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How Do You Know When The Clay Is Dry?

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#21 clay lover

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:49 PM

I'm with Jim on this one. If you find yourself wishing for an oven in your studio, look around, that kiln is an oven, why would you not add a ramp at the beginning of your firing to just dry the pots?

I do this often when the weather is so soggy that things just won't get truly dry, never had a problem. You don't even need to add a ramp, just increase the first soak by an hour or 2. Then continue on with the firing as usual.



They are dry.

#22 Benzine

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

I'm with Jim on this one. If you find yourself wishing for an oven in your studio, look around, that kiln is an oven

 

Pfff, not much of an oven.  My cookies keep coming out like crap!


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#23 Pugaboo

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:09 PM

Lol my husband suggested using my new kiln for the holiday turkey this year that way he could get the biggest turkey he wanted and not worry about whether it would fit in the oven. I was not amused and told him to keep his hands off my kiln or else!

Terry
The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#24 oldlady

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:57 PM

i do not usually bisque. and sometimes i make a lot of things just close to the deadline.


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#25 Melissa M.

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 04:09 PM

Thanks so much, everyone. Lots of great tips. :)

 

I checked them again today, and they actually no longer feel cool on my cheek. So, they are dry.  ^_^ The humidity has been a little lower over the past couple of days, so I'm thinking that the high humidity was making them feel cool on my cheek, even though they may have been dry at the time.  :rolleyes:



#26 soilandpolish

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:03 PM

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.



#27 OffCenter

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:31 PM

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


E pur si muove.

"But it does move," said Galileo under his breath.

#28 soilandpolish

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

Your health coverage must be better than mine! :)



#29 Benzine

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:00 PM

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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#30 Melissa M.

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:10 PM

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.



#31 Nancy S.

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:37 AM

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.



#32 soilandpolish

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:34 PM

Good luck Melissa, and thanks for liking my post. By the way, I'm also in Canada.

 

Andrew



#33 Melissa M.

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:45 PM

Good luck Melissa, and thanks for liking my post. By the way, I'm also in Canada.

 

Andrew

Thanks, Andrew! It's great to meet a fellow Canadian here. :)







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