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Stop The Curling!

curling slab

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#1 Leslee

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:07 PM

This is a really silly question. I have been working with clay for years but just started making ornaments this year and I am having trouble with my clay curling up while its drying. I normally make small bowls, jewelry, beads and thrown pots years ago never had this problem before. I know I'm not the only one because my friend has the same trouble. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated?



#2 JBaymore

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:17 PM

I thought this topic was related to the coming winter Olympics. ;)

 

best,

 

..............john


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#3 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:30 PM

It sounds like a fast drying problem or a draft.
What type of shapes and clay are doing this?

Marcia

#4 Leslee

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:28 PM

Thank you Marcia, It is White low fire clay. Its pretty humid here in HI so it can take 3-4 days to dry. I was thinking of getting some boards and stacking them to keep it flat while drying.

Thinking about it my terracotta pieces don't seem to do it.



#5 Chris Campbell

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:45 PM

I made thousands of ornaments at one time and had this problem with porcelain clay. I got the loss rate down by cutting the shape at right angles to the direction the clay went through the slab roller. If I forgot and cut them with the direction the clay fed through the rollers, the loss rate jumped again. I could find no other common denominator ... The way I dried them did not affect the results as much as the cutting direction.
Terra cotta is a much more forgiving clay body ... you can do almost anything to it and all is good.

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#6 Mark C.

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:06 PM

If these are flat forms(cookie cutter stuff) dry them between a piece of sheet rock with board and weight on top.

I think its to late to stop this as a sport in the winter Olympics  this year but you can keep clay flat with the right handling.

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#7 Pugaboo

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:18 PM

I made a lot of ornaments as well and this is how I do it. I use Little Loafers ^6 clay. When I roll it through the slab roller I flip AND rotate the clay 45degrees with each 1/4 inch adjustment in thickness. I then let it set up on the slab roller a bit before cutting out the shapes. I did a lot of snowflakes with a bunch of interior cutout designs (see the attached picture). Once I cut out the shapes I put them on drywall and then dropped the drywall with the ornaments on the floor from waist height. I then sandwich them between 2 pieces of drywall and allow them to dry slowly for a day or 2. Once they are dry enough not to flex at all, not bone dry but on the far end of leather hard I move them carefully to mesh shelves and allow them to dry the rest of the way there. I have no issues with cupping as they dry.

T

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#8 Leslee

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:33 PM

Thank you all so much. These all make sense and I will do. I've never worked with paper clay but I might try it.

Two questions 1)you don't cover the drywall and the clay doesn't stick 2) do you tape the edges of the drywall to keep it shedding?



#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:40 PM

tape the edges of the dry wall. 2" duck tape is fast fix. I have 2 x 2 shelves on an old bakers rack. I put my slabs on 2' x2' or more drywall and slide them onto the shelves. The whole rack is wrapped with a heavy plastic. I live in humid South Gulf Coast Texas. But A/C is bad for clay because of uneven drafts.
Marcia

#10 Leslee

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:52 PM

This has been very helpful Mahalo!




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