Most professionally created clay pots are dried in industrial kilns, which heats them up to super high temperatures, creating a rock-hard surface. Home pottery enthusiasts who do not have a kiln can make similar clay pots in their home ovens. Since ovens do not reach the high temperatures of kilns, oven-dried pots are not as durable but will still last if proper care is used when maintaining them. Oven-dried pots are made of special oven-dry clay, not standard pottery clay.
Feel the clay pot with your bare hand to see if it feels damp. If you feel any dampness at all, set the pot in a warm, dry location for 24 additional hours until it is completely dry to the touch. If the pot is cooked too soon, it will crack in the oven.
Place the pot inside the oven, directly on the centre rack. If needed, adjust the oven rack up or down so that the pot does not touch the top of the oven and is centred. You do not need to place the clay pot on a baking tray, although you can if you wish.
Set the oven to 163 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit) and let the clay pot cook for 30 minutes.
Turn the oven off and remove the pot from inside while using potholders. Set it on a heat-resistant surface and leave it alone for at least three to four hours or until it is completely cool.
After the pot reaches room temperature, you can paint or glaze it, if you desire, with acrylic-based paint products.
Do not attempt this with air-dry clay or with traditional pottery clay, since these materials are not suitable for oven drying.