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the Driying and Firing proses

Clay, the Driying and Firing proses

Clay, the Driying and Firing proses
Many potters, especially beginners, use prepared clays without much thought. However, there comes a point when it is useful to understand the process that clay goes through during drying and firing. This can help troubleshoot many of the problems you experience with your pieces. Plus it is darn interesting!
Air Drying
Wet clay contains a large amount of water, a minimum of 25% water. When clay starts to dry, water evaporates from it. As this happens, the particles of clay are drawn closer together resulting in shrinkage. Many problems with clay are formed by uneven rates of drying, which create stresses in the clay. Sometimes these stress show up right away as cracks or warpage, other times not until during or even after firing. So it is important to ensure drying is even. This is done by ensuring uniform thicknesses throughout the piece, drying slowly, and even slowing down the drying of certain parts. This has been discussed in several previous tips. Continue reading

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