The air-dry clay is quite popular, due to its adaptability for use in multiple artistic crafts.
Contrary to conventional clay that requires heating in a kiln, the air-dry clay does not need to be fired.
At standard temperatures, the air-dry clay solidifies and is ready for embellishing or painting.
The Hardening Process of Air-Dry Clay
For almost all types of crafts, air-dry clay is the most ideal kind of clay to use.
Since the air-dry clay is smooth, this makes it easy for you to engrave and bend it in various ways.
Consequently, this clay can be used to maneuver a wide range of items.
Upon completion of the project, you need to give it time for it to completely dry and harden.
This drying time may range from a few days to a whole week.
The period taken is influenced by the temperature of the surroundings and the thickness of the object that you have made.
The size and shape of the item crafted is also a determinant of the drying time.
For instance, a rounded object that is also sizeable has a high probability of having some wetness confined inside.
Therefore, such an object will take a substantial amount of time for it to be fully dry.
It would be more convenient if you would have your clay dry quickly.
The faster your clay dries, the faster you get to complete your project. Luckily, there are various ways in which you can cleanly make your air-dry clay dry faster.
1) Make use of a ventilator
- Place your craft on a tray while wrapped in a ream
2) Take advantage of the sun
The sun is undoubtedly the ultimate source of heat, that everyone can use at no charge. Here is how to use it:
- Wrap your craft in a baking sheet and place it on a flat and unsoiled surface.
- Place the craft in a place that is properly illuminated by the sun and away from the wind. Wind can easily blow too hard that it breaks and ruins your sculpture.
- Check your craft once every 15 minutes to ensure that it is still getting heat from the sun. You can change the location if necessary and also keep turning it around, to ensure that all the sides of the sculpture are getting heated by the sun.
3) Utilize an oven
- Cover a baking tray with some aluminum foil. This keeps the tray clean from any clay that might stick around.
- Place your craft on the tray and put the tray inside a cold oven. If you put it in an already heated oven, the sculpture will probably crack.
- Set the oven’s temperature to about 200 degrees (Fahrenheit).
- Leave the sculpture to dry in the oven, for a couple of minutes. If the craft is small, an average of 5 minutes should be enough. However, if the craft is large, it should take about 15 minutes to fully dry out. Once this time lapses, turn the oven off. Otherwise, your clay might burn and damage your project.
- Carefully remove the craft from the now turned off oven. Since the sculpture is still hot, allow it to completely cool before checking whether it is entirely dry.
If working on a home project or for commercial purposes, applying the above tips will aid in making your crafts dry faster and neatly.