Test – should I quench for translucence?
When I was doing my curing experiments I wondered if the quenching, plunging into ice water straight from oven, really did help with translucence. I had a few things ready to cure made with translucent Kato clay so thought I would quickly test to see.
I made 2 samples from translucent Kato polymer clay on a mid thickness in the pasta machine, setting 5 on an Atlas. Not sure of my reason for the thickness, just what seemed right at the time. On reflection I may have made them thinner as any difference may have been clearer …. next time!
I cured them at 150°C for 20 mins and then plunged one into ice water and left the other to cool at room temperature. There is a fair amount of plaquing in each, I think it is due to cleaning the pasta machine rollers with a baby wipe just before conditioning this clay. Here they are placed over some bold text.
The sample on the right, with the bit missing (cut out on purpose so I could identify them!) was the one plunged into ice water. After much scrutiny I decided that perhaps it was slightly more translucent, the text was slightly clearer through the clay (it is actually clearer in the photos, I was going to write it didn’t make a difference until I imported the photo, on checking again I can just about see it in real life too). It isn’t a huge difference though and as the translucence wasn’t critical, I didn’t quench my items.
I want to investigate this further, I need to try a slow cool sample to see if that effects the translucence for items that require extra strength. I’ll keep you posted if I do but do let me know if you have any translucency tips.