Sunday, September 30, 2012

Drying Tips

Here are a few tips for keeping track of drying stuff. Good for single person studios as well as communal. Most of my students come once or twice a week to the communal studio where I teach. Wanting to move their work along quickly - many push drying too fast and end up with warpy and cracked work. This CAN be prevented.

Most of us know how to see if something is dry yet but sometimes we need another marker. Rules of Drying.
  1. Dry Slowly to prevent warping and cracking
  2. Until it's leather hard+ keep it draped/covered
  3. UnCover your work allowing more air as time goes on
  4. Rims dry first
  5. Flip your work so the bottoms can dry too (so long as they can support) 
  6. If the bottom feels cool to the cheek, it's still damp
There is one big flaw in this system - in order to keep checking your work it gets a bit manhandled. The more times we touch it- the greater the chances of screwing it up is my theory. Shifting, moving,adjusting, picking up...Oooops there goes the handle.

I have a system in my studio. The room I throw in hold work just made and ready for trimming or needing attention of some sorts. The next room holds the work when it's ready to really dry - past leather hard but clearly not dry.
On wooden shelving I tag the shelf it gets put on with the day. Since all of my days blend together I can't remember if it was Monday or Wednesday that I put that yarn bowl there and that can make a big difference.  

Maybe this will help you keep track too.



  1. Great tips for making sure you don't dry your pottery too quickly! Beautiful pottery goes to waste too frequently by not following these easy guidelines.