FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Flower Drying Art Silica Gel
How to dry a bouquet using Floral Drying Art?
Take the bouquet apart, cut the stems (save them for later), and dry the flowers using the method of your choice (Sealed Container Drying Method, or Microwave Drying Method) when the flowers are ready, use floral wire for attaching the stem, proceed to entirely spray the bouquet with a firm hold hairspray: your bouquet is ready!; you can preserve it in a shadow box.
Can I dry my flowers using Flower Drying Art in the oven?
No, but there are two options for drying flowers: Sealed Container Drying Method, and Microwave Drying Method.
Is this a non-toxic product?
Yes, Flower Drying Art is nontoxic, however, it will absorb pesticides from the flowers, please do not reuse drying containers for food preparation.
Is this product reusable?
Yes!, Flower Drying Art is reusable with no limits on the number of flowers that can be dried.
Can I reactivate/dry the Flower Drying Art?
After using the silica gel multiple times, you will notice the crystals will turn white/pink, this means they have absorbed all the moisture possible, so they need to be reactivated. The way to reactivate silica crystals is using a conventional oven - spread a layer (3/4 of an inch thickness) of silica gel on an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan, and heat the oven to a temperature of 120 C (250 F). Place the pan of silica gel in the oven and allow it to dry the crystals for 2-4 hours. Remove the pan of silica gel from the oven and allow it to cool completely, store the reactivated silica gel in a plastic container or zip bag to keep it away from moisture until ready to use.
I tried reactivating my silica gel in the oven, but the crystals are still white. Is that normal?
When the silica gel turns white after reactivating it, it’s because there’s moisture left in the crystals. To remove the moisture, spread Flower Drying Art in a shallow pan that has a depth of no more
than ¾ inch, and place in a 250° F oven for no less or more than 5 hours. Remove from the oven and when cool, store in an airtight container.
1. While recharging the crystals, gently remove the pan from the oven and stir the silica very well, place the pan back in the oven, making sure the crystals in the middle are turning blue.
2. Be patient and give them time to fully turn blue. Some ovens are old and might take a little longer, for this I recommend you to pre-heat the oven.
3. Do not heat any silica gel to more than 250°F as its fine crystal structures will break.
4. The silica gel crystals release the trapped water from within them and will revert to their original blue color. Once the color changes fully, the silica gel is recharged and restored to its original capacity.
5. To speed up the drying process, you can spread the gel out as much as possible, use a fan to circulate air, and periodically move around the silica gel layers to dry it out evenly.
6. Finally, allow the silica gel to cool inside the oven, and quickly return it to a sealed airtight container, ready for later use.
Why do customers prefer Flower Drying Art in comparison to other products on the market?
The granular compound offers the best method of preserving flowers, as it absorbs the flower’s moisture with little damage to color and form!
I already dried my flowers and I want to preserve them in a shadowbox, is there anything that you recommend to prevent crumbling?
Firm hold hairspray! It works great as a glue sealer. Spray a layer on your flowers and forget about the possibility of future crumbling.
Is this product ideal for preserving a wedding bouquet?
Yes; florists, artists, crafters, and event planners use it for preserving flowers for every special occasion.
I found on FAQ how to dry/reactivate silica gel in a conventional oven. I don’t want to use the same oven I cook meals in so I wondered if I could use a toaster oven instead. I was curious if there was a different time, temperature, and batch amount that needed to be adjusted for a toaster oven (if this is even a viable option).
Yes you can use a toaster as long as the toaster reaches the temperature recommended for reactivating the silica gel (250 °F) for no longer than 5 hours or until the majority of the crystals have turned blue. There’s no health risk if you use a conventional cooking oven because what will happen is that the heat from the oven will draw the moisture out from the desiccant material and reactivate the drying agent. Use a shallow pan and spread the silica in it, with a depth of no more than ¾ of an inch.
How to best recharge large amounts of silica efficiently for a business and not just a hobby?
A professional cabinet oven like the ones used in restaurants could work, something like this:
Just remember to spread the silica gel in a shallow pan, make sure to preheat the oven to 250° F, and let the silica gel sit there for no less than 5 hours until the pink/white crystals have turned blue. Remove from the oven and when cool, store in an airtight container.
