compatible and may cause a reaction- also sometimes the reaction is not immediate- so you might think it's fine, and then months or even years later a reaction occurs and ruins your model.
    No idea about isopropyl- sorry! I've never used it.
    Wet wipes are the same as baby wipes basically. What are you intending to use them for? General clean-up, or something more specific?
    You can bake all together. If your oven is set to the right temperature you should be able to cook them for longer than 15 minutes without a problem. I usually go for around 20-30 minutes with my larger pieces- but I use Fimo- I'm also not a fan of Sculpey!

    Good luck and hopefully someone will come along shortly with some more spe******ed advice to help you!
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