Air-dry clay is a durable material that’s easy to shape, making it an excellent choice for various projects, like making jewelry, sculptures and ornaments. Unlike other clays, air-dry cures without being heated, fired in a kiln or baked in an oven.
As the name suggests, this type of clay only requires air to dry and harden. The drying process usually takes 24 hours but can span several days, depending on the size of the project and other factors.
What Affects the Drying Time?
The drying process is straightforward — leave it to dry once you’ve completed shaping the clay. In some cases, the drying time may take longer than usual due to these factors:
- Thickness: The thicker the clay, the longer it will need to dry, and the thinner the clay, the faster it will dry.
- Airflow: The parts of the clay that are in contact with surfaces dry slower because moisture gets trapped in between. You will want to occasionally rotate the piece to maximize airflow.
- Climate: The room’s climate can affect the speed it takes your air-dry clay creation to dry. It will dry faster in a dry space and slower in humid conditions due to the moisture in the air.
How to Dry Air-Dry Clay Faster
While one of the best methods of curing air-dry clay is leaving it to self-harden, you can bake it in the oven to speed up the process. However, baking air-dry clay in the oven can lead to cracking from exposure to high temperatures.
When baking Sculpey Air-Dry™ clay, set your oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, using an oven temperature to confirm. Since the thickness plays a role in how fast it dries, we suggest leaving thinner pieces in the oven for a minimum of 20 minutes. Thicker creations should be left in until fully cured but require constant checks to avoid over-drying and cracking.
If your air-dry clay gets cracked while curing in the oven, you can fix it by filling it with fresh clay.
Create With Sculpey Air-Dry™ Clay
Sculpey Air-Dry™ clay is soft and easy to mold, perfect for clayers of all skill levels. Once you’ve waited the right amount for it to dry, the result will be a durable item. Ready to start creating captivating jewelry, fun ornaments and other creations? Browse our Sculpey Air-Dry™ Modeling Clay products today.