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Nelly

Dry Wall Use in the Studio

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Dear All,

 

After recently moving from Toronto and away from my cooperative studio, I have been busy renovating an old house. As mentioned before, my studio is a new building I attached to the back of the existing garage.

 

Last night, I went out and started making some slabs. I am used to letting these slabs "setting- up" before working with them. I noticed last night that among the carpenters stuff there were some left over pieces of new dry wall board that I thought looked perfect for absorption of some of the moisture in my slabs.

 

Now I know that getting any plaster in your work can cause an explosion in the kiln so I did my best to not get close to the edges with my big slabs. I probably should have taken the time to use some duct tape and finished the edges of these boards but I didn't. The slabs are now setting- up on the dry wall with lots of plastic wrap around them. My guess is that it will be about 10 hours before I get to them (i.e., from start to finish).

 

In general, I do know that dry wall is NOT recommended as a drying surface for any extended period of time as it can weaken and cause plaster to enter into your clay. But I had to try it to see.

 

In my old studio, I would have simply left these big slabs to set-up on an old wooden board with plastic. But when I spotted the dry wall, I couldn't resist trying it. The surface was clean, the boards flat--they just seemed perfect for what I had in mind.

 

Thus, my question is:

 

Does anyone out there use dry wall boards on a regular basis and if so, how do you use them? Are there specific precautions you take with their use?

Nelly

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Dear All,

 

After recently moving from Toronto and away from my cooperative studio, I have been busy renovating an old house. As mentioned before, my studio is a new building I attached to the back of the existing garage.

 

Last night, I went out and started making some slabs. I am used to letting these slabs "setting- up" before working with them. I noticed last night that among the carpenters stuff there were some left over pieces of new dry wall board that I thought looked perfect for absorption of some of the moisture in my slabs.

 

Now I know that getting any plaster in your work can cause an explosion in the kiln so I did my best to not get close to the edges with my big slabs. I probably should have taken the time to use some duct tape and finished the edges of these boards but I didn't. The slabs are now setting- up on the dry wall with lots of plastic wrap around them. My guess is that it will be about 10 hours before I get to them (i.e., from start to finish).

 

In general, I do know that dry wall is NOT recommended as a drying surface for any extended period of time as it can weaken and cause plaster to enter into your clay. But I had to try it to see.

 

In my old studio, I would have simply left these big slabs to set-up on an old wooden board with plastic. But when I spotted the dry wall, I couldn't resist trying it. The surface was clean, the boards flat--they just seemed perfect for what I had in mind.

 

Thus, my question is:

 

Does anyone out there use dry wall boards on a regular basis and if so, how do you use them? Are there specific precautions you take with their use?

Nelly

 

 

I dry my raku slabs on drywall. My slabs. I use a piece of newsprint paper under the slab to proven the clay from sticking to the drywall.

My drywall does have the edges taped. I sometimes get a little mold on the drywall. I leave the slabs dry completely on the drywall on a bakers cart wrapped in plastic. I also wax the edges of the slabs to slow the edges from drying too quickly. Slabs are up to 24-25 " in the longest dimension.

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Hi, Marcia,

 

Very curious about "wax the edges of the slabs to slow the edges from drying too quickly." Never heard of this being done before. What do you do with the slabs with the wax? Do they stay a "slab" and are not made into a cylinder or anything? Curious what is done with the slab before the wax is fired off. Is there an additional trick to this?

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I use drywall all the time. It's great to dry tiles sandwiched between two pieces. I never bother with using paper between the clay and drywall. The drywall pulls water out from both sides equally and helps keep the clay flat. I built a wooden rack that uses drywall as shelves, with plastic on three sides and a plastic sheet over the front it makes a good damp box when I want things to dry slowly.

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Dear All,

 

I was just out and checked my slabs. After sitting out over night setting-up I found they were dried to what I would call a medium stage.

 

What I think could be an issue with me doing this on dry wall is unequal drying. The bottom is sure to pull the moisture down but the top is exposed--albeit under plastic.

 

I have come to the conclusion that it is useable drying method but for optimum results it would be best to ensure equal drying on both sides by using two boards to sandwhich the clay.

 

 

Nelly

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Nelly;

I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes.

My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"

TJR.

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I can't use the sandwich of dry wall boards because I attach nubs for hanging the slabs when they are wet and just dry the face of the slab on the drywall.

Again, I wax the edges and that helps avoid the outer edge from drying too quickly.

