Polymer clay and silver

Hi from Dubai Has anyone on the list experimented with inlaying
polymer clay in a silver setting and then curing (hardening it in
the oven) it in place ?

Is it possible ? or do I have to cure it outside and then secure it
in the setting after it is hard ? I am thinking that I may be able to
use a bit like enamel but before I try I thought I would see if
anyone has some do and don’ts for me …

Thanks Paul Townsend

   Hi from Dubai Has anyone on the list experimented with inlaying
polymer clay in a silver setting and then curing (hardening it in
the oven) it in place ? 

Hi Paul; As a matter of fact, I’ve done it and it works just fine.
Just make sure there are some undercuts in the design so that it
locks in because it doesn’t really stick well to metal and needs some
sort of configurational lock. Bet the polymer clay people listening
have better tips and how-tos. I’ll be listening.

David L. Huffman

Hi Paul, I have not personally done it, but one of the students I
work with has, and the results can be quite nice. She forms the
piece, including the bezel and puts the “raw” polymer clay into the
bezel. The entire piece then gets cured in her regular home oven,
since the temps needed to cure it aren’t even close to a temp that
would affect the silver.

When finished, she allows the piece to cool and then seals the clay
(I think she uses a clear lacquer, but am not positive).

Good luck and have fun with it!
Karen Goeller
Handcrafted and Unique Artisan Jewelry

I’ve never tried it but it seems like it should work. Polymer clay
bakes at less than 200 F maybe around 150 F and that shouldn’t hurt
the silver. It might darken it but I suspect that it would be easy to
brighten the silver with polishing paper. Try it and let us know how
it works for you.

Marilyn Smith

 inlaying polymer clay in a silver setting and then curing
(hardening it in the oven) it in place ? 

Of course this is possible. Lots of people do this with polymer
clay and Precious Metal Clay. While we’re on the subject, for best
results, bake your polymer in a convection oven, preferably a
dedicated one that you don’t cook food in. If you cook food in the
same oven, you should clean your oven after the polymer before you
go back to food.

I think you’d want to glue the polymer in though. Hmm. Mabye if
you put Transparent Liquid Sculpey in the bottom of your silver
piece, put the raw polymer on top, then fire. (TLS works as a glue
to attach polymer to polymer, I don’t know if it works for polymer
to metal.)

Elaine Luther Chicago area, Illinois, USA Metalsmith, Certified PMC
Instructor Studio 925; established 1992 @E_Luther

Polymer clay bakes at 275F, generally 30 minutes per quarter inch of
thickness. If you bake it at less than that, it will not cure
properly and you will get an inferior product. Polymer clay can be
polished by sanding it with wet sandpaper (automotive type). I
usually start with 400 grit, depending on how smooth the initial
surface is. I finish off with 1000 grit, and then use an uncharged
muslin buff to polish the polymer. Do not use any polishing compounds
on your polymer clay as they will destroy it.

You can cure the clay directly in your pre-finished setting. I would
recommend some way of fastening it in place afterwards though,
because depending on your application it could be popped out of the
setting later as pc doesn’t bond to metal without some sort of

I would recommend using Fimo Classic or Premo clay as they are the
strongest clays on the market. Do not use Sculpey or Sculpey III as
it will not stand up to jewelry applications.


Paul, I did this recently and it turned out quite well. you can
actually put the clay into the setting and bake – i had no
shrinkage. i used sculpey premo but i’m not sure if that’s the best
one for this. anyway i’m told that baking it for 45min is better
than the usual 15min. (between 275 and 295 – use a digital
thermometer and check your oven’s fluctuation during heating.)if you
are using light-colored clay, cover with tin foil to prevent
browning. Please let me know how yours turns out. i’m also
interested to know if anyone can tell me the moh’s hardness of baked
polymer clay if there is such a thing. some clays bake harder than
others of course. but i’m wondering if it’s harder than, say,
turquoise? Thanks, Lois lois@thorlabs.com