Friday, March 7, 2014

March Tip by Rachel Whetzel

My tips for you today involve this cold and snowy or wet weather so many of us are having. I myself live in Oregon. It's beautiful and GREEN, but being green means it's also WET. Wet doesn't really help when you're drying clay, and you don't want to wait a week for that to happen. A lot of times, I use my oven to help speed up the process, but there are some tricks to doing that without mass amounts of cracking.
  • LAYERS Don't try and dry one huge project in one fell swoop. Dry one thinner layer at a time. Use water on your dry piece and apply new clay to the wetted dry one. This creates a good bond between your layers. 
  • LOW HEAT Keep your oven at THE LOWEST temperature you can. My stove only goes down to 170 degrees, but I have a small toaster oven that goes down to 150 degrees. Set your oven as low as you can. 
  • AIR CIRCULATION This is huge. I have a convection toaster oven, and cracking has become nearly non existent with the low temps, and hasn't lost dry time because of the air circulation! If you don't have a convection, putting a fan in front of a cracked oven door, or using a dehydrator work also. So does placing a space heater facing shelves with your project on them. 
  • CRACK A DOOR If your oven only goes to 180, or 200 degrees, you can help reduce heat by cracking the door on your appliance! 
  • FILL IT IN Of course, if you bake a piece to speed up your dry time, and you still have cracking, you can wet your dry piece, and smear some Creative Paperclay® into the cracks. Once your piece has dried again, and you sand it, there will be no telling it was cracked. 
Thanks for reading! If you'd like to keep up with me, and see more of what I'm up to, I'd also love it if you'd visit MY BLOG and Subscribe! You can also find me on FACEBOOK!

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