Quick air drying techniques for modelling clay

Modelling clay made for air drying is a wonderful and inexpensive alternative to using special equipment such as kilns in order to finish drying your clay projects. Air-dry modelling clay will eventually dry on its own, but there are a few techniques that you can use in order to speed up the process. However, keep in mind that drying your clay for too long in too much heat may cause it to over-dry and crack.


Place a standing or desk-sized household fan in front of your clay, then turn the fan's setting on "high," or the maximum setting that your fan allows. Turn your clay to different sides at regular intervals in order to let the fan's breeze cover the entire project. Alternately, place your clay directly beneath a ceiling fan, then turn the ceiling fan to its highest setting.

Dry areas

Place your clay project in a dry area that radiates heat, such as a stove, vent or by a windowsill on a sunny day. Avoid placing your modelling clay anywhere near moist areas, such as humidifiers and showers. You can put your project in direct sunlight as long as you choose a place where it will not be disturbed, and place a sheet of newspaper under and over it so that debris and dust will not attach to it. Alternately, you can place your project outside in a partially opened plastic bag.


Ovens are the fastest way to dry your modelling clay project. However, be certain that your oven is set at 90 degrees C or lower in order to prevent over-drying and cracking. Leave the oven door slightly open and check back every 10 minutes on the progress.

Hair dryer

Hairdryers will speed up the drying process, but make sure that your hair dryer settings are on "low" or "cool." Do not point the hair dryer too close to your project, and use a hair diffuser for extra precaution. Point your hair dryer at the clay while standing at least 15 cm (6 inches) away.

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Leigh Egan, a professional writer since 2000, has vast experience within academic research, journalism and web writing. She has written for and various other websites, and works as a staff writer and a freelance journalist. Egan majored in English at Kennesaw State University and holds a certification in creative writing and grant writing.