Drying Metal Clay

Drying metal clay after it has been molded and shaped is necessary as the clay must be completely dry before it can be fired.

Any moisture trapped in the metal clay may create blisters as it heats.

Breakages can also occur after the item has been fired and final finishing is being carried out

The following methods can be used to dry precious metal clay.

1. Air drying is fine , however drying time will be subject to humidity, temperature and thickness of the precious metal clay.

Air drying has the advantage of avoiding any distortion of your pmc silver jewelry item.

Can sometimes be a problem with multi-sided objects.

A sunny windowsill is a good place for drying.

2. A hair dryer is very effective.

It is best to place the metal clay on a piece of metal mesh as it will be too hot to hold.

You will need to check to ensure the mesh is not marking the clay.

3. An old toaster or grill oven can be used provided it has a low heat setting.

You must not let it get too hot or it will distort the piece.

Ovens are fine for drying multi-dimensional objects.

4. Cup warmers or hot plates are also suitable, again you need to watch the temperature to ensure that distortion does not occur.

5. The ultimate dryer is a food dehydrator.

It must have a temperature control and adequate air circulation.

Dehydrators handle multi sided items very well because of the air circulation, particularly if the fan is in the rear of the unit, rather than in the bottom where it is less efficient.

Always be careful handling heated metal clay as it may be hotter than you think.

Slip a playing card under it to remove from the heat source.

You can tell when your clay piece is fully dry by placing it on a mirror for five seconds.

If there is condensation on the mirror when you remove the piece, then the item is not yet dry

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