Firing clay at home: features, temperature and recommendations
Firing clay at home: features, temperature and recommendations

Clay is a natural material from which our ancestors made a lot of useful household items. Later, jewelry for women began to be made from this material. Her color scheme can be very diverse: red, brown, gray, white, blue, yellow and combinations. It depends on its mineral composition. Now, in order to get clay, it is not necessary to go in search of it in places where it accumulates. It is enough to contact any specialized store or creative laboratory. It is important to note that not any clay may be suitable for its creative embodiment in an object of art or everyday life.

clay firing

How can clay be useful?

Any activity consisting in the combined interaction of manual labor and fantasy not only captivates the mind of the master, but also helps the young body to develop fine motor skills of the fingers. And this means that thinking, imagination, sense of color, geometry of an object and much more - will give the child the opportunity to develop his creativity. In addition, it is well known that modeling has a calming effect and makes it possiblefocus on a specific subject - "here and now." And a gift made with your own hands and from a pure heart will not leave anyone indifferent.

Firing clay at home

If you want to give your handicraft a long life, then firing is a must. So that during this process the product does not lose its shape and does not crack, it is very important to follow the clay firing technology in accordance with its standards. Due to the impact on the clay of high temperature, the product acquires strength, it "stones". And if, after all the required manipulations, glaze is applied, then your object of creativity can be used in everyday life.

The practice of firing clay at home is now very popular. There is nothing complicated here, except that you should adhere to safety precautions and have the necessary space, sufficient power for firing.

clay kilning at home

Basic recommendations for firing

It's worth starting with the fact that the product must be left in a dark place (or without direct exposure to sunlight) to dry. Temperature fluctuations and drafts will adversely affect the quality of firing clay - this is worth considering. The thinner the wall thickness of the product, the faster it dries and the less time it takes to get rid of unnecessary moisture, and vice versa. This also applies to the firing time, the larger and thicker the object, the more time it takes to bake, the range varies from 4 to 12 hours. On average, it happens about 6 hours, but it's all individual.

Whenwhen laying your work, you should observe their arrangement according to the “pyramid” scheme: objects should be located at the bottom with the largest size, then higher with a gradual decrease. Weight is also important: the heaviest products should be at the bottom. At this stage, you can not be afraid that they can stick together to each other - feel free to lay them on top of each other. Close the oven.

clay firing temperature

The firing temperature of clay at its maximum reaches 900 degrees. But warming up should go with a gradual increase. If you have a professional oven with temperature control, then the first heating should be set to 150-200 degrees. This temperature will be kept for no more than 2 hours. Then we add another 200 degrees and keep the clay objects in the oven for the remaining 2 hours. And so we repeat until we reach a value of 900 degrees, and hold on for some more time.

How to fire clay

As a rule, clay is fired at home in a homemade kiln. In this case, the temperature regime must be monitored on an ongoing basis. It will look like this:

  1. Starting from the first position of the switch, hold for 5 minutes and turn off.
  2. After 5 minutes, turn on, leave the clay to bake for 10 minutes and turn off.
  3. After 15 minutes, turn on, hold again for 10 minutes and turn off.
  4. At this stage, turn on the oven and keep the clay firing until the products turn red.
  5. Here we turn the switch to the second position and in the same way: 5-5 minutes,10-10 minutes, 15-10 minutes we stand. And here you do not need to turn off the oven, but only go down from position 2 to 1 and back.
  6. Provision 3 is applicable if the oven capacity is not enough.

On average, it takes up to 6 hours for the entire process of firing clay. You can determine "readiness" by the glow of the walls inside the furnace. As soon as the glow becomes light yellow, turn off the oven.

Do not immediately open the door, leave the products to cool in the oven for a long time, for example, all night. This will allow it to cool evenly after firing. Then you can cover them with glaze and let dry, so your creation will last you much longer.

Clay modeling

If you want to use clay without firing, then you need to choose it with polymer additives.

Before sculpting, polymer clay should be thoroughly kneaded with hands, tapped with palms. From these manipulations, excess air will come out of the material. This is necessary if you still decide to fire (but not necessarily). It is more convenient to shape the product by working with two hands, starting with larger objects and ending with the smallest ones. A stack will come to help you, this is a sculpting tool. When the work is completed, wipe the product with a damp sponge or brush.

clay without firing

How to sculpt

Clay, although a plastic material, is more durable than plasticine. Therefore, there are several important recommendations for handling it during sculpting:

  • Clay should always be wet, don't let it dry out.
  • WhenIf cracks appear, immediately smooth them with water or water-clay mass.
  • Modeling work starts with large items, smoothly moving to smaller ones.
  • You should not roll foreign products into clay, it is better to make separate recesses in the product for this.

When everything is done, you need to leave your figurine to dry for a couple of days. Although clay for modeling without firing looks great, you can additionally bake it in the oven or microwave, but this is up to you. PVA glue at the final stage can serve as a glaze for the product.

Polymer clay as a source of inspiration

When using polymer clay, firing is not a necessary process, but it creates a stunning effect of the realism of the subject. Looks very impressive.

clay for modeling without firing

Firing of polymer clay can be carried out in an oven with a thermostat and on a homemade oven. But the most convenient way is aerogrill. When creating flowers, an air fryer is not suitable, as they will become thin. They need temperatures between 110 and 130 degrees.

And this means that none of the proposed methods work. Therefore, firing clay for flowers is best done in glassware.

Bake polymer clay flowers

Flower buds are placed on toothpicks, which are stuck in any soft object, for example, in foil. We put it all in a glass dish with a lid, and send it to a well-heated oven. On average, about 2-2.5 minutes will be required for the product to be ready. But payattention so that their color does not change and the petals do not become thin. If this happens, then you overexposed the product. You will be able to set the exact firing exposure time experimentally, depending on the operating mode of your oven and the volume of the product.

polymer clay firing

When firing polymer clay in the oven, it is important to take into account the temperature of glassware - it should not be cold, it can be heated directly in the oven during heating.

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