Why Air Dry Clay Cracks? (Prevent Clays From Cracking)




The air-dry clay is not like other clays. It does not need kilns to change itself into a beautiful creation. You just need to dry it out without any heat, and after that, you will get a beautiful piece of your creation. But sometimes it can crack. Do you know why air-dry clay cracks? And how to dry air dry clay?

Why Air Dry Clay Cracks

The answer is pretty straight. Uneven thickness and evaporation are the main reasons for clay to crack.

Don’t worry. I am here to help you prevent cracking. Continue reading to learn how to prevent clay from cracking while drying and many more.

Does Air Dry Clay Crack Easily?

You enjoy making sculptures but are always worried about them cracking, breaking, or ruining. Working with air-dried clay will reduce your difficulty a lot. Because it’s as easy to work with as it is fun. It dries very easily at room temperature and does not require any fancy kiln. Also, you have to learn how to make air dry clay not stick to get the best experience. But the question is, does air-dried clay crack easily? And how to fix cracks in air dry clay?

Does Air Dry Clay Crack Easily

The answer will be yes if you act carelessly, make wrong decisions, and do not follow the rules. The answer is no if you go through all the mistakes in the above answer. For instance, consider a good place to dry air dry clay.

So the answer, of course, depends. It’s not something that can’t be broken by any means or that you can’t pull it and break it. Make sure to take note and check the symbol of air dry clay is dry to make sure it’s dried off. 

It will certainly give many advantages over ordinary clay. But you have to be careful. Much will depend on your handiwork and dexterity. If you are impatient and in a hurry, that could be another reason. There are other methods that you need to follow if you want to avoid any broken or damaged art.

Why does air dry clay crack? When raw, the inside is soft and wobbly, like a water balloon, and when it dries, the balloon shrinks, but when it dries too quickly or unevenly, the clay cannot hold it, causing cracks to appear.

If you are having trouble with the stickiness of the clay, then click “Make air dry clay, not stick.”

Why Air Dry Clay Cracks? A Few Common Reasons

You sculpt a favorite thing with your soul. But what you finally got was a cracked sculpture. And all your hard work is wasted. Now you are very unhappy.

Dry clay cracks are very common. It happens constantly. But there is a special reason behind everything. And if you can find out the reasons, then the solution can be found out. So Why does clay crack when drying? Let’s look at the common reasons.

Why Air Dry Clay Cracks

Fresh Air Dry Clay Is Prone To Crack 

When fresh clay is raw, its internal conditions are very soft and liquid. Over time, the air absorbs all the moisture, due to which the land shrinks, and if it is done unevenly, it causes cracks.

Weak Joints May Cause Cracking 

When pieces of clay are connected, cracks may appear in all those places if the joint is not connected strongly. Weak joints dry at different rates. After applying clay glue, mix the joints well so that cracks can be avoided. Learn to cure air dry clay to finish off strong

Low-Quality Clay Can Crack Easily 

Clay’s flaws are another one of the reasons. Not all clays are the same; some shrink faster than others, making larger clay projects especially prone to breakage. For example: Mixing fresh clay with bone-dry clays can lead to dehydrated veteran irregularities in the clay shelf, which cause cracks. So, while mixing, keep an eye on the properties of clay.

There are many other factors, such as changes in temperature, rough handling, or soil residue adhering to the object, that can cause cracking. Those are all the reasons. Because of all these reasons, if the thing you made is damaged, then there is no problem. Check out “Cure air dry clay.”.

How To Prevent Air Dry Clay from Cracking? Follow These Tips

Air-dry clay is one type of clay that is known as water-based clay. People use it to make a variety of things, like jewelry, showpieces, plant pots, etc. especially, artists are so familiar with this air-dry clay. Most of them paint on clay to look nice. If you use air-dry clay, you might have faced an air-dry cracking issue. Also, if it falls on carpet, it’s troublesome to get air dry clay out of carpet.

How To Prevent Air Dry Clay from Cracking

You may think, Why is my clay cracking? Well, using too much water can cause cracking. how to make air dry clay dry faster safely ? Read more If you follow some tips, then you will not face this issue anymore. I am going to discuss how to prevent clay from cracking while drying.

