Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CactusPots

Wet weather drying

Recommended Posts

I see there are potters here from PNW, so I'll ask something I've always wondered about.  Here in SoCal, we're just finishing an unusually wet rainy season.  My production is lagging because clay just doesn't dry like I'm used to.  Soon, I'll be able to throw in morning and trim in the afternoon again.

How do you get pots to dry when it rains every day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do NOT live in the Pacific Northwest, but depending on the time of year, the weather can mimic nearly any region of the Country.  I threw some large mugs, on Tuesday, and they are also drying relatively slow.  My studio, is in my basement, so it's a bit cooler and more damp anyway. 

Moving air, is the key.  When I want wares to dry *now*, I put a floor fan on them.  I'll check on them ever half hour to hour, and rotate the wares, both in their proximity to the fan, and which side of each is facing the fan.  They go from wet, to trimmable in an hour or so, and if I'm drying from leatherhard to bone dry, they are nearly bone dry, overnight.  If the air is warm or hot, the drying obviously goes faster. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the Sacramento area it has been a pretty wet and relatively cold winter...what I do is fire up a box fan on low, blowing towards the shelves of freshly thrown pots for about a day. That usually dries them enough for trimming. Then I pile them around my fireplace for a couple of days rotating them to provide for even drying. Been doing this all winter with great success and no cracked pots...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still using fans, just not in the studio, as any dust then becomes airborne - if I need faster drying I'll carry the board o'pots to the other room or covered porch for fanning; that said, I'm more inclined to just do other things whilst the damp dries out. For just a few pots, a touch of torch adjusts dampness with the quickness, aye? When it's damp and cold I'll turn the space heater on to stiffen handles - doesn't take long! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I cannot dry them outside (may to Oct) then its in the gas heated studio up a few levels-The transition season is right now as Tuesday was the 1st outside dry day. Then it rained every day and its inside again.On a usual day that will be about 50-80 pots. I like them better dryed outside (more even)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fall winter and spring it's tough in Seattle, I usually have wareboards full of pots in various stages of dryness and just keep an eye out for things ready to trim or put handles on.  Space heater to keep things above freezing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in college they would wrap a shelving unit with plastic and put a small fan and a light bulb for heat on the bottom.  It has been rainy in the Midwest lately but I have been working on a project that needs to dry slowly so I am good.      Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my even drying tricks is to dry between towels.  Goodwill sells a big bag of bath towels for like $5.  I spread one down on a wire rack, leave some space between pots (mostly upside down) and cover with another towel.  No direct air flow on the pots, but even absorption by the towels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was one of those tiny desk fans and they aimed it sideways towards the light bulb.  I didn't ever have any work in it,  I kept on top of my assignments and didn't have to dry it in a panic.   Denice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was teaching at the HS, we had two downdraft tables. They were noisy, but they would take a pot from freshly thrown to done dry in a couple of hours. Used them for workshops in the summers where I had a week of work and everything was ready to take home the last day!

 

best,

Pres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One piece pots usually dry ok, given air flow.  I'm convinced the deal with drying pots with additions (clay--slip--clay) is to spend up to a week in a plastic bag not drying at all, but rather equalizing.  I turn the bags inside out daily to get rid of the condensation, but not having moisture between 2 dry layers of clay is the goal.  I'll need to dial in the time required once I get into a more hardcore production mode.  Soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/30/2019 at 4:40 PM, neilestrick said:

Fans are tricky, because air flow means uneven drying. I'd invest in a portable dehumidifier if you don't have time to let things dry naturally.

No doubt there.  I *normally* only use a fan, if wares are on the drier side of leatherhard, at the earliest.  Even then, I'll rotate them, often.

37 minutes ago, CactusPots said:

One piece pots usually dry ok, given air flow.  I'm convinced the deal with drying pots with additions (clay--slip--clay) is to spend up to a week in a plastic bag not drying at all, but rather equalizing.  I turn the bags inside out daily to get rid of the condensation, but not having moisture between 2 dry layers of clay is the goal.  I'll need to dial in the time required once I get into a more hardcore production mode.  Soon.

Anytime I include anything additive, especially handles, I keep covered for a day or two, for the reasons you mentioned. 

One time I was drying a mug, on the heating vent, in my classroom.  I don't recall the circumstances exactly, but I either was trying to slightly dry it, and forgot about it, or I thought it was fairly dry, and was trying to get it ready for the kiln.  Either way, the handle dried to quickly, compared to the main body, and cracked right in the middle.  No biggie, had a back up, and I was also able to use it as a visual to students, as to why we cover projects, and dry them slowly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.