Australia is in for a very, very warm week. So with much of the country seeing temperatures of 40 degrees, I thought that I would share some tips to help save both you and your clay from the heat.
I usually love the heat and humidity, however as the mercury rises, it can mean less than ideal studio conditions. The sweltering heat can be quite unpleasant for you to work in, but it can also wreak havoc on your clay. Clay is funny to work with in that you want it to dry at the right pace, not too quickly or too slowly and keeping it damp in the heat is an art form in itself.
1. Have spray bottles at the ready
One for you, because lets face it, you won't be very productive if you have melted into a puddle on the floor so lets start with making sure you stay cool. Most of the time in summer you will find me with a little amber spray bottle. It's not just any spray bottle though. I love to put 10 drops of dōTERRA peppermint essential oil in it to knock it up a notch as peppermint has a cooling effect.
Then of course, one for your clay. If you're finding that its drying too quickly, spray bottles can be really handy to keep the clay your working with moist enough.
2. Damp Towels
These will become your best friends in the warm weather. I love to keep two on hand. I use one to place over clay that I have already cut that is ready to roll or wedge so that it doesn't start to dry out before I'm ready for it. Then I have another that I keep to wipe my hands on. I don't like to have dry, flakey bits of clay falling all over the things I'm making (who would?), so a damp cloth or towel can be amazing as it will help keep your hands clean, as well as your fingertips damp.
3. Be cautious with fans
Fans can be amazing to help keep things that little bit cooler on those still, sticky summer days, but be cautious. While they can help keep you cooler, if they're pointed at your work, it may speed up the drying process. While sometimes this is the idea, if you haven't finish a piece yet you might find that when you go back to it its gone from a nice workable leather hard to bone dry.
While there are many other hacks to keep cool, these are my three favourite. The things I do everyday in my studio so that I can stay cool enough to enjoy making.