Marcia

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Hi, Marcia,

 

Very curious about "wax the edges of the slabs to slow the edges from drying too quickly." Never heard of this being done before. What do you do with the slabs with the wax? Do they stay a "slab" and are not made into a cylinder or anything? Curious what is done with the slab before the wax is fired off. Is there an additional trick to this?

 

 

They are flat raku wall pieces as in the photo only avatar.

Marcia

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I'm a handbuilder and use drywall all the time. I taped the edges with duct tape and have several sizes. Some are specifically for red earthenware clay and some for stoneware. I usually sandwich the slabs between two drywall sheets. If I'm making tiles, I wax the edges of the tiles. If I'm making something that requires assembly at the leather hard stage, I don't. They're indispensable. I purchase broken sheets from Lowes Hardware or Home Depot ..... sometimes for as little as $1.

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I also use drywall for slab work, I typically don't bother with newsprint. I have also cut the drywall for walls of slab build vessels and attached them as you would when you make a mold. This works well if it is a taller piece and helps keep the walls straight and perpendicular to each other.

 

Chad

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Dear All,

 

Thanks for the great advice. Thus, when my carpenter returns in a few weeks from Florida, I will have him cut me up some more boards. I liked the idea of having a damp shelf with plastic to retain moisture for such things as bowls. Tonight I am doing the sandwhich method with the dry wall covered well with plastic. My hope is that these slightly thinner slabs will dry both in a uniform manner and not be too dry for my mold tomorrow.

 

Nelly

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Nelly;

I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes.

My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"

TJR.

 

 

 

Dear TJR,

 

Now that is an interesting question?? I have no idea??? My knowledge of clay has told me that any plaster in clay is a problem. It can explode during firing. I am not sure about glaze though?? I would be very disheartened to have seen this mess though. My first thought it to sieve, sieve and sieve. I would also run test tiles on big cookies to see what the glaze does. Not sure about what others think who have knowledge of this or having underwent a similar experience.

 

Nelly

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Nelly;

I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes.

My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"

TJR.

 

 

 

Dear TJR,

 

Now that is an interesting question?? I have no idea??? My knowledge of clay has told me that any plaster in clay is a problem. It can explode during firing. I am not sure about glaze though?? I would be very disheartened to have seen this mess though. My first thought it to sieve, sieve and sieve. I would also run test tiles on big cookies to see what the glaze does. Not sure about what others think who have knowledge of this or having underwent a similar experience.

 

Nelly

 

 

If mixed in clay, plaster will cause a blow out or pop out. Glaze (for the most part) is made of the same materials as clay . . . only in different proportions. So, yes, the plaster has contaminated your glazes.

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Nelly;

I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes.

My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"

TJR.

 

 

 

<br>Nelly;<br>I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes. <br>My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"<br>TJR.<br>
<br><br>

 

Thats a new one for me-I would not toss it-its just dust

 

How about a fine screening and testing-I'd guess you will be fine

Mark

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Nelly;

I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes.

My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"

TJR.

 

 

 

Dear TJR,

 

Now that is an interesting question?? I have no idea??? My knowledge of clay has told me that any plaster in clay is a problem. It can explode during firing. I am not sure about glaze though?? I would be very disheartened to have seen this mess though. My first thought it to sieve, sieve and sieve. I would also run test tiles on big cookies to see what the glaze does. Not sure about what others think who have knowledge of this or having underwent a similar experience.

 

Nelly

 

 

If mixed in clay, plaster will cause a blow out or pop out. Glaze (for the most part) is made of the same materials as clay . . . only in different proportions. So, yes, the plaster has contaminated your glazes.

 

 

Just a question,maybe someone knows the answer. Plaster is Si O (flint) Fe2O3 ( iron) Al2 O3 (Alumina) and CaCo2 Calcium sulfate( 90 some %) Is it the sulfate that is the problem because all the rest are part of our clay bodys and glazes. Is it the sulfate that reabsorbs moisture and causes the blow out or is it the fact that the clump of plaster never was broken up into a small enough particule? If it is the size then maybe a sieve would save the glazes. If it is the sulfer then... Bummer I would hate to lose a bunch of glazes. Just wondering Kabe

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Nelly;

I am in the same boat as you. Just moved out of a co-operative studio where I knew where everything was located. I searched and searched for a plate rack last night ,and opened about 20 boxes.I built a studio in my backyard like you. Unfortunately the contractor broke a lot of the lids on my glaze buckets and drywall dust has gotten into some of my glazes.

