I wish I could be out in my Pottery Studio every moment of every day but sometimes I just can’t. Damp Boxes have helped me keep my pieces wet for a long time which is pretty important to me as a Sgraffito Artist.
Storing pottery so it stays wet pottery becomes important in the studio when you need to trim or decorate your pottery on your own timeline!!
Maybe you can’t get back to trim in a timely manner, or you need to add handles to a mug a few days after you threw the bodies. Maybe you are a hand builder who needs to keep pieces of clay wet until you are ready for them.
Sometimes plastic sheets just don’t do the trick.
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That’s when Damp Boxes step in to save the day.
As a Sgraffito artist it sometimes takes me several weeks to work my way through a boxful of wet mugs. During this time I really need to keep my pieces pretty wet.
Or maybe your work consists of several pieces that you need to save until you are ready to assemble.
After doing some serious research I came across the perfect solution….Damp Boxes.
Damp boxes, also known in the pottery world as Wet Boxes and Magic Boxes are storage bins with a layer of Potter’s Plaster on the bottom. The hardened plaster absorbs water and when you place a lid on the box, it creates a humid environment that keeps the moisture in your piece.
I have even been able to successfully rehydrate completely dry pieces to a leather hard state so I could trim or sgraffito them.
Damp Boxes are pretty easy to make and can last a long time. My current ones don’t look great after 9 years but they still work great
- Just grab a few plastic storage bins, some potter’s plaster and water. That’s all you will need.
- Don’t use regular plaster of paris. It doesn’t hold up well. Make sure its Potter’s plaster.
- Use a bucket just for mixing your plaster and not one you will use with clay. Plaster and clay do not play well with each other
- Try to stir the plaster to make as little bubbles as possible.
- Pour the plaster into the storage bin, at least 1 1/2″ deep seems to work for me.
- Let it dry about 1/2 hour and set up. Remove it from the container and clean up the edges. Put it back into the container and its ready to use.
I have several Damp Boxes in my studio now and it was a game changer for me. They are now several years old and not pretty and clean anymore. They have darkened over the years, grown some mold now and again and have cracked.
But they still work GREAT!! I can sponge them clean, rehydrate them with a bit of water and they work just as good as the day I made them!!
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