DRYING

It is important to pay attention to the drying of the objects; these must be dried slowly, especially during the first phase, because there is still an exceeding quantity of water in the piece. Indeed, a too rapid drying during this phase may cause distortions, cracks and the detachment of such added parts as handles and other types of applications. Drying may be accelerated only when the objects have lost a substantial part of their humidity; only then they may be located in warmer and ventilated environments.
The pieces necessitate considerable care during this process, especially if they are largesized or flat; clay tends to dry earlier at peripheral areas than in the middle of the object, creating notable mechanic stress. During this phase most of the cracks, breakings or deformations appear as the clay shrinks considerably during the drying process due to the loss of water it contains; this shrinkage varies according to its plasticity with values ranging from 10 to 12%.