Monday, 23 February 2009

Drying Methods for Art Clay Silver & PMC

Today I've been asked about drying the pieces you've made before firing.
So here are some things you can do to dry your silverclay.

Air Drying ~ The easiest way to dry pieces is leave them in a warm room for 24 hours and voila all finished! (Slow air drying is also best for Bronze & Gold clays and repairs filled with paste).
Mug Warmer/Hotplate ~ For those of us in a rush, or teaching a class, then a mug warmer or other form of hotplate is great too (AGA & Range oven owners will be grinning now). With these you'll need to keep an eye on the pieces and turn them over every now and again so they dry evenly (or the piece can warp/curl).
Hairdryer ~ Haven't got a hotplate? Then a hairdryer will speed up the drying process, just be carefull not to blow your freshly made piece accross the room! To avoid this put the piece on a mesh and then dry with the hairdryer. (Great for drying syringe work)
Food Dehydrator ~ If you've cash to splash a food dehydrator will dry lots of pieces quickly, probably best that you then don't use it for preparing your home made muesli in!
Oven Drying ~ If you're making lots of pieces then you can oven dry them approx 20mins at 200 degress should do the trick! (I dry them on a clay tile)

Nic xx


  1. Great ideas here. I have a coffee cup warmer that I use but I like the idea of putting the mesh on top. Thanks, Nicole!

  2. I like these Ideas , I probably will not use my food dehydrator, I make too many food goodies over the holidays to risk that , but the hair dryer . I have 3 of them I can spare one to make what I hope will bring me some $$

  3. Hi. Nick.
    I wondered if pieces could be dried in a kiln?

  4. yes they can but I tend to air dry them or dry them on a mug warmer (much easier and doesn't wear and tear your kiln so much)

  5. How long on a hot plate will do the trick?

  6. Depends on the thickness of the piece and how much moisture was in it...I sometimes leave it for an hour or more even on a thin piece.
    (e.g. while working on one piece I'm drying another)

  7. How long might a small, thin piece require to dry in a food dehydrator?

  8. Depends on the thickness - I dry my pieces the slow way or on a coffee warmer :)


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