How to Reduce or Prevent Clay Cracking While Drying

Clay pottery is a beautiful art and used for decorative and functional purposes. It is such a big disappointment when the clay pot you spent hours preparing develops cracks while it is drying up. All the hard work goes to waste and so does the spirit. This is a down time for artists and craft men who keep hours shaping the clay form and then wait for it to dry so that they can paint and take out their creativity on it. All this is ruined by the cracking while it dries up. The cracks can be due to low quality clay or addition of contaminants. However, most agree that they are due to uneven and improper drying practices. Fortunately, this does have not one but many solutions that can prevent the clay from cracking. Simple careful steps are going to help you in this matter. Our step by step guide discusses them below.


  • 1

    You have to let the clay get dry naturally. If you use forceful means to speed up the drying process like the blow dryer, the clay will develop cracks because it is not adhered well. Keep the pieces away from direct contact with the sun and wind. Dry slowly and evenly. All parts should be dried together. So you will have to do a lot of rotating and turning over to expose parts equally. The temperature for each part should be uniform. Do not rapidly fire or cool the clay.

  • 2

    Use a drying rack to dry the clay. Crying rack allows flow of air to all parts of the model so that all the parts dry uniformly. Any other porous surface like plywood will also do. However, avoid plastic because it is non-porous and does not allow passage of air which makes one side dry faster than the other.

  • 3

    While constructing the clay model, make sure that you have used uniform thickness for all the parts. Naturally, any thick part needs longer time than the thinner ones to dry. So if a model has some thick parts and others thinner, it will not dry uniformly and will cause cracking.

  • 4

    If some parts of the model are drying up before the others, cover them with plastic to slow their drying process so that all parts dry together and you have a perfect model ready without any cracks.

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