Things You'll Need
- Pasta machine
- Toaster oven
- Polymer clay glaze
Cernit modeling clay is a brand of oven-bake clay used by doll and miniature sculptors. Cernit has a soft consistency out of the package and generally needs less conditioning than other polymer clay brands. After baking, Cernit modeling clay looks like porcelain with the durability of a plasticized finish. Cernit modeling clay comes in flesh-tone colors suitable for sculpting lifelike dolls. The company also manufactures standard colors, a special effects line of modeling clays and nature colors to simulate stone. Standard, special effects and nature colors are sold in 2.3-ounce blocks while white, black and flesh-tones are sold in 17.5-ounce bricks.
Knead a small amount of “dirty clay” before attempting to use Cernit clays. Roll the clay around in your hands, mold it around cuticles and rub it over your work surface. Cernit is more expensive than other types of clay. Preparing the surface and your hands before use prevents dust and debris buildup in the clay.
Condition Cernit modeling clay by kneading it in your hands or running it through a pasta machine. Cernit will require less conditioning than other brands of polymer clay. If the clay becomes too soft, place it in the refrigerator to allow it to stiffen up. Cernit is often referred to as a “beginner” clay because of its consistency. Adding small amounts of other brands will make the clay firmer.
Use colored Cernit when you need firmer clay. Non-white colors of Cernit are slightly firmer than white, allowing you to work them longer. Avoid holding the clay in your hands for long periods; instead, set it aside on a cool tile.
Use armatures to help hold the clay in place. Cernit can be backed in stages so you can add fine details without marring the sculpted piece. Let the clay cool completely between each layer to prevent air pockets and defects in the finished piece.
Bake Cernit modeling clay on a temperature setting between 215 degrees and 270 degrees F. The clay should bake for 30 minutes for each quarter inch of thickness. Do not increase the temperature to speed baking times. Cernit will burn if overcooked, even if the finished piece is soft.
Finish Cernit sculptures with polymer clay glaze. Cernit modeling clay has a porcelain finish when cured. Polymer clay glaze is sold in satin and gloss finishes. For a matte finish, buff the sculpture with a buffing cloth.
Bake Cernit on a ceramic plate or tile.
A toaster oven or rotisserie oven are appropriate for baking polymer clay sculptures.
Use an oven and other equipment dedicated to craft use while working with polymer clay.
It is safe to bake Cernit at lower temperatures for longer periods of time.
Do not allow children to eat Cernit or other brands of polymer clay.
Do not use tools for food use after coming in contact with polymer clay.
Dakota Wright is a freelance journalist who enjoys sharing her knowledge with online readers. She has written for a variety of niche sites across the Internet including “Info Barrel and Down Home Basics.” Her recent work can be seen in “Backwoods Home Magazine.”