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Melissa M.

How Do You Know When The Clay Is Dry?

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You could make a small slab with the clay, weight it before and after a fast drying, and know what percent change to expect for the rest of the wares. You could have the board on a scale and just watch until the expected weight loss is achieved. Or, if all the pots are similar wall thickness, you could just pull one off the board and weight it periodically.

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Will a CT scan show water? If so, you could take your clay work to your local hospital and have them run tests to see if it is dry.

 

Jim

Damnit Jim, I'm a ceramicist, not a doctor!

 

Also, while we're at it, let's run a Chem 7 and Blood Gas.

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Sorry if I seem a little apprehensive. It is my first time working with this type of clay, and I just thought I would check with some experienced ceramists before firing a piece that may still be wet. Also, I have always been a "measure twice, cut once" type of person.  ;)

 

Thanks for the advice and tips.

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When I'm in doubt, I put the pieces on a sheet of newspaper and check them the next day. If the paper wrinkles up where the clay was touching it, they're still too damp to fire. If the newspaper doesn't wrinkle at all, it's good to go.

 

One of the potters at the local studio (where I have my stuff fired right now) does a lot of carving into thick leatherhard clay -- when she's done carving she puts it on the greenware-to-be-fired rack and the studio owner bisques them as-is with a candling cycle. So although I know it doesn't *have* to be totally dry, I prefer that they are so that they don't get damaged in-transit.

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