Quick-Drying Flat Pieces

Quick-Drying Flat

Patient person, I am not. I accelerate the drying process a lot.

I have two coffee cup warmers at my clay bench and one at my finishing bench. The white coffee cup warmer is not as hot as the black one. The black one is so hot that it feels like I burn myself taking off a piece that has been on there for a while. I’ve never found a blister. Oh, and I have one by my desk in the house, which I never had until I learned how wonderful these things are for keeping tea warm the entire twelve-ounce cup.

When I make a small piece that I want to dry flat this is what I do. 

If the piece has a texture, I place the piece texture-side-up in my dehydrator for a few minutes. This is to dry the texture first. I then flip it onto a coffee cup warmer. I let it sit a bit on there. At this point, the piece is warped one way from the dehydrator and another way from the coffee cup warmer. I place a small piece of glass on the piece, press down, lift the glass off, wipe moisture off the glass, flip the glass, press down, lift the glass off, flip the glass, and so forth. If the piece is so wet that it instantly sticks to the glass, I gently slide or lift it off and let the piece dry a little more on the coffee cup warmer before I begin using the glass again.

While you are doing this glass-flipping thing, you can see how much condensation appears on the glass and gauge how dry your piece is becoming. I begin this process on my white coffee cup warmer, then switch it to the hot one to final dry. When there is just a smidgen of moisture on the glass, the piece will likely not warp anymore. 

Process Drying Flat

If a piece has a deep texture or if the piece has non-flat layers one top with a flat back, I first do a quick dry in the dehyrator as above. Then I put it on either coffee cup warmer and take a thick, flat patty of paper towel and press down where the piece needs flattening the most, for only a few seconds. Or I press evenly on the entire piece. I flip the paper towel and press again. You can feel the paper towel become damp as it wicks moisture from the piece. Make a fresh, dry patty of paper towel as needed.

Drying (Layered Pieces)

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2019