Have Your Cake and Heat It Too
Air-dry clay is a perfect medium for dollmaking. The results are beautiful, there is no need for baking or firing, and let’s admit – sculpting is relaxing and fun. There’s one problem: it takes many hours to dry the clay.
You’ll have to wait overnight at a minimum. If you’re busy the following day, then your dolls will go on the “back burner” until you’ll have time to continue.
But there’s a sweet solution:
A food dehydrator and a cake topper!
Using a food dehydrator cuts the waiting time down to about an hour or so, depending on what you’re sculpting.
Faces might have thicker layers than fingers, so they might take longer to dry. That’s no problem. An hour is just the right amount of time to have some lunch or take a small break – nothing like having to stop what you’re doing to put your work aside for a couple of days (or longer).
WHY IT WORKS
Food dehydrators heat the clay at a very low temperature – between 95 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit (35 – 73 degrees Celcius). This is perfect for safely and quickly drying clay for your dolls.
Note: if you’re drying a doll head with styrofoam inside, then be careful and dry on the lowest temperature setting, or it could melt!
THE PROBLEM IS…
Dehydrators come with several stackable drying racks and a very thin cover.
The lid has barely any depth to it because it’s meant to cover thin slices of food. It’s not made to cover over body parts!
On these small hands, the lid is resting on top of the clay. There’s no seal and the heat escapes. That won’t do at all.
For illustrative purposes, these photos show hands that are already dried and painted. If they were wet, then they’d get smooshed!
A doll head or larger body part certainly would not work for this. So what can you do? Use a cake lid!
Fortunately, I had one to try out. Lo and behold, it fits perfectly! The diameter is a bit over 11 inches. Many cake domes are relatively the same size, so this is a great solution with many options.
Now you can have your cake and heat it too!
WANT TO TRY THIS?
Here is a link for the dehydrator that I have, a glass cake dome that will work with it (mine is a wedding gift from years ago), and one that’s made from acrylic. And for my favorite air dry clay too!
I hope this is helpful to you.
Enjoy your dollmaking!