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Ideal drying surface

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As its comes up in the past, on occasion, I will mention a tool I use in the studio that is quite helpful.

Plastic grid light diffusers.

When I first started making molds I was surprised to find that freshly poured plaster emits a lot of moisture as it drys. My first attempts to provide a flat drying surface, 3/4" plywood, resulted in complete disasters. (As the plaster dried it dampened the wood. As a result the wood warped. As the wood warped so did the plaster. Completely ruined the plaster forms I was making at the time.)

A few days later, while at my day job, (maintaining a 26 story building) I replaced some overhead light diffusers in the freight elevator. Noticing that they were rigid I took them into the studio and tested them as drying surfaces. 

They're perfect. They're stiff so they don't warp. And they're plastic so they don't absorb any moisture from plaster or clay forms. The ones that work best are made of square grids that have hollow spaces in middle.

Down side is that they have little burrs, every so often, so one needs to be careful when drying clay pots on them. 



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3 hours ago, Rae Reich said:

Jeff, do you place the grids so that air can come up under them?

Yes, Rae. I usually lay the grids on top of 1"x1" or 2"x4" strips for that reason. Especially fresh plaster.  For porcelain platters I find it's not necessary to provide that much circulation. Simply putting the grids on plywood bats works well in that situation.

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