  • First of all, you have to be very careful while using water. If you use too much water on clay, it may crack. Try to use enough water to make the clay flexible without it sticking to your fingers. Add water in small drops when you mix it. 
  • Secondly, making thin pieces dry can increase the risk of cracks. So you need to ensure that the pieces are thicker. You can even use several layers to reduce the number of cracks. Consistent thickness is a must in this case. 
  • Thirdly, the fastest method, like direct sunlight or a hairdryer, etc., can be harmful. It may cause cracks. You better find a space with indirect sunlight and good air circulation. Though this process is slower, it will save you from cracking issues. You can even wrap your pieces in damp paper towels or plastic wrap.
  • Moreover, you can easily cover your small cracks with acrylic paint, glitter, etc. I hope following these steps will help you get rid of cracking.

Fixing Air Dry Clay Cracks: A Guide For Restoration

It is a very common issue that is known as cracking during the drying process. But there is no need to worry about that. I am going to tell you how to fix cracked clay. Giving up is not a solution; you have to face obstacles in every sphere of your life. So follow my tips instead of giving up. 

Firstly, you need to measure the cracks. If you find minor cracks, then a gentle touch or finishing is enough to fix them. If there are major cracks, then prepare for some patching and sculpting. 

Fixing Air Dry Clay Cracks

Take the same type of clay that you used in your original creation for seamless blending. Then mix the clay with a few drops of water. You can use toothpicks or craft sticks for smoothing. If you want, you can use painting as a finishing touch. It will give you a beautiful look. Don’t be afraid of cracking. But try to avoid cracking. It is better to be careful when using dry clays so that they might not get cracked.

Store Your Air Dry Clay Projects Right: The Best Method

Till now, I have told you how to air dry clay, how to fix cracks in dry air, and many other things. Now let’s look at some tips you can use to store your clay projects perfectly. (You can also check here for places to dry air dry clays.) These tips will help you not cause cracks in the clay. You can even use these tips to store up leftover clay.

  • We all store clay so that it doesn’t dry out and lose its moisture. And as we know, clay creations get hardened by losing moisture to the air. So, the first step to storing clay is to keep it in airtight containers. Make sure the lid of the container is tight enough so it stays totally away from the air.
  • There is another simple hack you can use to prevent the unwanted drying process of clays. Wrap the dry clay cracks in plastic wrap. After that, place them in the airtight containers. This will even make the clay projects safer from the air.
  • If you have a lot of pieces of clay, first store them separately in a zip-top bag. Then place them in the containers.
  • Always preserve your air-dry clay at room temperature. Keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Even a too-cold temperature can crack it. So, keep your container of clay at room temperature.
  • Even after all that, your natural clay can still dry out. It can lead to dry clay structures, which can cause cracking. To prevent that, spritz water on clay structures. And again, put it back in the container and close the lid properly. You can also place a wet towel or paper towel on it if it hasn’t quite dried yet.
  • Don’t mix different types of air-dry clays together. They all have different drying times and properties. It can lead to cracking. Also, do not place any objects on top of the container.


How Do You Fix Cracks In Dry Clay?

You can use clay glue or mix fresh clay with some water and apply it to the cracked area. First, gently dampen the area with your finger, then place the glue or clay water and smooth it out.

Why Did My Crayola Air Dry Clay Cracks?

All the clay, not just Crayola gets compressed as it dries. But the firm place stays the same. As a result, the clay can crack. Too-thin and uneven-thick clay structures can also cause cracks.

What Is The Best Air Dry Clay That Doesn’t Crack?

There is no such clay that gives you full certainty that it won’t crack. If you follow the right method and guidance to create a structure with your clay, it lessens the chances of cracking. However, the Das Air Hardening Clay gives you much better resistance to cracking.


Are you still wondering why air dry clay cracks? It happens as the water evaporates from the clay, and because of that, it shrinks. So the cracking happens. There are a few ways to prevent that, as I explained earlier. You can follow those tips to get rid of cracking.

About the author

Written By

William Prince

William Prince

Meet William Prince!

With over 20 years of ceramic artistry experience, William Prince is not just a skilled potter; he’s a passionate guide to your pottery journey. William holds a Fine Arts degree specialized in pottery and he was also nurtured under the guidance of renowned potters. With over two decades of experience, he seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary aesthetics.

William’s inspiration stems from nature’s imperfections, translating them into unique, organic pottery pieces. As a patient and warm-hearted teacher, he’s known for conducting pottery workshops and classes, nurturing talents with his expertise. Join William on “fishingflora.com” and let his mastery inspire your own pottery adventure. Uncover the magic of crafting pottery with a trusted mentor who’s dedicated to both the art and the artist.

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