The simple answer is YES; you can, in fact, microwave clay. You can microwave clay for a couple of different reasons, such as trying to harden it or soften it.
There is a much better way to harden clay than in the microwave; we will go over that shortly. There are also lots of different kinds of clay that require different heating methods.
How to Microwave Clay:
You can use the microwave to harden clay, and you can also use the microwave to soften the clay.
If you are trying to harden clay in the microwave, here are the steps:
- Place the clay in a microwave-safe bowl (not a ceramic bowl, though, as it can negatively react with polymer clay).
- Cover the piece of clay with water.
- Microwave on high until you think the clay is hardened. For small pieces, like beads, it will take about 2 minutes.
- If you are trying to soften the clay in the microwave, here are the steps:
- Place the clay on a piece of parchment paper.
- Place the clay in the microwave.
- Microwave the clay on high for 10 seconds at a time until the clay is warm and soft.
Other Ways to Harden Clay
Some clays do not require heating in any way to harden them, and these are called water-based clay or air-dry clay.
Depending on the size of what you are sculpting from this type of clay, it could take anywhere between a few hours to a few days for your project to fully harden.
The best and most used method to harden clay at home is in the oven. To harden most clays, you can place the clay in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes per quarter inch of thickness.
Now that we have deduced that you can indeed microwave clay, you can decide if that is the best way to go for your project.