Monday, April 28, 2008

Answering Readers Questions - Leaving clay unwrapped

I received this enquiry from Mary Lou asking about leaving clay unwrapped on a work surface. I think she asks a very important question:

Hi Linda,

I have a question. I have left clay on my desk for a couples of days. What is your advice on doing such a thing. The clay is expose to air for a lenght of time and I have went back to working with it. From a professional what advice can you give. I have only started working with polymer just recently.

Thank you in advance.Mary Lou

My response:

Hello Mary Lou,

Thank you for your question. Generally clay is not harmed by leaving it exposed to air. What does harm clay and make it unfit to work with is leaving it near a heat source, such as near a heating element (radiator or heat duct or in a hot car on a summer day) or exposed to direct sunlight. It is heat that begins the curing process and if exposed to heat to long, it does dry out the clay, makes it brittle and ruins it. If you want to leave it on your work surface, I would simply wrap my clay in some plastic wrap or place it inside a zip-lock bag to protect it from dust particles and other things that are attracted to the clay.

Also, please be aware that clay can damage a worksurface such as wood. As a gentle word of caution, and yes I do speak from experience, do not let raw clay be exposed to wood, styrofoam or certain plastics as they will corrode them.

Again, thanks to Mary for asking the questions! I hope it's useful information to everyone. I think the next blog, I'll talk about worksurfaces. What do you use?

Feel free to send me your questions or comments to post.

Also....if you are planning to enter April's Spring Challenge, get your entries to me - there is still time!

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