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What a difference there is between working in an air conditioned space and one without it. All the classes I took and my studio in my last house had A/C. All that is behind me and I'm now working in a 2500sf metal building with 20' ceilings with no A/C in North Carolina. This is a whole new experience and somewhat of a challenge. Throwing isn't affected that much except for I have to watch drying times since a pot off the wheel can be almost kiln ready dry by nightfall if thrown in the morning; finding leather hard is a check it check it check it task.

Wedging is even a challenge. As new clay is exposed while spiraling it looses its moisture fairly fast so I can't wedge too long or the clay really firms up fast.

I decided to start trying my hand yesterday with hand building. I tried some kurinuki type carving and that's not bad if you keep at it till finished; don't let it sit there too long though and keep a spray bottle of water close.

Coiling is a whole different story. That's a constant misting process and I can't extrude a bunch of strips at a time; I can only extrude ONE at a time. If I do two the second will be too dry before I can get back to it; it dries that fast. Again, the spray bottle needs to be close! I tried extruding several, misting and covering with wax paper and that kind of worked. I'll try extruding them into a sealable container next time and see how that works.

Anyone else work in an A/C less environment? Tips and tricks you can share?

(Winter will probably be another topic. :D)

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We used to  go to the Pot shop at PSU around 7pm and work until 1 or 2am. Often in nothing but shorts and T, sometimes even just shorts, gals wore swim suits.  . everyone hosed off before going home.  This was in Summer of the 70's.

 

best,

Pres

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A large damp box might be helpful... I am running a looong term experiment in one I made back in '13. I have 2 pots that I put in there back in 2013. They are still pliable, but the rims they are sitting on are starting to deteriorate from the moisture. Mine is a good plastic storage bin with a good sealing lid about 16wx24lx16h with about 1.5" of potters plaster in the bottom. I think I put about 2 cups of water in it on day 1 and I put about a cup of water in it about every 3 months and it does a really good job of maintaining the moisture level in it. Depending on the amount of work that you do, you might want to have 2 or 3 on hand...

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Weather here is very mild. While a damp box-like setup may yet be in my future, I'm still slowing/controlling drying individually - an inverted vessel over each piece. I've several two quart, three quart, gallon, two gallon, and five gallon containers that see regular use, also a good spray bottle for misting.

Separate "accommodations" for each piece is more trouble, however, I like to be able to bring each along on its own timeline...

ThruTraffic, misting and covering is likely already in your repertoire, however, if you're using plastic sheeting, you might try rigid vessels, inverted, which may not "leak" as much, don't blow around, and also don't shed clay dust (I loathe plastic sheeting!).

The other idea that occurred t'me, although likely the humidity is rather high (Wunderground indicates 60% just now), a misting system for your work area might be somewhat to consider, and/or a swamp cooler? Evaporative coolers probably aren't a "thing" there, as they are in dry areas, however, if it knocks the heat down a bit and the wetter air slows down clay drying...

Other thoughts: 

 I'm adding a smidge of "reclaim fixit" to reclaim; doesn't take much to slow down drying quite a bit. Per Glazenerd's advice, eight parts OM4 ball clay, one part feldspar, one part silica. Am not finding the original thread(s); here's a reference: https://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/25610-problem-with-clay-texture (see Callie Beller's post).

 I prefer clay a bit softer than what comes in the bag from the supplier; softer clay also takes a bit more time to dry...

 

Edited by Hulk
see Callie's post
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I have not gotten around to making a plaster damp box, but use a large plastic container with a damp  sponge in the bottom and a plastic tray on top with a lid to finish. This will keep chalice stems and bowls from  drying out for two weeks. I used to have an old fridge that I used for years when doing the festivals and other things. The freezer would keep things "forever", where the fridge would be good for about a week. It sat outside the shop the entire time.

 

best,

Pres

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