search  current discussion  categories  forms - misc 

redydrating mugs (sometimes they can be salvaged)

updated mon 21 jun 04


Kathy McDonald on sun 20 jun 04

I agree with Vince on this, once you wait too long
you are bound to have handle problems once they are attached
they do nasty things.
As some of you know, I am a potter with a day job, and I have often thrown
a batch of mugs and had to work for a few days and they've become too dry.

This method has saved my bacon for orders a couple of times.

use round bats... and get some cotton baby diapers, or a flannelette sheet.
place all mugs on the bats, wet the diapers,lay a sheet of dry newspaper on
the rims
or bottoms, cover with two layers of the flannel, then cover tightly with
drycleaning plastic and set them aside for about 16-24 hours.

When making the handles let them set up untill they are more stiff than
they normally would be, ie almost leather hard, Then use a mixture of
spooze (equal parts claybody slurry, vinegar and corn syrup) to attach them
they are rehydrated.
It doesn't always work to perfection but as i said it works a lot of the


-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG]On Behalf Of Vince
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 10:05 PM
Subject: Re: Redydrating Mugs

> Having waited too long to attach handles to some mugs, I am seeking some
> advice. The mugs are leather hard now (quite a ways from bone dry) and I
do not
> want to lose them. Is there a way to rehydrate them so I can attach
> This has happened once before and I sprayed the mugs, let them rest under
> plastic overnight and attached the handles the next day. When they dried,
> handles were cracked where attached to the mug.

Rog -
Forgive me if the following sounds unsympathetic, but this is the price you
pay for waiting too long. There is no way to satisfactorily rehydrate the
clay for attaching handles. People may have some success stories, but it
all depends on the degree of dryness, the kind of claybody, the kind of
attachment, etc. To try and rehydrate them to attach handles is time wasted
on a risky venture, when you could spend that time making a new batch of

Shrinkage has already taken place, and rehydrating the clay will not reverse
that. The handles will crack when they dry. Scrap them and make another
batch, and this time catch them at just the right moment for attaching the
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee Technological University
Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111,

Send postings to

You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from

Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at

Incoming mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.705 / Virus Database: 461 - Release Date: 6/12/2004

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.708 / Virus Database: 464 - Release Date: 6/18/2004