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Just made a sculpture using coils. It is 17 inches high and 12+ inches wide. It is drying under a drying box made of cardboard covered with plastic.

How long should it be left before it is completely dry?

One old book suggested putting a dry sculpture in the kiln and heating at 100 degrees F. for 19 hours. Is that a good idea?

How fast a rate should the sculpture be fired to maturity? It is a cone 6 sculpture clay with a good amount of grout.post-64467-0-21252600-1494017358_thumb.jpeg

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Beautiful piece with exceptional details. Terra cotta and stoneware are more forgiving in terms of drying time. Porcelain can be tricky if it is allowed to dry to rapidly. Given the detailing on this piece; by which I mean thick to thin clay, letting it sit under plastic for a week would not hurt. It is not really a matter of drying the thicker parts, it is more a matter of preventing the thin areas from drying to quickly.

 

Nerd

 

Very nice piece, you should be proud of it.

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It depends on the humidity level in the area you live.  I never set a time that it should take for a piece of sculpture to dry,  I checked it just like other clay work and make sure the coolness is gone.  A piece like this I would candle in my kiln overnight before I fired it the next day.   Denice

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Well you just have to dry it until it is dry. No time known. But you are right to slow dry it covered. I do a lot of sculptures and while it is humid here, my studio often gets a lot of sun. I keep things covered lightly with plastic and away from the window. Gradually cover them less. Eventually I move them to shelves in front of the window. Little stuff goes there directly. Also I am really slow with he porcelain as it tends to crack more. Gl. You will know when its dry. 

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Excellent work!

 

So, coil built.  Is the base just the rim of the first coil, or did you build the coils on top of a slab base?  If it is the latter, did you cut a hole?  

 

Do you have newspaper or anything of the like on the inside for support?

 

How thick are the coils?

 

When I am drying my student's coil pots, I invert them on the classroom air vent, and they dry nearly overnight (Especially if the heat is on).  The coils we extrude are about a half inch thick.

 

Moving air dries things quickly.  Warm/ hot moving air does so doubly quick.  

 

When in doubt, err on the side of caution.  I'd hate for something avoidable to happen to that sculpture!

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I dry larger pieces on sticks so the bottom dries out. There is not "old book" rule of thumb because circumstances vary too much. The spit test is more reliable than old book guide. dab it with spit or lick it . If the spot disappears instantly or close to it, it is dry.

Marcia

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Interesting approach Marcia. I think I'll hold off on telling my students about that one though...

 

Me: Why are you spitting on the clay?!!!

Student: Just seeing if my project is dry...

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