Safety Tips for Polymer Clay Use

On the Etsy forums there was a thread about studio safety inviting people to post their tips or hints for their medium. It was mostly amusing but it got me thinking. I posted some there, all ones I’ve learned from experience. There are more I’m sure!

  • Put your sharps away
  • Use sharp items carefully, not while distracted
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit on site, always
  • Hair up, glasses and particle mask on when working with power tools or powders
  • Oven mitts. Use them.
  • Slice down or away if possible
  • Glues should also be put away
  • Nail polish on hand for removal of superglue from self
  • Do not waste good clay by letting it get dusty, melted to surfaces or semi-baked on your desk / containers. Keep baggies on hand.
  • Accurate oven thermometers are very useful. You’ll still burn clay eventually. Be ready to open windows fast

And all these assume you’re fine with cooking clay in your regular oven, as I do, and just giving it a bit of an extra scrub occasionally.  Otherwise, you want to add:

  • Use a dedicated oven or a sealed baking tin to cook your creations in


  1. Cathy says:

    Heh. I was using my dremel to polish a piece one time and my hair fell forward. *Zzzztttt!* It tore a small hunk of hair out of my scalp. It could have been worse–I hope I’ve learned my lesson….

  2. Yeah, I was using my Dremel to polish some beads once and the bead flew off and ‘pinged’ me in the glasses. I was real glad I was wearing them that day… Being a blind polymer clay teacher could be pretty tricky!

    Cindy Lietz
    “I learned by making mistakes… Now you don’t have to.”

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