How to soften and hydrate clay

Have some clay that’s too firm to throw? It's so much less strain on your hands and wrists to work with soft clay, if the pieces you make allow for it.

    1.    Add 100 mL of water to a 12 kg (26.4 lb) bag of firm clay you wish to soften.
    2.    Tip: Spin the bag closed, as it squeezes the air out and seals the length of the bag.
            This prevents the clay residue at the top from drying and sticking to the soft clay when you remove it.
    3.    Ensure there are no holes in the bag and seal the contents tightly.

Proceed from here using one of the following Resting Methods:

Resting Method 1:  (Duration: 48 hrs)

    4.    Lay flat on one side for 24 hrs.
    5.    Flip it over so the side that was on the bottom is now on top. Allow to rest for another 24 hrs.
    6.    Open and use.

Resting Method 2:  (Duration: 24 hrs)

    4.    Submerge the sealed clay into a large container or pail filled with water
            NOTE: Any holes in the bag will cause more water to get in and potentially overdo it.
    5.    Allow to rest for 24 hrs.
    6.    Open and use.

You can also check out this project with images in our Idea Center.

How to keep your Clay damp

Check out our the Damp Box project in our Idea Center to see how to make a safe storage space that will keep Clay damp and workable for later!