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Unread 03-05-2013, 07:07 PM   #1
Sinnocent
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Help with baking clay

Hello all, so I have made a mask for my Black Cat costume out of Fimo clay, and I now need to bake it in the oven, but I've realized that I need to put something underneath it so that it bakes in the correct shape I need it, I basically need to have some sort of pyramid underneath it (so that the sides will be flat and the middle will be raised for the nose) but I just realized that I have NO idea what I could use to put underneath my mask. I have no idea what will burn in the oven, and no idea what will stick to the mask. Anyone had to do this before and know what I can use? Thanks in advance =)

EDIT: Oh and also, will sunglass lenses (with the metal rim still on) melt in the oven? I'm sure at a super high temperature it would, but I only need to bake the clay at 230 degrees.

Sorry if these seem like really stupid questions, but I've never had a chance to find this stuff out for my own LOL
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Last edited by Sinnocent : 03-05-2013 at 07:11 PM.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
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I have always used aluminum foil rolled into an appropriate shape for propping up objects in the oven. I figure if it can survive me broiling salmon, it will survive a clay firing. As long as you don't cram it down onto the foil, it shouldn't leave a mark.

As for the lenses... I wouldn't chance it. Even if it doesn't melt into a pile of shadowy goo, it may warp and deform, or go a bit wobbly and not have clear visibility. Would it be possible to have them able to socket them in afterwards? Then hold them in place with either air dry clay, or hot glue?
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Unread 03-05-2013, 07:58 PM   #3
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Ah, I didn't think about the aluminum foil, that just might work, unfortunately I don't have any DX Guess I'll put that on my Wal-Mart list, haha. Any other ideas on things I could use that I might already have?

Hmm, damn, alright. Oh hell, if I knew there was such a thing as air dry clay, I would have just made it with that to begin with XDD Where would you get that? Cuz I got my clay from Jo-Ann's and they only had oven bake clay. Yeah, I was thinking of hot gluing or super gluing them on, I was just thinking that if I could form them around the lenses that it would just be easier to bake them into it, lol.

Thank you so much!
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Unread 03-05-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Alternately, I suppose you could use certain kinds of wire - possibly wire hangers or armature wire? The Internet seems to indicate that wire hangers can be used as armature wire - I'd just go for the plain wire looking ones, instead of the ones with the white coating. (I've never tried this... so take it with a large helping of salt - but in a pinch, it might work?)

And there are a couple different kinds of air dry clay - the one that I've used recently is called "paperclay." I don't have as much experience with it as I do sculpey, but paperclay is sort of like paper mache on crack - it's moldable, and once dry it can be sanded down and smoothed out. Also, you can re-wet it with water to smooth it out while it is being worked with. And then it just dries into a nice lightweight object.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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If you just lay it carefully on a sheet pan, or better yet, a wire rack, it shouldn't deform all that much.

Another alternative to aluminum foil is to rest it on a bed of fiberglass insulation...ya know, the pink stuff in the attic.

For thousands of years, all clay was air-dry clay. However, with traditional clay, air-drying alone is not really sufficient for cosplay; it is very brittle and very fragile.

Paperclay as mentioned is another style of air-dry clay. It's basically a mix of finely ground paper pulp, flour, white glue, and a bit of water. You can make it yourself with a standard blender or food processor, so long as you are careful to clean it up immediately after removing the clay.

Play-Doh is air dry clay. It's basically flour, water, salt, and food coloring. However it shrinks quite a bit as it dries, and again, once dry, it's rather brittle.

There's another type called Crayola Model Magic. I've only just started playing with it, but so far, it doesn't dry terribly hard, and it's very fragile.

Another option for clay out there is epoxy based clays, such as apoxie sculpt. With these, you knead together part A and part B, and after a given amount of sculpting time (referred to as "pot life") it begins to harden up. Once the chemical reaction completes, the stuff is crazy hard. The downsides are that it is more expensive than other types of clay, and there isn't really any way to extend your sculpting time, so you need to be confident in how long it is going to take you to sculpt your piece.

I'll use epoxy clay if I know I can sculpt a piece quick enough (I sculpt super slow), and paperclay if I'm adding details or repairs to a paper mache surface. Otherwise, polymer clays like Sculpey tend to be a pretty decent way to go.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 08:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verdatum View Post
Another option for clay out there is epoxy based clays, such as apoxie sculpt. With these, you knead together part A and part B, and after a given amount of sculpting time (referred to as "pot life") it begins to harden up. Once the chemical reaction completes, the stuff is crazy hard. The downsides are that it is more expensive than other types of clay, and there isn't really any way to extend your sculpting time, so you need to be confident in how long it is going to take you to sculpt your piece.

I'll use epoxy clay if I know I can sculpt a piece quick enough (I sculpt super slow), and paperclay if I'm adding details or repairs to a paper mache surface. Otherwise, polymer clays like Sculpey tend to be a pretty decent way to go.
Just some quick questions, (I know that I posted a thread about my dragon carving...still trying to figure out what to do), How much time do you have until the apoxie sculpt dries? Can you buy it at a craft store? And is it really heavy when it dries? Because I would want to attach it somehow to my arm or shoulders and if it's too heavy that would be a bit difficult.

Thanks so much!
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Unread 03-06-2013, 10:26 AM   #7
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Apoxie is sold in a couple different formulations with different working times. Off the top of my head, I think the slower cure stuff is around 4 hours.

Naturally, nothing prevents you from sculpting things one section at a time and only mixing what you need for that portion. If done that way, you might want to have pins sticking out of the finished portion to help reinforce the bond. You just use various gauges of brass wire. If you google "garage kit pinning" you'll find links to tutorials that more or less demonstrate the process.

Some craft stores stock it, some don't. Hobby shops often sell a harder (as in, more taffy-like) product often referred to as epoxy putty. It's generally sold in smaller quantities though.

Is it heavy (dense)? Umm...depends on one's frame of reference. It has about the same density as oil-based modeling clay (plasteline). There are tricks you can use to reduce the weight and amount of clay needed. Basically it involves filling the core of your sculpture with rigid, yet hollow, or low-density objects, like ping-pong balls or tightly balled up aluminum foil. If your prop needs any sort of balance (and it sounds like it would in your case) then you need to keep that in mind. A well balanced heavy prop is less draining to walk around with than a poorly balanced lighter prop. I've gone so far as to drill into props to embed lead fishing weights just to get the balance nice and comfortable.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
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Off the top of my head I know michaels and Joann's don't usually sell it.... Too specialty for them. Johnny posted a couple of threads ago a store locator for it however
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Unread 03-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for all the help guys! I'll definitely be looking into some of these things, if I can find places around me that sell them XD
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