Can You Put Air Dry Clay In The Oven

A sculpture needs an effective way to dry the clay, and the most common question is Can you put air-dry clay in the oven? 

Yes! You can bake the air-dry clay in the oven because it fractions the time. Baking is a faster and more effective method to dry air-dry clay. Every professional sculpture applies for better results. And it is quite a game-changer as it makes your statue dry fast and efficiently without destroying the details. To check whether the art is dried or not, You may touch it with your finger or nail. If it doesn’t have any dent means it is fully baked. 

Here, our experts have mentioned to aid you with more details about using an oven to dry clay. 

Can You Put Air Dry Clay In The Oven

How Can You Put Air Dry Clay In The Oven?

Air-dry clay is non-toxic and has no chemicals, so it’s a natural clay that can be baked in an oven like in ancient times. Most sculptures used to heat clay after sculpting.

Although if you have added Styrofoam to create the statue, it may be a disaster, and it’s inappropriate to bake it in the oven. 

Here are mentioned how to put air-dry clay in the oven:

Get An Oven Tray

Take an aluminum foil to prevent the clay from sticking to the tray. Always make sure that the tray is clean. After that place, the sculpture and place it into the tray. However, you also need a baking sheet as the tray will heat up in the oven. 

Set Oven Temperature

The oven should be cold when you put the tray in it, then turn the oven on and set the temperature to the lowest setting, around 200-250°F. You must avoid placing the clay tray in the preheated oven or setting the temperature too high as it will crack the sculpture.

Baking Time

Baking time is complicated as it depends on the thickness and size of the sculpture. However, for a small and five-inch sculpture, 15 minutes are good enough. In contrast, large sculpture requires time or repeatedly bakings. 

Leave It For Several Minutes.

You shouldn’t leave the oven on more than 20-25 minutes at a time for this process, or it may cause fire or burn. Yet, the alternative technique you must try is to turn off the oven after 15-20 minutes and leave the sculpture in it until moisture vapors. 

Remove Sculpture From Oven

You must carefully remove it from the oven as the oven tray, and the sculpture might be warm enough, ensuring it’s not hot and thoroughly dried. And you should not apply a new clay layer to hide the crack. Also, if your sculpture has exposed wire, prevent them from touching as they are still Hot. 

An oven is a fastest and most effortless method to dry the clay in minimal time. Furthermore, it will give you extra time to complete the art piece faster. Plus, baking the clay tends to cause minor cracking. 

Air Dry Clay Takes Much Time To Dry

It depends on the clay’s thickness and size. If it’s small and thick, it requires more time to soak moisture, or it’ll break easily. However, if the clay is thin and the length is small, the oven absorbs moisture in less time. But, it is still skeptical to say how much.

The ideal time limit is 15 to 20 minutes, not much more than that, the oven will get damaged, or your sculpture will crack. 

Alternatively, if you choose to dry it without an oven, it will require at least one to two days. Plus, the humidity and temperature are vital facts while drying the sculpture.

Moreover, if the atmosphere of your current area is a dry and warm environment, then the clay dries faster, yet if clay is exposed to a cold or humid atmosphere, it will need more time to dry the whole sculpture. 

The surrounding matters for drying the clay as the well-ventilated area will make it easy to decrease the time limit of drying clay. 

Baking is the best way to fry the clay effortlessly in less than 24 hours. You may also check the clay periodically to ensure that your sculpture is in good shape in the oven through the surface. 

After taking it out from the oven, you must avoid touching it immediately as it can crack, warp and burn your hand. 

How To Prevent Air Dry Clay From Cracking?

Cracking does not mean something happens while dry. It can do anything while making it, in-process, and then it drying. So, you must take care that you keep the sculpture where it is safe, and you don’t need to shift the location. 

Also, If you are not using an oven for drying, keep it in a well-ventilated area after finishing the work to prevent it from cracking. Although it is the simplest way, it requires more time. 

Also, a dehydrator can circulate warm air around the clay, decreasing the time limit. But you must set the temperature low so the clay won’t discolor and warp by heat. 

Furthermore, a desiccant chamber can be used to dry the clay quickly, as it can absorb moisture from the clay and speedily finish the drying process. Yet, different types of desiccant chambers are available in the market to ensure which will serve the best result. 

A hairdryer is an alternative way, too. If you use it on low heat, speed up the drying procedure. But, ensure that too much close to clay may melt or damage the clay. Also, the hair dryer is appropriate for small and thin clay, as drying thick and lengthy clay sculptures with a hairdryer doesn’t help.  

Lastly, you need to be patient while the clay is drying, as reports state that 90% of the damaged or cracked pieces took place because of the rush of drying the clay by crafters. 

So, staying calm and providing the required time limit to dry the clay is better. Save the day, and your whole hard work will be wasted. 

Air-dry clay is durable, but cracks may acquire. It happens due to water evaporating the clay during baking, dehydrating, etc. You can fill the gap after it’s dry entirely. Then, apply the slip to hide the crack by using it directly. To make a slip, you need a mixture of one-to-one clay and water.

Bottom Line 

Can you put air-dry clay in the oven? The process and method are straightforward in drying the clay in the oven. Yet, if it doesn’t work because of the thickness and length of the sculpture, our experts have mentioned other ways to aid you in drying the air-dry clay effortlessly and saving valuable time. 

We suggest you must choose to work on other art pieces as others are taking a long in the drying process. Harsh and selecting different ways to quickly dry the clay will damage the sculpture that could not be repaired. So, it’s best not to waste your hard work being impatient.

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