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notes of a practicing ceramist

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Author 30.01.2013

Drying clay articles

I can’t wait to start burning our articles! All the more we have the kiln already. But we have to be patient and wait a little until these articles are dry enough properly. Otherwise if there is some moisture in the clay the articles will crack while burning; that would be sad)
Usually drying does not require any special conditions: you can leave your articles on the table and they will dry within a couple of days at room temperature. But there are some peculiarities even in this easy task:

  1. Clay articles while drying should give away moisture evenly off the whole surface. So that means you can’t leave them out in the sun. And there should be no drafts. It may influence drying in the negative way.Preferably place the articles on the gypsum surface as it absorbs moisture very well. Pieces of gypsum plasterboard are a good option. You can tape the spots of saw-cut on the gypsum, with paper stripes to avoid its crumbling.Flower pots and other vessels should dry upside-down to allow the bottom dry at the same time as the walls.
  2. If articles are complicated, have a lot of parts, and are made from dry clay (with large amount of sand) you need to dry them slowly: place them into a closed closet or a box with small holes for ventilation. In the workshop cover the shelve stand with polyethylene film for a day or two. Then remove it and let the articles dry in the open air.

This is it. Now let’s start burning.

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