Friday, April 18, 2008

Drying Cabinets & Shelves for Greenware

Potters are inventive when it comes to finding or making equipment. Some examples of green ware drying cabinets potters I know are using are rolling restaurant cabinets, baker's racks, store display racks, old refrigerators, and many other unique items. Some of their cabinets have doors and some do not. Some have put plastic around their racks to cut down on drafts.

I used to have the perfect green ware drying shelf to use while working at home. I had a large stainless steel roll around rack. My husband has requisitioned the rack for his project in the garage. He is using it to lay out the parts for the Chevy truck he is restoring. The truck is painted Ocean Green, a stock color for 1954. Wouldn't it be a nice pottery glaze? Um... Eventually I will get the stainless rack back. I plan on making a canvas cover to fit over the whole rack with Velcro sides, then I'll have large space to dry green ware.

In the meantime, I have adapted several other spaces to use as drying cabinets for my green ware. My makeshift drying cabinets are working out well. Both of them are out of drafts and keep a fairly even temperature. One of my drying cabinets is my hall linen cabinet. I have a couple of free form platters drying in there now. Since the shelves are solid, I place trivets on the shelf and then put the piece to dry on the trivet. The beauty of this cabinet is that the piece drying is at eye level and I can see right away if the piece starts to warp. I find large platters and plates seem to warp the most. I use bean bags or rice bags placed on top of the piece if it starts to warp.

Another drying cabinet I use is a closet. I purchased some plastic shelves at a local lumber supply warehouse. You'd normally see these shelves used in a garage. (Gee, maybe my husband and I can trade?) The plastic sections snap together and just fit inside the closet. The shelves already have open grids, so the air can circulate around the piece nicely. I have a one of my triple serving dishes drying on the shelf. The grids in the shelving are a bit large, so if the piece I'm drying is too small I place some screening material over the shelf and weight it down on the ends.

I may let my husband keep the roll around rack so I won't have to make the canvas cover. That way I'll have more time to spend working with the clay. How's that for a justification?

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