>So I'm asking the question about whether polymer beads have potential as
>collector's item in the next century or two. And will the Indiana
>the future be digging them up on the North American continent?
>Okay, anybody have any polymer clay items over five years old? Ten?
>>What kind of shape are they in?
Polymer clay items 5 or 10 years old - probably. Someone posted on AOL
that she had a set of beads that she made about 10 years ago and it was
still in good shape.
Judging by plastics in general, the odds are not good for a thousand years
- but then not many materials last that long except under special
circumstances (sealed away from sun, water, etc).
At the Smithsonian they have examples of early plastics from the start to
the middle of this century. There are displays explaining how they have to
preserve them very very carefully. Plastics break down from ultraviolet
light (sunlight) and most of them eventually get enough ultraviolet to
make them fragile or to destroy them. Also heat eventually degrades some
plastics, I don't know if that applies to all.