Air Dry Clays
I would like to know what your ACTIVA white clay is made of - I don't mean the formula, but is it from natural substances? Does it contain paper? I am interested in making candleholders and need a clay which is not flammable. Is yours non-flammable? And if so, what sealer, would you use for it? The sealer would need to be non-flammable as well.
Activ-Clay is made of natural minerals, it does not contain paper. It’s a self-hardening clay non-toxic and non-flammable; so it is safe for you to make candle holders with it; Here’s our product safety sheet for more information:
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
As for sealing, we recommend a sealer for outdoor projects like Thompson’s water seal – that type of sealer protects concrete, wood, clay, etc., and it’s designed for extreme outdoor temperature and weather; however, please contact the sealer manufacturer and double-check with them.
Why Hearty Clay is becoming so popular in the US craft market?
Hearty Clay is an ultra-lightweight Japanese polymer air-dry clay, known as the ‘marshmallow clay’, is super smooth and easy to work with, great for making jewelry, cards, scrapbooking, freeform sculpting, and also therapeutic and safe for children!
Why would you recommend Premier Clay for my sculpting projects?
Premier Clay is a high-quality lightweight stone air-dry clay, it dries with exceptional strength, giving that natural and professional finish to your sculptures, we promise you won’t regret trying it.
Can you give me tips for preventing cracks and shrinking in my Air-Clay sculpture?
Avoid using an excessive amount of water when creating details and smoothing out your project, in a controlled quantity, water can work as glue, and is a helping tool for creating details, but in excess, it can promote cracks and breakage.
Let your project dry in a temperature/humidity-controlled room or studio.
Don’t try to accelerate the drying process using a fan, hair dryer, microwave, etc… let your project naturally dry overnight.
Is Hearty Clay odorless?
Yes once it's dried it's odorless, also it doesn't shrink or cracks.
How long does PLUS clay takes to dry?
PLUS clay is essentially made of natural clays. Therefore, the speed of drying is the same as one of the other natural pottery clays (from 1 to 4 days) and will depend on the item size, its shape, and on the ambient drying conditions (mostly temperature and ventilation). However, as opposed to the other clays, the drying time can be accelerated by using other sources of heat or manual dryers, avoiding cracks and fissures, because of the presence of natural fibers of cellulose which allow more secure drying.
Do I have to use all the clay once the pack is opened?
If all the clay is not used, it can be kept for another time, keeping the excess in a tightly closed plastic bag. If when using the clay again we notice that it has hardened slightly, it is enough to moisten the fingers before modeling.
Why PLUS White is slightly grey?
Natural white clays are usually grey, never completely white, due to the presence of organic matter, even if in a very small quantity. This is why a grey shade can be noticed when the item is wet.
Does PLUS clay stain?
PLUS is a very clean clay. It is easily cleaned with water in hands and clothes. A damp cloth easily removes any remaining product from surfaces and furniture.
Can it be used for pieces intended to be outdoors?
It is not recommended to use PLUS clay for exterior pieces. PLUS clay is not water resistant. Even if the clay is dry and hardened, if it is exposed to water, it may be deformed.
PLUS clay can be fired?
It is NOT recommended to fire PLUS clay.
Can it be a danger if a child ingests PLUS clay?
Clay is not food. In case of accidental ingestion, it is a non-toxic product, It does not contain gluten or other food allergens. Clay is not suitable for children under 3 years of age because accidental ingestion could cause drowning.
Do you have any recommendations for a varnish/lacquer / sealant that works well with your Air Dry Clay? - submitted by Amber
For sealing, we recommend acrylic spray. Krylon is a good brand, and you can get it matte or gloss finish - it dries very fast and it’s very easy to apply; just do it in a well-ventilated room. White school glue also works well. Elmer’s glue and Mod Podge are the most common brands; both are very affordable and you can get it regular or waterproof. Lastly, your local craft store probably sells an All Purpose Sealer, it’s more liquid (water-based) than glue and it’s very easy to use.
Does PLUS clay expire?