How to Bake Pottery Clay in the Oven

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Jennifer Eblin

    About the Author

    Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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    Pottery clay has special ingredients that help the clay stay moist with exposure to air. As long as you cover the clay with a damp cloth, it should not dry out. Pottery clay does harden with exposure to high temperatures in a kiln, which is a specially designed oven that bakes at high heats on all sides of the pot simultaneously. With some types of pottery clay, it’s possible to skip the fancy kilns and dry your pieces in a home oven. Check clay specifications to ensure you can bake it at home in your oven.

    Things You'll Need

    • OvenCraft clay
    • Cookie sheet

    Let the pottery sit out overnight or longer, which helps dry out the piece and make it less green. If you put the piece directly into the oven, you risk breaking or damaging it. Keep the pottery out in the sunlight, which helps it dry faster.

    Set the oven to 350 degrees and allow it to reach the temperature. Traditional clay pottery requires a high temperature that home ovens can’t reach. Clay formulated for home drying sets and dries at a much lower temperature.

    Place your clay pottery pieces into the oven on a cookie sheet. Set the cookie sheet on the middle shelf of the oven and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Keep checking the pottery at 15-minute intervals, watching for the pottery to turn darker and become firm. Baking may take up to one hour.

    Remove the pottery from the oven and set it aside until it cools completely.

    • Use clay such as "OvenCraft" clay, which has additives that let you bake it in the oven.
    • If you are using uncolored clay, try beating an egg and brushing that on the outside of the piece. This turns the piece a light brown color with baking.
    • Always use oven mitts when removing the cookie sheet or touching the clay in the oven. The high temperature of the oven and the clay piece may cause burns.

    Photo Credits

    • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images