Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
pcr

Fighting The Elements To Keep Clay Moist

Recommended Posts

pcr    0

Hi I am a newbie with a history of handbuilding on and off over the last 20 years.  The elements where I live are much hotter and windier than where I use to live and I'm finding it challenging to keep my pieces leather hard.  I want to keep them in the leather hard stage longer so that I can do both surface decorations with stencils/screens etc. Some of these pieces are containers and I want to be able to cut into them to make lids and flanges.  I can't get to these pieces every day and they are drying out too much inbetween.  I wrap them in plastic and put them in an outdoor closet under stairs.  

Any and all suggestions that would help extend the leatherhard stage would be appreciated.

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neilestrick    1,381

Also make sure you're putting enough layers of plastic, like at least three layers of dry cleaner bags. And put your piece on a non-absorbent surface. If you have it on a wood bat, the bat will absorb moisture even under plastic. Those simple damp boxes can be made with large Rubbermaid totes, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pugaboo    438

I have had really good luck keeping items leather hard by wrapping entirely in a couple layers of plastic then slipping this inside of a 2 gallon plastic ziplock Baggie. I spritz the inside of the Baggie with a fine spray and seal it up the water doesn't touch the surface of the item so it doesn't hurt it but makes a nice moist room for it to sit in. They even have bigger baggies now for storing clothes and stuff if you need bigger sizes. I kept 1 piece moist enough to easily manipulate for about 3 months.

 

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PSC    54

Place a pad of 2 or 3 sheets of folded newspaper(not the sales fliers) on a nonporous bat, place vessel on pad, take a round sponge or sponges and wet them enough so they are heavy with water but not drippy, place on newspaper pad about an inch away from vessel, cover with multilayers of plastic bags...dry cleaning or black garbage bags. Tuck bags under bat, place one more bag loosely over bagged vessel. I've kept vessel wet for months...just keep checking that the sponges are still damp now and again...be prepared for fuzzy pots if kept wet any length of time.

 

Btw all plastic bags are not the same at keeping moisture in, avoid the real crunchy bags like the ruffies brand and don't use plastic grocery sacks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pres    896

Years ago when I was doing shows, I had a fridge go out in the house. The new one was brought in, and the old one moved outside of the shop. I gutted all of the interior shelves, built in two shelf brackets, and started storing pots in the bottom and the freezer top. Usually kept the pieces damp for a week. It may work out for you, but you need to realize that outside nowdays building code requires a lock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marcia Selsor    1,301

I put buckets or large plastic storage containers over my work. The table surface is Formica. It is a nice way to keep them

Damp and not disturb the surface.

Marcia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TJR    359

With student work we put damp newspaper-not sopping wet, then wrap in plastic. Keeps it moist over the weekend.

TJR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Celia UK    142

I'd go with the aforementioned 'magic box' every time. I have several in my workroom, as I don't get to my pieces every day, either. I have some flowers that I made by pinching, about 6 months ago - and they've remained leather hard. Also, if a piece has become too dry, it will 'come back' if stored in a magic box. I've done this with a slab built jug that needed a new handle adding, as the first one pulled away from the body as it dried (I didn't wrap it up). By the time I could get back to making a new handle, the jug was too dry for effective joining, so I left it for a few days in the magic box - hey presto! It had dampened down enough to add the new handle successfully!

Magic boxes have transformed my life - no wrapping, spritzing, plastic marking the surface or any other inconvenience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pcr    0
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all the great suggestions.  I'm definitely in for trying the magic box along side the paper and plastic suggestions.  I am assuming the plaster is mold making plaster versus regular plaster.  Can someone please confirm.  I'm excited to make my Magic Box!  Thanks again!

cleardot.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldlady    1,323

the damp box works well.  put at least an inch of plaster in the bottom.  i just used handles last week that i made a year ago at a friends studio.  still soft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×