How flexible should polymer clay be?

When polymer clay is properly cured, which you do by baking it in an oven, it is flexible and durable. Polymer clay is not fragile. Since it is made from vinyl, polymer clay is flexible and you can bend or flex your project if it’s thin enough. This is normal and expected. If your project doesn’t flex or bend, but rather it breaks or snaps, it is not baked properly. But how flexible should polymer clay be? How much should you be able to flex or bend it before it breaks? Here are a couple of videos that will help.

For many years, it was very common for newbies to assume that thin sheets of polymer clay were naturally fragile and would break easily. When someone asked for help about their brittle polymer clay, comments online often suggested that a project was too thin. I made the following video to show that this is absolutely not true. Properly baked polymer clay is flexible and durable and you can bend it, flex it, and even roll it without breaking.

 

Does the brand matter? Generally, no. As you can see in the above video, all of the brands demonstrated are perfectly strong and durable when baked properly, including Premo, Souffle, Cernit, Kato, Pardo, and Fimo. The one exception is Sculpey III. It is quite brittle when used thin and should only be used in projects that are thicker than about 1/4″.

But then the polymer clay earring trend came along, and there were floods of new makers learning how to become acquainted with their oven. For some reason, people watched this video (I suspect with the volume off) and assumed that you must be able to bend your clay or it wasn’t baked properly. Scads of new makers showed off short videos on Instagram with their earring components being folded in half. That led to thousands of makers asking why their earrings weren’t flexible like you see in my video above.

I tried to explain it. But it’s just one of those things that you have to see. So here’s a video that hopefully puts an end to this confusion. Yes, polymer clay is flexible and it’s normal to be able to bend it. And if you can’t flex your project without it snapping, it is underbaked or undercured.

 

Polymer clay is flexible and you can bend it if it’s thin. Thick pieces, of course, won’t flex very much. But if your project breaks, snaps, shatters, or otherwise crumbles when you try to bend it, the clay is not properly baked.

How do you bake your project properly? Ah, well, there’s quite a bit to that. Yes, the oven needs to be the correct temperture, and you have to bake it long enough. But how? If you’re struggling to get good results when baking polymer clay, this tutorial is going to save you a lot of time, effort, and frustration. (And money. Nobody needs broken projects!)

Protect your polymer clay during baking. Learn more newbie tips at The Blue Bottle Tree.

End the confusion about baking

Need baking help?

Baking and Curing Polymer Clay

Learn about the right temperature, times, ovens, and baking setups to ensure optimal results. No more broken or scorched projects!

Protect your polymer clay during baking. Learn more newbie tips at The Blue Bottle Tree.

End the confusion 

Need baking help?

Baking and Curing Polymer Clay

Learn about the right temperature, times, ovens, and baking setups to ensure optimal results. No more broken or scorched projects!

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