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Drying pots ready for firing

Post on any pottery help site, and when people ask, 'how do I dry my pots safely?' the answer is always some variation on 'as slowly as possible'.

As a potter in wild West Wales, 'as slowly as possible' could be a very long time indeed, and if there was a deadline for an exhibition, that could be too slow. So at some moment, I took a chance and put a large 'kiln filler' piece on an unglazed ceramic tile, on top of the insulated lids of the always-on Rayburn solid fuel cooker. It dried perfectly overnight. How could this be? First, though large (up to 60cm high), my work is thin walled and the clay finely grogged - and most important of all seemed to be that the pot heated up from the base. In any case, it worked!

In Australia, things naturally dried more quickly, and could be finished off ready for the kiln, in the sun.

Back now in Leek, and with no Rayburn, I've rigged a drying rack over a radiator with oven shelves, and so far that too is working well (but not as quick as the

Rayburn used to be!). Some pots, if they're the right shape, can just stand on the radiator itself.


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