My question; "Will plaster affect my glaze melt?"

TJR.

 

 

 

Dear TJR,

 

Now that is an interesting question?? I have no idea??? My knowledge of clay has told me that any plaster in clay is a problem. It can explode during firing. I am not sure about glaze though?? I would be very disheartened to have seen this mess though. My first thought it to sieve, sieve and sieve. I would also run test tiles on big cookies to see what the glaze does. Not sure about what others think who have knowledge of this or having underwent a similar experience.

 

Nelly

 

 

If mixed in clay, plaster will cause a blow out or pop out. Glaze (for the most part) is made of the same materials as clay . . . only in different proportions. So, yes, the plaster has contaminated your glazes.

 

 

Just a question,maybe someone knows the answer. Plaster is Si O (flint) Fe2O3 ( iron) Al2 O3 (Alumina) and CaCo2 Calcium sulfate( 90 some %) Is it the sulfate that is the problem because all the rest are part of our clay bodys and glazes. Is it the sulfate that reabsorbs moisture and causes the blow out or is it the fact that the clump of plaster never was broken up into a small enough particule? If it is the size then maybe a sieve would save the glazes. If it is the sulfer then... Bummer I would hate to lose a bunch of glazes. Just wondering Kabe

 

 

My understanding is that plaster is hydroscopic . . . meaning it absorbs water (even after firing). That is why it is used for molds and bats, etc. Pop outs resulting from plaster (lime) may occur well after firing, after the plaster in the form has had time to absorb some water. Will plaster dust be enough to cause this to happen? Will it affect the durability of your glaze? That I don't know. You can do some test tiles/pots, but the consequences of the plaster may not be apparent immediately after firing.

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Dear All,

 

After recently moving from Toronto and away from my cooperative studio, I have been busy renovating an old house. As mentioned before, my studio is a new building I attached to the back of the existing garage.

 

Last night, I went out and started making some slabs. I am used to letting these slabs "setting- up" before working with them. I noticed last night that among the carpenters stuff there were some left over pieces of new dry wall board that I thought looked perfect for absorption of some of the moisture in my slabs.

 

Now I know that getting any plaster in your work can cause an explosion in the kiln so I did my best to not get close to the edges with my big slabs. I probably should have taken the time to use some duct tape and finished the edges of these boards but I didn't. The slabs are now setting- up on the dry wall with lots of plastic wrap around them. My guess is that it will be about 10 hours before I get to them (i.e., from start to finish).

 

In general, I do know that dry wall is NOT recommended as a drying surface for any extended period of time as it can weaken and cause plaster to enter into your clay. But I had to try it to see.

 

In my old studio, I would have simply left these big slabs to set-up on an old wooden board with plastic. But when I spotted the dry wall, I couldn't resist trying it. The surface was clean, the boards flat--they just seemed perfect for what I had in mind.

 

Thus, my question is:

 

Does anyone out there use dry wall boards on a regular basis and if so, how do you use them? Are there specific precautions you take with their use?

Nelly

 

 

Nelly. I use another construction product that works as well as dry wall but doesn't chip or break on the edges. It is a fiber cement 'backer-board' manufactured by James Hardie. It is intended for ceramic tile backing, but its absorbacy makes it great to reclaim and wedge clay on. You can use several layers of it to make a wedging table top. I also have a stack of the exterior fiber cement shingles they make and use them everyday for strong, thin, absorbant ware boards. They are perfect size for rolling out and stiffening slabs on for hand built work. I cut on them and have never had one break or release fiber cement into my clay. And you can wash them in the sink to clean them and re-dry them for later use!

Jacqueline

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Thanks for the information on cement boards. I had seen it usd as drying boards on wheels to reclaim clay. Did not know they could be washed or used for cutting.

 

 

I have used dry wall for a major tile project. I arranged my dry wall into various sizes. I cut my tiles, arranged the on dry wall, then placed another board on top. I continued to stack the tile and boards. This helped the tiles to dry flat and slowed down the drying process. Biggest problem was outside edges dryed faster, avoid by covering with plastic.

 

After a day or two stacked, I unstacked the boards to allow the tiles to completely dry.

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Like many production potters, I dry tiles in a drywall sandwich. -On my "heat tables". Radiant heat panels are resistance wires embedded in sheetrock, and can be wired for 110 or 220.

Half inch tiles are ready to fire in 24 hours.

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