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Tuesday Tip - Not Just for Fruit & Veg


When I was getting ready for the bead show this spring, I ran into a serious problem with getting my pendants to dry quickly without warping so. I have a food dehydrator that I use for vegies, fruit, and back packing meals. The dehydrator is what I use to dry metal clay pieces to minimize warping. So I thought why not porcelain? I've been using the dehydrator for a few months now. Not only are my pendants warping less while drying, they seem to be coming out of glaze firing with significantly less warping.

I let my pendants set up on a sheet of dry wall until they are soft leather hard. I can pick them up without distorting the shape. Then I pop them onto a dehydrator tray and turn it on for about an hour and the pieces are bone dry or close to it.  All ready for their final clean up before their first firing.

Dehydrators vary in cost. You can find them with an internet search for 'food dehydrators' in prices ranging from $40 to several hundred dollars. One thing though. They are noisy!





Note: The trays I use to dry clay have all been retired from use with food.

5 comments:

  1. Ooooo .... I love my dehydrator. I picked one up at a thrift store for $5.

    It is a fantastic tool!

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  2. Great tip LeAnn. I use a toaster oven but I think this is even better. More even distrubution of the drying process which must be what helps with preventing the warping. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  3. I also use my dehydrator for drying bisque beads. Sometimes bisque beads have a residue on them after the bisque firing. I rinse them in a bin then lay them out in the dehydrator to dry them all the way. This seems to lessen any glaze defects and bisque dust flecks in the glaze...

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  4. Mary, I am pretty sure that it is the even distribution of heat that is working for me. I had a lot more warping when I was using the oven, even between boards.

    Good idea, Marsha! I also use the dehydrator to thoroughly dry a glaze coat before I cover it with another glaze.

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